Geneseo School Could Deny Soccer League Their Field

GENESEO — A sudden insurance issue is making it very difficult for a community team to continue a 15-year tradition of playing soccer on Ted Bondi Field.

The dates requested for the field were denied as Geneseo Central School is requesting almost 10 times the previous years’ insurance fees. The Geneseo Board of Education will be meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, June 6, at 7 p.m. to discuss this matter.

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A letter from a member of the team was sent to Superintendent Tim Hayes is as followed:

I am writing as a result of some difficulties I have encountered with trying to reserve a soccer field for my summer men’s soccer league. My neighbor, [redacted], urged me to contact you for your help. Our team is one of eight men’s teams part of the Southern Tier Amateur Soccer league (STASL, a private league, not affiliated with any other organizations). Our team is comprised of town members, Geneseo CSD alumni, and parents of current Geneseo CSD students. In fact, one of our current team members is the grandson of Ted Bondi, whom which one the fields is named after. We have been playing on the Geneseo soccer fields for at least the past 15 years without any claims, incidents or issues. Every spring, I have contacted the school to request the field and have provided the necessary insurance documents to do so. The team always pays for use of the facility (in a prompt manner) and leaves the field in the same condition it was found in. Even though we pay to use the field we have to supply our own paint and take care of lining the field.

Over the past few years, it had become more and more difficult to reserve the field, due to the fact that many youth leagues reserve the field and only one of the three fields are available through the entire summer. This year, my quest to reserve dates for the field began in March. After working with the youth team’s organizer, Greg Lull, we settled upon a few dates when the field was not in use. When reserving the specific dates through Geneseo’s website, I was asked to provide my current insurance certificate. Instead of accepting and approving our dates, like in years past, I was told by Tracy Levy that our team needed to provide additional insurance for player injury. After researching and obtaining quotes for said insurance from the Long Agency, I was quoted a price of approximately $5500 to cover our league. Our current policy is $600 which I have attached for your review. $5500 is an unrealistic price for our team to play 4-6 games on the field. The other seven southern tier schools that provide field use for the league do not require any additional insurance nor do they charge for field usage. The other schools even paint the lines and occasionally let them use the varsity fields with lights for night games! All in all they welcome their community and alumni to use the facilities.

My main frustration lies in the fact that we follow every rule and are very conscientious about leaving the field just as it was, and yet we are faced with more and more challenges as the years go on. From the lack of availability of soccer fields, to the grass not being cut at a conducive level for soccer, and now the need for a $5,500 insurance policy, we don’t feel, as a team of community members, that we are welcome or supported at Geneseo CSD. The Geneseo School District’s vision is for our school to “be a center of community activity for the Geneseo Central School District”. As that community, we have chosen to live here, raise our children here, and send them to the Geneseo CSD. We love this district and wish to stay here for many years to come. We simply ask for your help in resolving this matter and helping us feel like an important part of the Geneseo CSD. Thank you so much for your time and dedication to Geneseo School.

(Photo/Jake Vattimo)