City soccer fields overgrown, say parents
Parents and coaches in Edmonton’s west end say the city should be doing more to maintain city soccer fields.
They say their children have been forced to play in grass that is up to their shins, which is especially difficult for the younger players.
"If they go to kick the ball, the ball doesn't roll very far,” said June McNeil, the president of the Edmonton West Zone Soccer Association.
The tall grass is also preventing game lines from being properly marked, she added.
"I don't think it's been cut at all this year,” said Christine McNeil, who spent Monday struggling to paint lines at the Belmead soccer field.
This is causing frustration for the players and referees alike, said June.
“If the offsides are not called correctly – if they can't see the lines, if they can't see what's happening, if they can't see if the balls was in or out – that causes a lot of angst and anxiety amongst the coaches and players,” she said.
Now, McNeil wants the city to coordinate with the people who mark the lines so that the grass can be cut ahead of time.
Speaking Monday on CBC’s Edmonton AM, Mayor Don Iveson said the city would look into the situation.
"It's been wet for awhile, and that always makes it difficult for us to get out and mow,” he said.
Harry Oswin from Community Services says the city cuts grass on seven and 14-day cycles and that wet weather has been a problem. He thinks McNeil's idea to work with the people who mark the fields is a great one.
"Those folks are volunteers so I think it is up to us to try and work in a way to help them do what they’re doing for their community," he said.