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Dear Village of Key Biscayne Council,

All our sports programs on Key Biscayne need more fields and want to grow. But we have a field shortage issue. We must all accept this reality and work together to find alternative fields. We support the Department of Parks and Recreation’s decision to leave the current field allocations status “as-is” rather than allow field hockey to expand yet again, at the expense of others.

Versión en español

If Field Hockey was granted the field space they were demanding, it would have forced soccer to eliminate four teams with 72 kids, (in a program) made up of 95% Key Biscayne residents. Meanwhile, the field hockey program has only around 68% KB residents.

Field Hockey is the only sport to have been granted additional space recently, when a couple of years ago they were given space on the Village Green North for their younger players to practice. This displaced kids from soccer’s recreational program, which had more than 95% KB residents, in favor of hockey’s younger age groups that last year only averaged 56%. This also has forced soccer to cap its recreational program and turn away Key Biscayne kids.

The soccer program has been committed to growing the girls’ team -- which has more than doubled -- without affecting the current field allocation. To accomplish this, two years ago they made the decision to eliminate some boys’ teams (a process that was difficult for many) to make room for more girls. Today, the Key actually has more female participants playing soccer than field hockey.

Soccer also needs more fields but doesn't ask for any because it is a conscientious partner with the other sports. It instead focuses on being more efficient with their space and actively working with the Village to find alternative fields for all sports. Field hockey should do the same and join rugby, flag football, and soccer by accepting the current field allocation status quo.

We hope field hockey’s leadership will join the ongoing efforts of rugby and soccer to help the Village find alternative space for all our programs, instead of fighting to take space away from fellow sports and making vacuous accusations of discrimination.

We believe the Department of Parks and Recreation’s decision was correct, and The Village Council should take the next step and make the 70/30 rule an official Village policy that applies program wide and by age. Council should also vote to freeze field allocation until we find additional field space.

Sincerely,

Felipe Rojas

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