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Parks and Recreation Code fo Conduct: Use of Permitted Facilities/Fields


Although the City of Somerville Parks and Recreation Department supports the various sports leagues in many ways, the City cannot assist independent leagues in enforcing their own internal issues. Each league organizes itself in different ways with a wide range of regulations and enforcement mechanisms.  If volunteers, participants, or parents violate internal League rules, then each league organization should take appropriate action according to its regulations.  However, the City does enforce standards of behaviors at city permitted facilities/fields and can prohibit individuals from using city facilities/fields.

For the purposes of this document the term “facility” will be used to describe any city permitted indoor facility or field in which the recreation program and/or rental occurs. An individual or Team may be banned from a city facility for the following reasons:

  1. 1.      Failure to follow established departmental guidelines, rules, policies and procedures as applicable to related programming; failure to comply with the Recreation Department official decisions’ regarding taunting/mocking/harassment of players; disgruntled expressions such as rude gestures or comments, screaming and loudly disagreeing with others or obscene/profane/vulgar language; throwing/kicking/striking of bats, ball and other miscellaneous equipment; unnecessary roughness among participants.
  2. 2.      Malicious obscene/profane/vulgar verbal abuse directed towards another individual; verbal epithets related to race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or disability; verbal communication of threats, physical violence or acts of insulting another with intention to offend, defame or embarrass.
  3. 3.      A person engages in any behavior at a city facility which would constitute a crime (e.g. assault or consuming alcoholic beverages, possession of firearm, knives, explosive devices weapons, under the influence alcohol, narcotics, controlled substances, chemical or drug paraphernalia, assault with or without a weapon) or;
  4. 4.      A person engages in any behavior that disrupts the use of a city facility for family recreational and sports activity (e.g. sexually harassing behavior, public profanity, or physically disrupting a sporting event. Also physical aggression towards another; pushing, shoving, striking, or touching another individual with the perceived intent to incite, inflict or cause harm; invading another’s individual personal space during a dispute).

If the Director of Parks and Recreation receives a complaint about such inappropriate behavior at a city facility, she will investigate the matter.  If necessary she will send a letter to the offending person indicating that they are no longer allowed in city facilities while the program, of which the offense occurred, is happening. If that person then enters a city facility the program in which the offense occurred is in session, a police officer can be called in order to ask the person to leave.  If the person does not leave, he can be charged with trespassing.

 Procedures:                                                                                                                                  

If an organization has a problem that demands immediate attention, they should call the person designated to oversee their league to assist with solving the problem. If the problem cannot be solved by Parks and Recreation staff, a city police officer may be asked to resolve the conflict.

If after the conflict has been resolved, the league or association feels that this issue needs additional attention, the organization should submit in writing to the Director of Parks and Recreation a request to have the situation reviewed

A committee consisting of one Parks and Recreation Commission member and two Parks and Recreation staff members will meet as soon as possible to discuss the issue and report their findings and/or decision back to the league or association.

In order to best handle these requests and to help better assist organizations with these issues, the implementation of the Parks and Recreation Code of Conduct by leagues and association will enable committee members to better help solve problems.

***Please Note: Violations will be tracked and monitored. Individuals who have been found to have violated the Code of Conduct terms could be suspended and placed on a probationary status for a period up to one (1) year from the date of offense. A second offense by the same individual within one (1) year, regardless of the nature, will result in double the term of the penalty and an extension of the probationary period from the date of second offense. A third violation by the same individual within one (1) year, regardless of nature, will void all City of Somerville Parks and Recreation use of facilities/fields indefinitely.  Failure to comply with these guidelines could result in legal action. ****