The Babylon Soccer Club Board of Directors (BSC Board) has been made aware this week that the Babylon School District will not allow us permission to file for permits to use the Babylon School fields for the Fall 2020 Season. Below is a statement from the BSC Board. We hope our members support our efforts by following the call to action.
We are obviously disheartened by the decision of Superintendent Rozzi and the Babylon School District Board of Education (BoE) to deny us permission to file for permits to use the Schools fields for the Fall Season. According to Mrs. Rozzi, the decision was based on the NYS Department of Health’s decision to delay the start of the Fall Season for “interscholastic” sports and their concern that the School would be sued if they allowed us to use the fields and there was coronavirus outbreak. It is very easy to blame the possibility of litigation, but that is why we have insurance that covers the school in the event of a lawsuit. Furthermore, if the possibility of litigation is the benchmark for refusing to issue permits, then the District could always deny permits to use the field our tax dollars pay for because if it’s not coronavirus, it could be measles or the bubonic plague.
Youth Soccer Is Authorized to Return to Play
In any event, youth soccer is not governed by the same rules as interscholastic sports and youth soccer has been authorized to return to play since July 6, by the NYS Governor’s office and the NYS Department of Health. Moreover, we are putting procedures in place to manage social distancing and provide our players and their guests with the safest environment possible. Our draft procedures were shared with the BoE. However, we are not sure if they took any of this into consideration because there was no discussion of the issue on the record and no vote was taken in public. This is in violation of the Open Meetings Law.
September 21st Is Too Late
The Babylon School District (BSD) has said that they will allow us to file for permits on September 21st if interscholastic sports are given the go-ahead. A few reasons why this plan does not work:
- BSD has not said what will happen if interscholastic Fall Sports are postponed until the Spring, which is under consideration. We assume, based on the above, they will not issue permits if the school doesn’t have Fall sports.
- There is no guarantee that BSD will issue the permits even if the school can have Fall sports.
- September 21st is too late for our Travel Soccer program. Our home game schedules are due to the LIJSL offices on August 31, 2020. Obviously, we cannot schedule home games if we don’t know whether we will be allowed to use the fields.
Other Field Options Are Lacking
Some have suggested using the Our Lady of Grace turf field since we used it in the Summer. We are not the only club or group that uses this field, and, in the past, the Town of Babylon has only given us very limited use of it in the Fall and even less in the Spring.
We are in the process of looking for fields to play on and the Town of Babylon is working to help us to find suitable field space. In addition, we are exploring private options and shared field options with other clubs.
We Need Your Support
The Babylon School District and the Babylon School Board of Education have utterly failed us here.
We were not even alerted to the possibility of not being able to use the fields until we applied for permits to use them. We have used these fields for many years and we did not even get the courtesy of a phone call.
This is not the way to treat your community.
We hope our BSC Members will support us in the effort to secure local field space for our teams. Please share your thoughts with the Babylon School District, Babylon Board of Education, and Superintendent Rozzi.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Babylon Soccer Club Board of Directors