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No Lights, No Football

by on March 30, 2012

On Wednesday, April 4th the Rec Commission will meet to determine the regulations of our town parks.  From my observations, and conversations with town officials, the likely outcome will be that the rules will differ park to park. Those participating in the process understand that youth sports do not have the space necessary to run their programs properly.  Despite the voluminous misinformation that has been spread, they understand increased mowing and tree trimming that was done at Brodie Park South was not done at the request of, or to meet the needs of football.  What I’m not sure that they understand yet, is that if the Wolverines football program is not allowed to practice, then they will cease to exist.  Come fall, the only time available for practice is after sunset.  Lights are a must.  Bottom line, no lights, no football.

There will be some in town against use of the practice fields at Brodie Park South, but not many.  My calculations bring the grand total of residents against to a total of 12.  To those of the twelve living near BPS, I’m sorry if practice inconveniences you.  Brodie South has been used for youth sports since the town purchased it. The football program has certainly intensified that use, but has made many efforts to work with neighbors and minimize inconvenience whenever possible. 

When I moved into my home, my wife and I loved the fact that there was a big field and an orchard across the street.  But, we also understood the risk you take living near open space is that at some point the use may change.  We accepted the fact that we can enjoy it now, but unless we purchase that property, we may be looking at a subdivision or a Wal-Mart later.  

To avoid problems in the future, the new regulations need to allow organized town sports to use practice fields until a specific time, such as 8 or 8:30pm, providing for temporary lighting to be used at the discretion of the program. 

First Selectman Jerram is correct; we don’t want a list of exceptions to the rules that is longer than the rules themselves.  Whether you agree or not, let town officials hear the voice of the people loud and clear.  Attend the meeting Wednesday night, email a letter, or at the very least leave your comments to this post.  


From → Youth Sports

  1. Lori Roth permalink

    Thank you for the wonderful article! People need to take a step back, act like adults and realize that THIS IS ABOUT CHILDREN- it is not adults wanting to put a HOUSE OF BLUES into a field- it is about children who want to play sports with their friends at a time of day when their parents are able to take them to the practices. As Treasurer and Registration Officer of NHYFC I know first hand that many families pick football as their child’s sport because it DOES start after they end their work day- some of whom are single parents working until 5PM or later.

    It should be noted that some of these same people that are very vocal against our practice field have themselves watched their children use that same field for soccer practice many moons ago- is it right, now that they do not have children, to put these laws into effect?

    Shame on them!

  2. Krista Maloney permalink

    Granting frequent exceptions to rules reduces respect for rules. It leaves the town commissions vulnerable to charges of ruling with favoritism or worse discrimination. Reaffirming rules that are largely outdated, historically ignored and in at least one instance illegal, creates the illusion of a Commission that is pressured into a decision, without allowing themselves time to consider the ramifications of their actions. Arguably, the existence and complete content of these rules have been unknown to so many in town, because they have become obsolete, have been largely ignored, and in some cases deemed illegal by the courts. I’m glad that these rules are being revised, and I have faith that the Recreation Commission will take this opportunity to show that they are mindful of the responsibility that they have been delegated. Our town parks are one of the greatest assets of our town. Needlessly restricting the use of these parks to satisfy a minority is not in the best interest of this town.


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