[SSJ-Coaches] Field Utilization Concerns - NO DOGS ALLOWED AT GAME OR PRACTICE FIELDS

Eric Simons ricklions at att.net
Tue Oct 30 21:05:12 PDT 2012

During this past season I have had meetings with neighborhood groups, Oak Grove 
School District and the City of San Jose regarding complaints at numerous fields 
we use for our practices and games.
On Monday morning our Vice President, Heath Piper received a complaint regarding 
equipment damage from the San Jose Unified School District at Randol School. 
Parents need to monitor their children when at any site.  Older children should 
not be using the equipment there meant for the younger children at any school 
That same morning I received a call from the Principal of Stratford School very 
upset over a incident at the school on Saturday morning around 9:00 AM and other 
issues.  Monday afternoon I meet with Beth Ann Zuvell who is the Principal.  She 
explained to me that Saturday morning when she arrived at the school she noticed 
a dog defecating on the school playground area, she also noticed that the owner 
of the dog did not show an indication that he was going to pick up the feces. 
She went over to him and asked if he intended to clean up after his dog and did 
he need a plastic bag to pick it up?  Beside him was youth soccer player in our 
uniform!  The man did not appreciate her asking and seemed not to be interested 
in complying.  She told him she had bags available if he needed one. This caused 
him to ask who she was to be asking him to take care of the problem.  She 
identified herself as the principle of the school.  His actions were not 
appropriate!  This is not the first problem we have had with 
individuals bringing dogs to games or practices.  

This is to inform you, as the head coach of your team, that you are to inform 
all your parents and for the older teams the visiting team coach for any games 
that DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED at any of the schools where our soccer games are held.
I have provided my cell phone number to the Stratford principle to call me if 
she has a problem at the school and I would do my best to be there as soon as 
possible to resolve the issue.  Being I also referee and center a number of our 
league games, should I see a dog amoung the parents at a game I will request 
that the dog be removed from the field.  The game will be terminated if they do 
not comply.  I will be asking our Referee Director to also pass on the "no dogs 
allowed" requirement to our referees to follow.
We need to understand that we are visitors on the school and city property and 
as such can have our permits voided at any time by them.  

Mrs. Zuvell was very upset and stated this was not the first time that dog 
droppings were left on the playgrounds of the school.  She has stated if this 
continues she will notify the Oak Grove School District to pull our permit for 
the school fields.  She also stated, there has been damage to the Stratford 
playground equipment, gates and fences and trash left on the field after the 
weekend. On Saturdays vehicles are parking in areas not designated for parking.  
During the week some teams are arriving to early at the site and not parking in 
the designated areas.  No practices should start before 4:30 PM at any site.  

Remember school activities have priority over our league practices and games. 
This e-mail is not only directed at those teams that use Stratford but to all of 
our SSJYSL teams! 
On game day, it is the responsibility of the last SSJYSL team, when they take 
down the field to make sure that the area is clean of any trash.  This is a 
requirement at all of our schools were we hold games and practices.  I tell my 
team if you brought it take it with you.  Leaving water bottles and snack 
wrappers on the field is not what we need.  Each team should take their 
trash items with them.  The schools have complained of their garbage cans being 
full and at times trash left beside them for their janitors to clean up. After a 
long weekend you can have animals and the wind distributing the items over a 
large area, which requires a lot of the janitor time to clean up on Mondays. 
The issue at Bernal and La Colina Park also were related to trash issues not 
only at the sites but also left on the sidewalks and parking areas in front of 
homes in the area.
In summary, if our league wants to continue using the facilities at these  parks 
and schools we need to do a better job of communicating to the parents that they 
need to be part of the solution and not the problem!  Park in the appropriate 
areas, monitor their children, clean up the trash and leave the dogs at home!

Eric (Rick) Simons
SSJYSL Fields Director
ricklions at att.net
(408) 227-4163
Soccer Line 
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