The Calgary Minor Soccer Association has had to cancel or reschedule hundreds of games this summer due to fields rendered unusable by heavy July rains. The association is asking the community for help finding locations to play, and asking the city to take a hard look at its construction standards.
“We have 5,000 to 6,000 games and we have the availability of 100 to 200 fields. But a lot of those fields are not useable,” CMSA president Daryl Leinweber told the Calgary Herald. “The problem lies with the way they are originally constructed.”
Improper drainage has left the fields are prone to flooding, he says, resulting in standing water on many fields following a rainstorm. In addition to revisiting its standards for natural turf fields, Leinweber suggests the city take a cue from cities such as Edmonton or Vancouver and invest in more synthetic turf fields. There are currently only nine in rain-plagued Calgary.
“I think we need to take a look at what we are doing in relationship to the construction of fields,” Leinweber says. “We seem to have a standard that (the City) is willing to accept that I won’t accept today. We either need to improve our construction standards to build athletic turf-type fields, or construct artificial turf fields that we can play on.”
Now, CSMA is struggling to find enough alternate, non-city-owned locations to host rescheduled games so it can complete its season. If it is unable to do so before August 3, the association will have to calculate league standings using a percentage-based system, dividing total points earned to date by the total possible points.