Policies

To maintain our high-quality facility and customer experience, please review the policies and procedures.

Please see the Health and Safety page for additional information.

Sports Permitting Policy

Effective for all new permit requests

Sports organizations, both amateur and professional, community groups and individuals from DC and beyond may request field time using the following permitting process.

Field time will be allocated for sports activities, community activities, such as pick-up games and informal recreational use, and events, including programming organized by Events DC. In allocating field time, preference will generally be given to organizations that serve local youth.

CRYSP DC, a nonprofit organization, is the operator of The Fields at RFK Campus, which were built and are owned by Events DC. Events DC is the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, and owns and/or manages several key facilities in the District, including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, RFK Campus, Nationals Park. CRYSP DC was formed in 2010 to advocate for more playing space in DC — particularly for youth sports.

 

About The Fields at RFK Campus

The Fields at RFK Campus includes three high-quality lighted turf fields, a covered pavilion, a playground, restrooms, and a parking lot. Fields 1 and 3 are identical fields that each contain one full-sided soccer field measuring 110 x 70 yards. Inset are two small-sided soccer fields measuring 75 x 50 yards. These two fields can be rented for a variety of sports, including soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and ultimate frisbee. Fields 1 and 3 may also be rented as half-fields in order to ensure optimal field usage and accommodate as many participants as is feasible. Field 1 is the farthest north, and Field 3 is the farthest south, closest to RFK Stadium.

Field 2 includes two 60baseball diamonds and a full-size soccer field with two small-sided inset soccer fields with the same dimensions as Fields 1 and 3. The overall space available on Field 2 is about 190 yards x 90 yards. Field 2 can be rented as a whole field, or divided into two little league baseball fields — 2a and 2b — as marked on the signage.

The Fields provide patrons, especially local communities and DC residents, with a quality and reasonably-priced venue for sporting activities and programming, such as soccer, baseball, lacrosse, and other sports. Events DC, the owner of the fields, envisions a vibrant destination offering an array of sports, entertainment, cultural, and recreational programming and, together with CRYSP DC (operator of The Fields) plans to take innovative and creative approaches to better serve Washington, DC.

 

Fee Schedule

The Field Use Hourly Rates published below are subject to change at any time.

Field Use Hourly Rates During Peak Periods 

Peak Periods

Field Use Hourly Rates During Non-Peak Periods

Non-peak periods

Rate Period Definitions

Peak Periods include the Fall season, which generally runs September through November, and the Spring season, which will generally be March to mid-June. Non-Peak Periods include the Winter season will generally be from December through February, and the Summer season, which will generally be from mid-June through August.

 

Field Rate Category Definitions

In order to determine the applicable patron rate category, the following definitions shall apply to the terms contained in the Fee Schedules:

  • DC Rates — apply to organizations based in Washington, DC, and over 75% of patrons/players must reside in the District. Rosters or other proof of residency for players and other supporting documentation for the organization may be required. The location of the organization itself cannot be used to determine the residency of its participants. Home games played against non-DC opponents are not eligible for DC Rates.
  • Youth Rates: apply to organizations that primarily include participants 18 years of age and under.
  • Adult Rates: apply to organizations that primarily include participants over the age of 18 years old.
  • Qualified Community Rate: applies to organizations that meet the criteria of all four of the following: DC Organization, Local-to-RFK Organization,  Nonprofit Organization, and Financial Accessibility.
    • DC Organization: organizations must be based in Washington, DC, and over 75% of patrons/players must reside in the District. Rosters or other proof of residency for players and other supporting documentation for the organization may be required. The location of the organization itself cannot be used to determine the residency of its participants.
    • Local-to-RFK Organization: amateur organizations, clubs or teams that draw a significant number or a significant percentage of players from the neighborhoods surrounding The Fields at RFK Campus.
      • Significant number is defined as at least 100 participants.
      • Significant percentage is defined as at least 60% percent of players or participants.
      • Neighborhoods surrounding The Fields at RFK Campus include the following zip codes only: 20002, 20003, 20019, and 20020.
    • Nonprofit organization: organizations designated as tax-exempt under IRS Code 501(c)(3).
    • Financial Accessibility: organizations that provide free programming or scholarships for at least 10% of their total roster.

