Policy – Field Use

fieldField Closure Policy

Maintaining the quality of our fields is a constant and sometimes losing battle. Our club spends tens of thousands of dollars treating and re-sodding the fields. Unfortunately we have had too many situations whereby coaches have ignored the directive to stay off of closed fields which has seriously impacted the financial resources of our club.

To that end and to highlight the seriousness of this situation the Former East Lake Soccer Board had implemented the following policy pre-merger.

Any team that violates the closed field directive AT ANY TIME will be disciplined as follows:

  • First offense: $500 Fine
  • Second offense: $1,000 Fine
  • Third offense: The Coach’s pass for the respective team will be pulled

Note also that if the funds to cover the monetary fine are not available in the offending team’s account the Coach’s pass will be pulled until the fine is paid.

This policy applies not only to seasonal closings such as the one announced for this summer, but also includes wet fields or any other circumstance that requires field closure. The penalties will be implemented regardless of the coach’s, trainer’s or parent’s position that “the fields looked fine to me” or that “we did not know they were closed”.

The field closure hot-line is maintained on a daily basis and is your resource for information relative to field availability. That number is: 727-474-9897

The decision to reopen fields rests solely with the Director of Field Operations or his designated representative. We hope and expect that you recognize that this policy has been implemented to protect our resources and to help make The East Lake Sports Complex a premier soccer facility. We greatly appreciate your support to achieve that goal.

Field Maintenance & Goal Mouth

Field maintenance is a major expense item for the club and the responsibility of all members (this includes coaches).
Goals are not required for weekday practices. When teams are assigned practice space this does not imply the use of goals.

If a coach or team moves a goal for team use please adhere to the following:

  • Do NOT drag goals into position this damages the fields and the goals. Members seen dragging a net will be responsible for repairs to damaged goals.
  • When a goal is moved the team is responsible for moving it back to it’s original position after the practice is complete.
  • Goal mouths receive the most traffic. Coaches are responsible for shifting goal mouths in practice so fields aren’t unduly damaged.

Scrimmages at East Lake Sports Complex

For a scrimmage to be held at East Lake Sports Complex, the club you are playing needs to be outside a 30 mile radius of the complex. Special exceptions are on a case by case basis.
If you are scrimmaging a team outside our club, you must have a full referee crew. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Team Field Assignment: August – March

Monday – Thursday (Director of Coaching)

  • West Florida Flames Director of Coaching is responsible for assigning field space Monday-Thursday.
  • Typically Monday – Thursday are practice days and games are not played on these days.
  • Teams should not be scheduling games or scrimmages on practice days it puts pressure on the fields and is disruptive to neighboring teams (no full fields are available on these days).
  • DOC works directly with Competitive Coaches to assign Competitive team field space.
    • Teams practicing two days a week at East Lake are typically assigned Monday & Wednesday or Tuesday & Thursday time slots.
    • Teams practicing three or more days a week can practice twice in the Monday-Thursday time slots, remaining practices will be scheduled on Friday & Sunday.
  • Recreational Teams are assigned Center Field Space on Fields 1, 2, and 3. As well as U6 fields and Kick-wall area’s if required. Competitive teams are not assigned these spaces. Additionally Competitive Teams are not assigned full field practices which prevents the ability to create center field practice space.

Friday – Sunday (Field Scheduler)

  • West Florida Flames Field Scheduler is responsible for assigning space on Friday, Saturday & Sunday.
  • Coaches with field requests on these day need to contact the field assignor (referee@eastlakesoccer.com) NOT the DOC.
  • Typically Friday is mixed use, both practices and games depending on need.
  • Saturday is a game only day and practice space is not assigned.
  • Sunday is a mixed use day, both practice and games depending on need.
  • Follow the guideline for game changes (click)

Field Space Disputes

  • The key to a smooth running club is courtesy. When conflict arises around field space and location, be courteous. Every team and coach is entitled to practice and play games. No team is more important than another and any disputes can be resolved without rancor.
  • The posted practice schedule is the “master” document assigning practice field space. Refer to this document online or posted at the field when resolving disputes.
  • If you need to change your practice time or location contact:
    • Competitive Coaches contact the Competitive DOC, doc@eastlakesoccer.com
    • Recreational Coaches contact the Recreational Director, fall@eastlakesoccer.com
  • The game master schedule is the document assigning game time and location. This document is managed by the Field Scheduler. If you need to change a game follow the guideline for game changes (click)

Post Season: March-August

East Lake fields are closed to ALL in the post season. The only known exceptions are documented below. Coaches practicing on fields in the Post Season are governed by the Field Closure Policy.

There are no exceptions to the field closure directive. If you are in doubt, use the hot-line 727-474-9897 to verify if fields are open or closed. The only exceptions to the field closure policy are the documented exceptions below. If any other team is looking for an exception they will need board approval. The way to receive an exception is to contact the competitive DOC (doc@eastlakesoccer.com) who will forward deserving requests to the board for a vote.
Fall Soccer Teams

Once a team has completed playing their league’s post season tournament (USA, GYSA or other) the team should not be practicing. Our fields get heavy use in season and need to rest in the Post Season.

If your team feels they have a legitimate need to practice requests should be directed to the Competitive DOC.

Spring Soccer Season (Fridays April-May)

Generally we do offer a Spring soccer league that typically plays a game only season, no practices. Games are played on Friday nights. The fields are closed at all other times.

Competitive Try-outs (7 days at the end of May/beginning of June)

Fields are opened briefly for competitive tryout’s. This is a short opening for competitive tryout’s. Teams and players are not allowed to use fields to prepare for tryouts. There may be exceptions provided through the Board of Directors. Make requests to the Competitive DOC who will forward deserving requests to the board.