County Delays Use of Athletic Fields

Athletic teams that use Montgomery county’s parks or middle and elementary school fields will have their spring season delayed by two weeks.

An example of a field destroyed by play.  PHOTO | Montgomery Parks

An example of a field destroyed by play.
PHOTO | Montgomery Parks

The opening of all Montgomery Parks’ park and elementary / middle school athletic fields (excluding synthetic turf fields) will be delayed from the original opening date of March 15 until April 1 at the earliest, due to this year’s extremely harsh winter weather conditions, according to a press release from Montgomery Parks.

“If people use them when they are not ready it will destroy the ground for the whole season, said Melissa Chotiner, spokeswoman for Montgomery Parks.

Field conditions will be assessed on a daily basis beginning April 1 to determine if they are suitable for use. Until then, teams are not permitted to play or practice on fields due to the risk of destroying surfaces as well as the ground underneath. Teams that do not abide by the requirement could face a fine or restriction from future use of the fields, Chotiner said.

“The unusually cold temperatures coupled with snow, sleet and ice have had a significant impact on our athletic fields. Even when snow and ice melt from the fields, the ground will remain frozen trapping moisture on the surface. Play when the surface is saturated can cause damage to the turf that will last the entire season,” said Mike Riley, Director of Montgomery Department of Parks in a press release.

Use of park athletic fields is prohibited when park staff or Park Police have deemed them unplayable and during any of the following conditions:

  • Seasonal rest and/or preparation
  • Renovations and/or repairs
  • Standing water on the field
  • A half inch or more of rain has fallen in the past 24 hours
  • Soil is frozen or wet and “spongy”
  • Ground is muddy and/or soil clings to shoes
  • Steady rain is falling
  • A lightening or electrical storm is occurring

For additional information and updates about fields contact Montgomery Parks and Community Use of Public Facilities athletic field rainout line at 301.765.8787 or register for Montgomery Parks ALERT notifications at to receive updates on field conditions. Updates regarding field status will also be available at


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Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.


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