Stadium restrictions change sports dynamics

Fall sports are affected by administration’s efforts to ensure that school is a good neighbor

Phoebe McMillan

ESD is located in the center of a neighborhood, which is something the community tries to take into consideration when it comes to loud events like dances and sports. These loud events  could cause disruption to neighbors around us. In the past few years, the school has received several complaints from families living around ESD relating to the loud music, PA system, and bright lights coming from the stadium. This year, the school has added new policies to show that they hear the complaints of our neighbors and that we are making an effort to be more considerate to them.

As the year kicks off to a start, so do fall sports which are what these new conditions affect the most. Some of these restrictions include morning practices being pushed back to 6:45, the PA system only being used Thursdays to Saturdays, and music being played solely for varsity games. These restrictions have affected sports like field hockey and football more than others because they lack the option of practicing inside on a hot day and often turn to holding practices in the mornings. Athletes across the board are confused about the reasoning behind so many sudden changes to their team dynamics.

“I think everyone on the team is confused why all these rules were thrown on us at once,”  Sophomore and JV field hockey player Abby Wooley said. “We used to get most of our practicing done in the mornings, but now if it is even ever too hot or it’s raining, we can’t practice, which is a big deal considering we live in Texas, and at this time of year, the weather is up and down with heat and rain.”

However, what some athletes don’t know is that the restrictions on the stadium and PA system aren’t only put in place by the school but are also required by Dallas in regard to the zoning ordinance policies. Since the school is located in a residential area, ESD already has numerous restraints put in place by the city in order to limit disturbances and complaints in the neighborhood.

“Having the stadium use conditions as part of our zoning ordinance makes the school accountable in using the stadium in ways that won’t cause undue nuisance to our neighbors,” Associate Head of School Ruth Burke said, “The new conditions affirm that ESD acknowledges that our campus exists in the middle of a residential area and that we are sensitive to the fact that the activity on our campus does impact the daily lives of those who live nearby. ESD wants to be a good neighbor, and abiding by these new conditions is a good way to illustrate that.”

Although these restraints can be frustrating, they aren’t in any attempt to infringe on the flow of our team sports. Being a good neighbor to those around the school and keeping our sports dynamics the same can work alongside each other. Neither the school nor the neighborhood community has been poorly affected in a powerful way.

 “Although there will be some things to get accustomed to, the conditions do not negatively impact the school’s programming,” Burke said. “We can offer all of our current programs and be a good neighbor, these things can go hand in hand.”

These new conditions have proven to have no extreme effects on our athletics program, but they have impacted the neighborhood around us. Sophomore Matthew Durante, who lives on Merrell Road directly across from ESD said that some of his neighbors have complained in the past to his family about all the noise coming from the stadium, but he also said that he  hasn’t heard anything about it recently.

“The other day my parents were asking if the school made any changes because they’ve noticed that the only noise they’ve heard from the school has been on Friday during the football game-which can’t be helped,” Durante said.

ESD’s goal for these new conditions is to try to do more for the residents surrounding us than simply complying with the ordinance laws. These new restrictions are in an attempt to minimize any discomfort for those residing around the school, not the administration’s way of changing the dynamic of athletics.

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