Ball games - help dealing with problems

Ball games - advice on issues

Playing ball games in public spaces is not against the law. However, ball games deliberately and persistently played recklessly and leading to property damage can be classed as anti-social behaviour.

We take a neutral, balanced view on the issue of ball games. We expect residents to take responsibility within their own neighbourhood and work together to reach a compromise about any issues.

In extreme cases of deliberate nuisance we may use our powers to intervene.

Report a serious nuisance caused by ball games.

Tips for keeping the peace

Advice for footballers, sports people and parents:

  • Respect other residents right to a peaceful and safe environment - not everyone will enjoy your game as much as you
  • Older lads and lasses, if you're having a match head to the park
  • If you have to play in the street use a soft ball to prevent damage to your neighbours fences, gardens and cars - ask before getting back play equipment
  • Where possible play outside your house not anybody else's
  • Keep the noise and the ball down and do not let your game become anti-social
  • Don't use abusive language
  • Beware of your own safety and the safety of other road users
  • Small grassed areas outside homes may only be suitable for younger children
  • Respect the "no ball games" and "considerate use" signs
  • Parents, check where your children are playing and make sure other residents are not disturbed
  • Compromise, talk and agree with your neighbours on a time and a place for your games

Residents, spectators and passers-by please remember:

  • Playing ball games is not anti-social behaviour
  • Respect people's right to play in their own neighbourhood
  • Remember parents and guardians may wish their young children to play nearby
  • Expect, within reason, noise of children playing after school, at weekends and in the evening
  • "No ball games" signs are a request not a bylaw
  • It is not illegal to play football on a grassed verge or open space
  • There may be only one grassed area for 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, speak to your neighbours to find an agreeable time and location to play
  • Open spaces are for the use of everyone