Sports Council Would Help City Coordinate Teams


In a city where every other minivan sports a youth soccer league bumper sticker, and where athletic teams compete for playing space as well as points, athletes may soon have their own direct link to local government.

Moorpark city leaders may create a sports council to serve as their liaison to the town’s many sports leagues. The council, which would include representatives of each league, would also give the groups a way to work together when scheduling practices and games in the city’s often-crowded parks.

“We’re definitely bumping into each other out there,” said Bruce Levy, local chapter commissioner for the American Youth Soccer Organization.


The last time Moorpark saw a gathering of the leagues, the city’s largest park was still under construction. City leaders wanted the athletes’ input on Arroyo Vista Community Park to make sure it met their needs.

Now, four years later, the number of sports organizations in Moorpark has grown. Dale Sumersille, the city’s recreation supervisor at Arroyo Vista, said the city has 10 active leagues encompassing soccer, basketball, softball, football, running and tennis. Total membership last year was 3,725, although Sumersille noted that many of the athletes participate in multiple sports and leagues.

The city already fields a number of requests from the organizations, usually when they need places to play. The Little League, whose trip to Williamsport, Pa., last year brought Moorpark national fame, negotiated with the city to lease playing fields.


The local tennis club constantly pleads for more courts, either in existing parks or in those proposed as part of development projects.

The sports council, if formed, would provide a forum for such requests. Mayor Pat Hunter said it would also give the city a way to stay in touch with the groups, which are linked to many Moorpark residents.

“We have to understand what their needs are before we can help them,” he said.

Details of the group’s specific makeup and duties have not yet been set.


Sandi Thompson, chairwoman of Moorpark Parks and Recreation Commission, said the organization may include two of the commissioners. Because all of the commissioners are interested in participating, she said, they may rotate positions on the council.


City staff members will research the proposal and provide a recommendation to the City Council, possibly in the next 45 days, Hunter said. Council members must give their approval before the sports council could become a reality.

Levy said he liked the idea of a sports council, saying it could improve the coordination needed to keep all the programs running smoothly.

His own organization, he noted, is now working on an agreement with the city for the use of soccer fields and a snack bar.

“As we all get bigger, I think everyone realizes you can’t just do things on a handshake anymore,” he said.