Additional Fee Schedule Information

  • Generally, Fields 1 or 3 will be rented as full fields. Patrons may request rental of half a field and/or may be asked to share field space with another user. Such usage will be billed at half of the full field rate.
  • The minimum field purchase time is one hour. Patrons may purchase additional time in 30-minute increments, which will be charged at half the hourly rate.
  • Home games played against teams not Local-to-RFK are not eligible for the Qualified Community Rate.
  • Fee waivers or reduced rates can be requested for activities that provide a public benefit. Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Requests for fee waivers with supporting documentation must be submitted at the time of the permit request.  Eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to: financial hardship, an expressed or documented need for the activity, and/or the activity is free and open to the public to participate. Private events are not eligible for fee waivers. All information on fee waivers may be found online at RFKfields.com.
  • Organizations and individuals may request permits at The Fields for special events or one-time recreational events on a field, under the Pavilion or under the shade structure near the Playground following the Pavilion and Picnic Area Policies.

Field Use Allocation

Field time will be allocated for permitted sports activities and for community activities, such as pick-up play and informal recreational use. Some time will also be reserved, as needed, for events, including programming organized by Events DC and third-party events. A schedule showing times allocated for each type of access is posted online at RFKfields.com.

The key priorities for use of The Fields are to provide scheduling and play-time opportunities as follows:

  • Sports Programs (including league/team practices), 60 percent of the time, with priority being given first to amateur teams/leagues that qualify as Local-to-RFK and provide Financial Accessibility as defined above, and then teams/leagues from around the District. For these programs, youth leagues will have greater priority than adult leagues.
  • Community Uses, 20 percent of the time, which include permitted sports activities that are free to participants and/or open to the public, as well as less formal, non-league sports and recreational activities sponsored by area community organizations, groups and individuals. Examples may include “pick-up games,” free fitness classes, public school team practices, and other hosted but free activities. Fields are available on a first-come-first-served basis during scheduled Community Open Play.
  • Events, 20 percent of the time, which include third party events and programming sponsored by Events DC. Events DC is responsible for determining/reserving these field use times.

The application review process is designed to provide equitable access to field time, with an emphasis on time for local and youth programming, and an effort to balance applications for large blocks of field time with time for smaller requests.

Application Process/Requirements

Season schedules will be published regularly at RFKfields.com, including the dates for the quarterly Permit Application Windows, when organizations and individuals can apply for permits, and when permits will be issued. Field patrons may sign up for emails about permit windows and important dates at RFKfields.com.

 

How to Apply

In order to apply for field use, please visit RFKfields.com to complete the online application process after the quarterly Permit Application Window opens. Please include information about your organization, including: youth/adult, DC-based/outside of DC, time and date of event, etc. Organizations should provide as much detail as possible about the amount of time they request, their preferred dates/times, and their flexibility, as many applicants will request the same time slots. Specific instructions pertaining to applying during the Post-Application Window can be found below.

Once the Permit Application Window closes, CRYSP DC will begin the evaluation process. During that process, organizations may be asked to provide additional documentation to establish their fee category. Additional fees may be required, or access denied or revoked, if it becomes clear that the permitted patron does not meet the criteria for the fee category that is indicated in its application. If a club or league does not have a current membership roster at the time the permit application is submitted, it should provide the most recent roster (no more than one year old) from the same activity at The Fields. A club or league must have held this activity previously at The Fields or in the surrounding area to be eligible for the Qualified Community Rate; a roster may be required when the club or league has completed its sign ups.

Once field time is approved by CRYSP DC, applicants will receive notice via email and must sign the use agreement within three (3) business days of this notification.  Invoices must be paid in full within seven (7) business days by credit card or eCheck. If the invoice is not paid within seven (7) business days, the applicant may lose the assigned time slot as that field time will be made available to other applicants.

