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Field Use Policies


In pursuit of the mission of the Parks and Recreation Department, city parks and facilities are available for use by residents and user groups throughout the year. The department believes parks are a right-not a privilege so residents can freely engage in leisure activities within the parks. Organizations and other groups looking to utilize park spaces for organized activities including organized sports, private parties and festivals/events must make a formal request through the Parks and Recreation Department. In an effort to “Go Green” and streamline request processes, the department eliminated paper request forms in 2019. Individuals may now make requests to reserve park spaces and other requests directly through www.bristolrec.com. Department staff approve requests as appropriate.

The Bristol Parks and Recreation Department and Board of Park Commissioners reserves the right to refuse any organization the use of its facilities when it deems necessary.

Reference: City Charter Section 43 (f), (j)
City Ordinance 16-2 (d)
Minutes #11, 19, 21, 33, 38, 40, 52, 56, 60, 62
Applications pages 42-44


Field/Facility Rentals

Facility Use Request Application Process: Prior to using City parks, facilities and fields a Facility Use Request must be submitted through www.bristolrec.com. The Department strives to establish a system for the equitable and orderly distribution of the City of Bristol athletic facilities. The facilities/fields located within the City of Bristol Parks and Recreation system are utilized for multiple sports from season to season and are maintained by the Parks, Grounds and Facilities Division. Once the Field/Facility Use Request is submitted, accompanying documentation including proper insurance, league rosters (if applicable), and other documents may be requested by the Parks and Recreation Department prior to a permit being issued. Department staff will be in touch with the organization representative regarding status as soon as possible.

Allocation of Field Time and Fee Schedule: Field time will be allocated in order of priority
Priority 1: Bristol Parks and Recreation and Bristol Board of Education programs/events
Priority 2: Bristol based non-profits, 501c (3) organizations and local athletic or sports-affiliated groups
Priority 3: Non-Bristol organizations/non-resident groups and For-profit

Definitions: Priority groups are defined as follows
Priority 1: Any program or event sponsored by the City of Bristol Parks and Recreation and Board of Education
Priority 2: Local non-profit/athletic groups consisting of participants comprised of at least 80% Bristol residents (based on comparable season’s actual registrations not the projected percentage).
Priority 3: For-profit and other organizations comprised of 79% or fewer Bristol residents.

There are costs to the City of Bristol for maintaining fields. These fees include maintenance, insurance and administrative oversight. In order to offset some of these costs, a fee schedule has been adopted by the Board of Park Commissioners.

Fees for Priority 1 Groups
• No charge

Fees for Priority 2 Groups
• Youth organizations in priority 2 will not be assessed a fee.
• Adult organizations in priority 2 will be charged $25.00/per practice, $35.00/per practice/game for fields with lights.

Fees for All Priority 3 Groups

1 field………………………………………………….. $25.00/per practice (2 hours)
1 field………………………………………………….. $100.00/per game (4 hours)

*Additional charges may be assessed at the discretion of the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation (i.e. lights/electricity, bathrooms, maintainers, police, etc.)

Field Use Rules & Regulations: The following is a list of rules and regulations for use on city fields. The list is not meant to be all-inclusive and additional rules may be enforced if the Bristol Parks & Recreation Department and Board of Park Commissioners deem the behavior is in violation of safety of users or health and well-being of the property.
1) Any acts that put participants in danger or potential danger (i.e. driving/parking vehicles on the fields).
2) Any abuse or damage of city property (i.e. tearing up the field, littering, purposeful breaking of equipment).
3) Use of fields without a permit or during a time when the Parks and Recreation Department has closed a field due to weather or maintenance.
4) Field permits are exclusively for the organization listed on the permit. Subletting field time or usage to other organizations is not permitted for any reasons.
5) Use of illegal drugs, alcohol, smoking and loud, vulgar, confrontational language are not permitted on city fields and recreational spaces or its immediate vicinity.
6) Any illegal acts in the parks, playgrounds, open space areas and flood plains.
7) User groups are not permitted to engage in any form of field maintenance (i.e. raking, sweeping, applying drying agents, etc.).
8) Any and all maintenance of City of Bristol athletic fields will be performed by city staff. Groups/organizations/teams having specific requests for maintenance will include them on the Facility Use Request Form or to the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation. City staff will make its best attempt to complete such request with consideration to time, staffing and weather conditions. The city reserves the right to support or deny the request.
9) All Youth Athletic organizations must comply with state standards and state statutes for concussion education and awareness.
10) City of Bristol is not responsible for any items left or stored on facility grounds by Applicant.
11) All municipal ordinances, regulations and policies must be complied with.
12) Special Note: All groups using Wilson Field are required to park only on the side of Fifth Street and Sixth Street that is nearest to the field. Please inform the players, parents and opponents.

