[Vision2020] proposed ball fields/sports-complex across from arboretum

Ben Twigg bentwigg at turbonet.com
Thu Oct 13 15:05:29 PDT 2005


Chris Berven wrote: 

"The key issue is not whether or not ball-fields are needed for the kids but
rather the potential detrimental effect the present form of the proposed
plan for the sports-complex would have on the arboretum and city resources."

Although I believe legitimate concerns have been raised regarding details of
the proposed plan for new playfields, I would maintain that the key issue IS
the need for fields. There is an immediate, significant need for additional
playfields here, to the extent that I honestly cannot understand how anyone
who knows and values local youth sports could ultimately oppose moving ahead
with the current project proposal. 

A letter to the editor that I wrote on this subject appeared in the Daily
News yesterday. In that letter I presented some facts regarding local youth
soccer and offered some observations regarding current facilities. My letter
did not explicitly state what I consider the two most compelling reasons to
support the proposed new playfields project (both apply directly to Oylear
Field, which is the primary facility for high school and competitive youth
soccer events in Moscow): 

1. Player safety. The playing surface at Oylear has become increasingly
bumpy (actually, I think clumpy would be a better description), which I
believe increases the risk of injuries such as ankle sprains. Continued
overuse of Oylear will cause it to become a dangerous playing surface. 

2. Playing conditions. I coach the Moscow High School varsity girls' soccer
team. The surface of Oylear is worse than any other high school field in the
Inland Empire League. After the Coeur d'Alene girls played in Moscow a few
weeks ago, the Coeur d'Alene Press quoted one of the Coeur d'Alene coaches
as saying, "Their field...was just horrible." I suggest that Moscow's young
athletes deserve better than this. 

I attribute the problems with Oylear to overuse, not to lack of maintenance.
The addition of even one soccer field in Moscow would considerably reduce
the amount of traffic on Oylear, allowing it to "heal" and become a quality
facility for soccer and other youth sports. 

More generally, the reality is that if we don't move ahead with the current
playfields proposal, it will be years before we reach this point again. If,
as a community, we value youth sports, we cannot afford to do this.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions related to youth soccer in


Ben Twigg

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