SportsEvents Magazine

DEC 2016

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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Page 24 of 165 December 2016 23 Ever been blocked from booking a playing field because someone paid a deposit then did not use it? Have you ever had a competitor pull a permit for a field they had no intention of using just to keep a fledgling sports organi- zation from growing? Some sports organizations have had to deal with block-out dates, although the ex- tent of the practice is difficult to determine. As a random sample, SportsEvents con- tacted 20 facilities and planners, and found two have experienced block-out date issues. Many facility managers have policies in place to confront this problem. Sports events planners can avoid block- out issues by understanding how those policies work. First, sports planners should know that variations in how facilities and parks are managed also affects priority of access and use, according to American Youth Soccer Organization National Executive Director Mike Hoyer. Hoyer breaks down categories — high- est priority to lowest — that AYSO has seen across the United States in its more than 50 years of experience. They are: TIER 1 Joint-use agreements between a mu- nicipality and a district (for schools or parks): The facility owner gets first priority and its joint-use partner second. Very rarely do they charge fees to each other. That's the case at facilities such as JustAgame Fieldhouse, which houses basketball and volleyball courts in Wis- consin Dells. "We have had our facility for 11 years and we organize and run 90 percent of all events that go on at JustAgame," said owner Dave Royston. "We have not had any experience of organizations blocking out dates." TIER 2 Non-profit youth program providers operated by volunteers (Scouts, Little League and AYSO are prime examples): With sports, open registration and inclu- siveness, along with recreation focus, differentiates at this level. ► SPECIAL FEATURE: CVBs & Sports Commissions SPECIAL FEATURE: CVBs & Sports Commissions Blocked Out... How Sports Planners Can Avoid Being Victim To 'Block-out' Dates BY TAMMY LEYTHAM

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