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No Ball Games

This policy sets out how the Council regulates the playing of ball games on land in its ownership.  Such land includes parks, open spaces, recreation grounds, playing fields, grassed open spaces on land on Council estates and any other open space in the ownership of the Council.  It does not include pavements, streets, highways or other land to which the public may have access.

If you are experiencing damage or anti social behaviour, the council recommend that any incidents are reported to the police on 101. The police will provide an incident number for each incident. As well as enabling the police to react subject to their resources and priorities it enables any incidents to be recorded and a picture built up over time of issues within specific areas.

Legal Powers

  • There is no general criminal prohibition on using land in the ownership of the Council for ball games.
  • However, certain named parks, recreation grounds and open spaces are subject to byelaws regulating the playing of games upon them.  In general terms ball games played in a responsible manner are permitted but where that is not the case an offence is committed.
  • Where there is no general right of public access to the land the Council has all the powers of a private owner to regulate use of the land, including taking legal action to prevent ball games (where practicable) or other appropriate action to abate any nuisance caused by ball games.
  • Where nuisance is caused by council tenants, members or their family or visitors by the playing of ball games action can be taken through the tenancy agreement. In serious and persistent cases that could included action to seek possession through the courts.

Policy Considerations

  • The Council has a policy of promoting sport and outdoor recreation carried out in a responsible manner.
  • The Council will only prosecute offences where there is adequate evidence to prove the offence and it is in the public interest to do so.  In general terms the likely sentences and deterrent effect of prosecutions under byelaws do not warrant prosecutions, particularly where children and young people are involved.
  • The Council should not erect signs prohibiting ball games unless it is prepared to take appropriate action against persons playing ball games in breach of the prohibition.


  • Kettering Borough Council will encourage and promote the playing of ball games in a responsible manner upon its land in places where no nuisance or inconvenience is caused to other members of the public on the land, or to adjacent landowners.
  • Kettering Borough Council will work with the police and other appropriate agencies to prevent and limit the playing of ball games in an anti-social manner.  That includes persons kicking balls against cars, fences or otherwise damaging property of adjacent landowners.
  • Where Kettering Borough Council officers receive reports of persons regularly playing ball games in an anti-social manner on it land it will encourage the complainant to report the matter to the police of anti-social behaviour for appropriate action by the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit.
  • Where appropriate, and subject to the provision of appropriate finance, appropriate landscaping may be carried out on land subject to this policy to prevent or limit the playing of inappropriate ball games.
  • In view of the policy not to make prohibitions which are unlikely to be enforced, signs prohibiting ball games will not be erected on Council land.

Get in touch with Kettering Borough Council

Email: customerservices@kettering.gov.uk. Telephone: 01536 410333.

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