ALLEN — Youth sports can be a costly venture for parents.
Take baseball, for instance. Uniforms, cleats, bats, gloves and registration fees for tournaments can easily add up to hundreds of dollars each year.
Now, some parents are fighting to save a tournament they have been spending and planning for. It all comes down to water restrictions.
Allen Sports Association kids play on baseball fields that are in excellent condition. The diamonds are green and healthy.
But if the North Texas Municipal Water District issues Stage 3 restrictions, the fields can only be watered once a week.
And if that happens, the Allen Parks and Recreation Department may consider limiting use of the facilities — starting with tournaments.
"Tournaments would be one opportunity that should be considered," said Stephen Hill, an ASA parent.
A November tournament has already been canceled. ASA officials will meet with city leaders Tuesday to consider eliminating an October 8 event. Twenty-eight teams — most from out of town — are expected to play in that tournament.
"They're hurting the local kids that want to play in that tournament as well," said Joel Denham, an ASA coach.
Parks and Recreation officials said they want to preserve the fields for recreational use by Allen taxpayers.
But Denham — who coaches six-year-olds — maintains that the tournaments should be played. "A lot of local teams and local coaches look forward to having a home tournament," he said. "So they're hurting the kids who live here local that always have to travel somewhere else."
Eight of the Allen Sports Association's 11 sports are played outdoors. "I think that they could spread it out and do more, but I think the fields are for us," Hill said. "We want to use it for our kids, and that's why we're here in this community."
The parks director said the city is not anticipating the need to close any fields. What they will do depends on the weather.
"I guess all we can do is just pray for more rain," Hill said.