Weather Closure/Unsafe Field Conditions: The Bristol Parks and Recreation Department reserves the right to close fields due to inclement weather or unsafe conditions at any time. Fields are inspected by city staff and cancellation decisions are made by the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation or designee. The city is committed to optimizing the quality of fields, ensure safety, minimize injury, and reduce damage to fields that lead to costly repairs. If you are uncertain of the status of a field, please call the Parks & Recreation Office at 860-584-6160.

Determining to play on athletic fields is a crucial decision impacting the conditions and sustainability of a field. Fields are closed to avoid injury and damage to players and to the playing surface. Choosing to play on a wet field or the vigorous attempt to dry a wet field are major reasons fields are damaged.

An athletic field should be considered closed if any of the following conditions exist:
o There is standing water present on any part of the field that cannot be removed without causing damage to the field.
o There are muddy conditions present that will not dry by the start of the game.
o While walking on the field water can be seen or heard with a footstep.
o While walking on the field of play, any impression of your footprint is left in the surface
o If water gathers around the sole of a shoe or boot on any portion of the field.
o Standing water occurs because the ground is saturated. Removing standing water does not eliminate the saturation. It is the saturation and not standing water that causes damage and unsafe conditions.

Safety Plans: A supervisor of an activity involving young people has the responsibility to assure that conditions exist to promote the highest degree of safety possible. For example: higher than anticipated attendance; small children unattended; first aid provisions; etc. Facility users must take appropriate precautions, such as providing onsite medical staff, first aid kits, and/or the ability to contact emergency services. These services are the responsibility of the organization renting the facility.

Progressive Discipline for Violation of Rules & Regulations: The City of Bristol Parks & Recreation Department and the Board of Park Commissioners have adopted the following rules and regulation for use on all city fields and recreational spaces. These rules must be observed by all members of an organization including coaches, parents, and participants. In the event that any members of the user groups are in violation of the rules, these groups are subject to suspension or expulsion from use of city fields. In the event of suspension or expulsion from city fields, user groups will not be refunded any dues paid. The following progressive discipline will be used:

First Violation: Written warning from the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation to the organization head (as listed on this application form).

Second Violation: Final written warning from the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation.

Third Violation: Suspension or expulsion from use of city fields. Organization leader will be required to meet with the Board of Park Commissioners to discuss restoring field access for their group.

Note: Depending on the severity of the issue, discipline may begin at any level including suspension or expulsion from the fields at the discretion of the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation and the Board of Park Commissioners.

Certificate of Liability Insurance Requirements

All organizations, teams or leagues must agree to maintain in force at all times during the term of this Use Agreement the following minimum coverage and shall name the City of Bristol Parks and Recreation Department, its Agents, Officials and Volunteers as Additional Insureds on a primary and non-contributory basis. All policies must also include a Waiver of Subrogation. An original, completed Certificate of Insurance must be provided to the city prior to use of facilities.
Commercial General Liability:
• General Aggregate Limit…………………………………………......................$2,000,000
• Each Occurrence for Bodily Injury, and Property Damage…………………….$1,000,000

Additional Insured:
The City of Bristol shall be named as an additional insured and this coverage shall be stipulated under “Description of Operations” and shall be worded as follows:
The City of Bristol, it’s Agents, Officials and Volunteers shall be named as Additional Insureds.
Certificate Holder:
The certificate holder shall be named as:

City of Bristol
Parks and Recreation Department
111 North Main Street