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Community Digest

Norwalk : New Soccer Rules Require Residency, Security Guards

March 12, 1992

School officials have approved new rules that will strictly limit controversial adult soccer games in Norwalk but not ban the games entirely. The regulations require coaches, league officials and most players to be local residents, and require security guards and increased league supervision at the Sunday games.

In addition, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District officials said they intend to bar adult soccer permanently from school grounds where the games were creating neighborhood problems. The games would also be banned from campuses with inadequate parking for players and fans. District staff has tentatively listed only Norwalk High and Glenn High as possible locations for the games. The staff ruled out 32 other sites in a report presented to the school board.

The school system suspended adult soccer in December after dozens of residents complained that players and fans were drinking, changing clothes and urinating in public, and that soccer enthusiasts clogged residential streets and left behind mounds of trash.

League officials said that a handful of unruly spectators created most of the problems. Some soccer boosters have even accused soccer opponents of racism against the Latino players who compose most of the teams.

Although players consider many of the new rules fair, some regulations could threaten the future of local adult soccer, said Miguel Cuevas, president of the Norwalk-Artesia Soccer League, one of three leagues that used Norwalk school grounds. Cuevas particularly objected to leagues having to pay for uniformed sheriff's deputies at every game. Neither the league nor the teams can afford the cost, he said.

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