Sports Teams Overcrowd Rockwall Parks

Reservation policy to limit sports teams from overcrowding city parks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rockwall youth sports are butting heads over overcrowded fields to practice and play games. (Published Friday, Oct 5, 2012)

    One of the fastest growing communities in North Texas is stepping in with a new policy as soccer, baseball and football teams fight over where to practice.

    Rockwall city leaders signed off on a new policy that states that sports teams and large groups have to reserve city parks to use them instead of just showing up.

    "For them to say we can't come out and practice on a park that we pay taxes on is a little bit crazy for me," said Brandon Neighbors, youth football coach. "All it's doing is injuring the kids."

    Rockwall residents have complained about overcrowded parks.

    "What we're trying to do is provide alternate spaces for these teams to practice that are of the same quality as neighborhood parks and minimize the conflicts within the neighborhood parks," Assistant City Manager Brad Griggs said.

    In May, Rockwall residents voted down a bond package for a $25 million athletic complex that the city says would have helped the problem.

    "There's really not enough places to play sports here in Rockwall, so I find it ironic that now people are complaining when they had the choice to pass this bond and approve it and we would never be in this situation," said Shauna Soto, a Rockwall mother who supported the measure.

    The city is telling people about the new rule now but won't enforce it until the spring.

    Officials are also setting aside 10 acres of turf that will be ready for use next year.