Public open space - Ball Games

South Kesteven District Council is in the process of removing old 'No Ball game' signs from land they are responsible for as these are out of date & cannot be legally enforced.

Other land which may be parish, private or Lincolnshire County Council is their responsibility and members of the public should contact the land owners directly.

Everyone has a right to play and interact with others on South Kesteven District Council owned parks and open spaces. 

Play is crucial to a child's development and should be encouraged. However, everyone has a right to enjoy their home and know that their property is safe. They also have a right to be treated respectfully.

Football and other ball games in themselves are NOT anti-social behaviour or illegal.  Most of the enquiries we receive are about where and when ball games are played.

Please consider the following before making a complaint:

·       Young people do have a right to play, especially in their own neighbourhood.

·       Parents/guardians may wish their young children to play near to home for their own safety.

·       It is reasonable to expect a certain level of noise from children/youths playing after school, at weekends and in the evening (usually until dusk unless in a formal lit play area), especially in residential areas.

·       Ball games are part of the school educational curriculum and will be played on school playing fields both during and after school times.

·       Shouting, cheering, applause and laughing are to be expected on public open space/playing fields (especially during competitive matches) and is not normally considered a noise nuisance.

·       "No ball games" signs on public space cannot be enforced and the Council is in the process of removing old 'no Ball Game' signage.

·       It is not illegal to play with a ball on open spaces.

·       There may be only one grassed area for younger children to play safely in their own neighbourhood.

·       Sometimes it is better for young people to divert their energies into playing sport rather than doing other things.

·       Compromise, create a dialogue and speak to your neighbours to find an agreeable time and location to play.

·       Open spaces are for the use of everyone, including children and young people.

·       Young people hanging around talking and laughing may not necessarily be anti-social.

What should I do if people are annoying me by playing ball games?
While fun, ball games can become a source of disturbance for other people.  Ball games deliberately and persistently played recklessly, leading to property damage can be classed as anti-social behaviour which is something that the Council and Lincolnshire Police takes very seriously and will be investigated.  Anti-social behaviour may also affect the tenure of a property.

If you know the parents, there is no harm in you having a quiet word with them and explaining what is happening. This will hopefully prevent any further problems. If you do not know who the parents are, or have some concerns about approaching them, you should contact South Kesteven District Council Neighbourhoods team for further advice.