These general rules should be followed at each park or facility to ensure a safe and fun visit for everyone.
- Parks are open from sunrise to sunset.
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited without a written permit.
- Park permits are required for groups.
- Dogs must be leashed.
- Unauthorized motor vehicles and horses are prohibited.
- Open fires and weapons are prohibited.
- Swimming and boating are prohibited unless otherwise noted by the individual park amenities.
If you have questions or concerns regarding individual park rules and regulations or park amenities, please contact the local community office.
- Adults are responsible for supervising and monitoring any non-participating children that accompany them.
- Gang related colors or clothing will not be allowed in the facility.
- No one is to be in any other area of the facility other than where his/her program is operating.
- Anyone falsely activating a fire alarm will be suspended from the facility.
- No food or drink is permitted on the field, only water.
- No one is to be on or using any equipment that is not related to the program currently operating.
- Damaging displays and posted materials will not be tolerated.
- All individuals are expected to place all trash in proper receptacles.
- Vandalism will not be tolerated.
- No alcohol, tobacco or illegal substances permitted.
- Foul language will not be tolerated in the facility.
- No ball playing in the building corridors.
- No running or unruly behavior in the facility.
Violations of the above rules may result in the immediate removal of an individual or team from the facility or cancellation of the permitted program.
A person may not smoke within the general boundary of the outdoor area of the following Recreation and Parks facilities:
- Playgrounds and tot lots
- Dog parks
- Organized games or events at athletic fields sponsored by the Department of Recreation and Parks or a local recreation council
- Within 30 feet of a Recreation and Parks building
"Smoking" is defined as:
- The act of smoking or carrying a lighted cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, pipe of any kind or any lighted tobacco
- The act of lighting a cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, pipe of any kind or tobacco of any kind
Inclement Weather Policy
When public schools are closed by snow, most of the Recreation and Parks programs will be canceled. School recreation centers (SRCs) may resume when the snow emergency plan has been lifted and local staff has received approval to reopen a specific site.
Causes of Program Cancellations
Programs may be canceled due to road conditions, power outages, high winds, flooding, etc. Contact your local recreation and parks community office to find out whether your program is operating.
When schools are closed by snow, ice or other severe weather conditions for the entire day or before regular dismissal time, all recreation programs at school recreation centers (SRCs) as well as Recreation and Parks sites are canceled. You may view the current Baltimore County Board of Education status on their website.
If the snow emergency plan is put into effect after regular school dismissal, all recreation programs are canceled at the time of implementation.
When school is not in session, recreation programs will be canceled with the implementation of the snow emergency plan.
- Indoor Programs—Will meet if the facility is air-conditioned.
- Outdoor Programs—Each recreation and parks council and its programs decide on the parameters by which each activity meets during hot weather. Coaches and parents are expected to use appropriate judgment in determining the length and type of outdoor activity. Each parent knows their child's health condition and should discuss their concerns with the child’s coach.
These guidelines ensure Countywide consistency in determining whether or not a field or diamond is fit for play.
Field playability has always been a subjective issue and everyone seems to have a different opinion on the matter. To ensure countywide consistency in determining whether or not a field or diamond is fit for play, the Department developed the criteria below. Predicated on safety and maintenance concerns, these guidelines are a product of the efforts of program staff, maintenance personnel and volunteers.
Under any circumstances, the safety of the participants is paramount. Strong consideration must also be given to the potential damage to the turf and the length of time required for the field to recover.
When determining field playability, the following guidelines should be followed:
- Large areas of standing water on any part of the playing field is just cause for cancellation.
- Any attempt to remove standing water from small areas should be done by bailing or by a pump.
- During the course of inspection, any visible water or sound (squish) while walking is an indication that the field is unfit for play or practice.
- Footprints and the collection of water around them is an indication that the field should be closed.
While ball diamonds present a unique challenge, the approach to determining playability is similar to athletic fields.
- Never attempt to remove water from playing fields using a broom to push the water toward a grassy area.
- Pushing water from a dirt surface to grass creates a deeper hole causing lips that are unsafe and difficult to remove.
- Remove standing water by the use of a pump or by bailing with a container.
- The use of a drying agent such as Turface is permissible. Care should be taken to apply drying agents in a light coat and to keep it out of grassy areas.
For specific information about canceled or postponed games and events in your community, you should contact your local community office.
Upon the first sound of thunder or sighting of lightning all in attendance at the outdoor activity should immediately go to their cars or enter a building. No one will be allowed to resume play until 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder or the last sighting of lightning. Recreation staff has complete authority to enforce this policy at a Baltimore County facility. In the absence of recreation staff, volunteer coaches and officials must follow this policy.
Codes of Conduct
Read the various codes of conduct and consequences for violating these codes below.
Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks has adopted a Parents Code of Conduct. Parents are encouraged to sign a copy of the code whenever they register their children in recreation council programs. The code reminds parents of the importance of being involved in their child's recreational activities.
- As a parent, I acknowledge the importance of being involved in my child's recreational activities.
- I will introduce myself to my child's volunteer coach/leader and will exchange pertinent contact information with them.
- I will know who is transporting my child to and from any recreational activity.
- I will know my child's schedule - practice days, dates and schedules.
- I will help ensure a drug, alcohol and tobacco-free environment for my child.
- I will place the emotional and physical well being of my child ahead of any personal desire to succeed.
- I will provide support for coaches and leaders working with my child to provide a positive, enjoyable experience for all.
- My child and I will treat other participants, spectators and officials with respect regardless of race, creed, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability.
- I am aware of the fact that although Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks requires background checks on volunteers, experts, including the Baltimore County Police Department, agree that parental involvement is a more effective means of protecting children.
It is required that all Baltimore County league officials, coordinators, coaches, assistant coaches, members, volunteers and parents (including family members and spectators) maintain high standards of personal conduct and integrity when participating in all events and activities at permitted recreation and school facilities in Baltimore County, and to adhere to the Facility Rules of Behavior.
- Basic Principles—Formal disciplinary and adverse actions should be consistent with all other such actions taken by Baltimore County Representatives for similar infractions. It is essential that prompt and corrective action be taken to promote efficiency, integrity and consistency in everyone following Baltimore County Recreation and Parks Facility Rules of Behavior. Suspensions are set for a minimum length and are immediate. Actual suspension may be higher based upon the situation and facts gathered.
- Purpose—To provide a safe and healthy environment for youth and adults to recreate.
- Behavior Consequences—Per County Code Section 30-1-202(d), Article 30, Title 1, only the Director has authority to permanently ban an individual. An individual may appeal a suspension by notice in writing to the Director within 15 days after receipt of suspension.
Level I Offense
The following actions will result in a one month suspension:
- Use of profane, obscene, inappropriate, or unacceptable language, remarks, or offensive gestures (written or spoken).
- Arguing with spectators or staff.
- Causing a disturbance.
Level II Offense
The following actions will result in a three month suspension:
- Direct or implied threats or innuendos.
- Inappropriate or threatening gestures.
- Abusive ongoing behavior.
- Repeated Level I infractions.
- Possession of alcohol beverages or illegal drugs in or on county or permitted facilities.
Level III Offense
The following actions will result in a minimum one year suspension:
- Physically striking a person; issuing a verbal or written threat to one’s life.
- Willful or malicious destruction of recreation or school facility property.
- Repeated Level II infractions.
Joint Use Agreement
The school-recreation center concept is formally adopted through a "Joint Use Agreement" between the Department of Recreation and Parks, Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), the Baltimore County Board of Education, and the Baltimore County Board of Recreation and Parks.