The City Council has imposed a 10 p.m. curfew on night league sports.
With the exception of Alicia Park, city recreation fields will be required to douse the lights at 10 p.m. Adult softball leagues that have already begun playing this season at Alicia Park were given an extension on the curfew until June.
The lights-out policy addressed the concerns of park neighbors, who said the 11 p.m. curfew was a disruption.
With play time reduced by an hour, there may have to be fewer teams in some leagues. The council asked the city staff to give priority to teams composed of Mission Viejo residents when assigning field time.
"Our first obligation is to our residents," Councilman Joseph D. Lowe said, "since the games are being played on fields that are paid for by our taxpayers. By prioritizing a little bit, we could have fewer teams but all of our residents should be able to play."
About 100 softball teams currently play in Mission Viejo leagues with another 100 teams on waiting lists, said city officials. About 14,000 adults and children participate in recreational leagues on city fields.
The space crunch will be eased somewhat with the opening of about 10 athletic fields off Olympiad Road between Oso Parkway and Jeronimo Road. City officials expect to start play on the athletic complex by next month.