Permitted patrons are expected to notify CRYSP DC in the event that paid-for time will not be used. CRYSP DC reserves the right to re-allocate that time to other patrons. At no time will patrons receive a refund.

CRYSP DC reserves the right to revoke permitted time at any time, for any reason whatsoever. For additional information, see Permit Violations below.

Post-Application Window

After the Permit Application Window ends and permits are issued and paid, CRYSP DC will publish a calendar showing permitted uses, scheduled Community Uses, and remaining available field time. CRYSP DC will then accept additional permit applications, including from applicants that missed the Permit Application Window deadline, on a rolling basis, awarding permits on a first-come-first-served basis, subject to availability and at least two weeks in advance. During this time, applicants may apply for one individual time slot or multiple time slots.

Requirements for Permitted Patrons

Permitted field patrons will be required to submit proof of insurance for players, coaches and any other participant engaging in activity at The Fields, prior to beginning any activity on the field. Specific insurance requirements will be emailed to applicants at the time of permit approval and may also be posted online at RFKfields.com.

Event/Tournament Applications

For organizations seeking field time for events or tournaments, and any activities involving spectators or alcoholic beverages, please email thefields@cryspdc.org at any time to inquire about availability. Depending on the size and scope of these events, they may be referred to Events DC.

 

For events, especially larger events, rates, terms and conditions may vary from the published rate structure on a case-by-case basis due to the additional staffing, maintenance, medical, security and other services that may be required.

Community Use
Community Uses are informal sports and recreational activities open to area families, community organizations, individuals and other groups, including permitted sports activities that are free to participants and/or open to the public, as well as less formal, non-league sports and recreational activities sponsored by area community organizations, groups and individuals. Examples may include “pick-up games,” free fitness classes, public school team practices, and other hosted but free activities.

CRYSP DC will schedule Community Open Play - unprogrammed free play on otherwise unreserved fields. CRYSP DC may also schedule time for sport-specific Pickup Play. Both Community Open Play and Pickup Play will be free and open to the public and will appear on the calendar at RFKfields.com.

Private sports organizations and other organized groups may not hold recurring practices or games during Community Use time. Individuals or organizations may not conduct commercial recreational activities or other paid services during Community Use time. For more information on Community Uses, please see the Community Use Policy.

Weather policy

In the event that lightning is observed at or near The Fields, the entire facility will be closed for 30 minutes; the 30-minute clock will be restarted after each subsequent observance (if applicable). The Fields may also be closed due to snow/ice accumulation and other emergencies at the discretion of CRYSP DC or Events DC. Field staff will announce field closures via the public announcement system and on the weather line, (202) 539-9555. All players, spectators and others must follow the instructions of The Fields staff and vacate the fields. Staff may reopen the park after lightning or other weather hazards have passed, but all decisions of The Fields staff are final and within their sole and absolute discretion.

With the exception of lightning, snow/ice accumulation, and other extreme weather conditions, decisions about playing during inclement weather are up to permitted patrons, at their own discretion and their own risk. Patrons may not shovel snow off the field at any time.

Schedule Adjustments

If playing fields are closed due to inclement weather or other emergencies, the permitted patron may request to reschedule league games. In the event that permitted field time must be rescheduled at the sole and absolute discretion of CRYSP DC or Events DC, the patron will receive credit toward future field time and CRYSP DC will make every effort to reschedule the patron during the applicable season. At no time will CRYSP DC issue refunds to any patron.

Permitted patrons are expected to notify CRYSP DC in the event that paid-for time will not be used. CRYSP DC reserves the right to re-allocate that time to other patrons. At no time will patrons receive a refund.  

Field Conditions and Cleaning Deposit

If a permitted patron arrives at its designated field and finds it in a substandard condition due to trash, other items/equipment on or off the field, or any damage to the field, please inform field staff immediately. Failure to do so may result in the patron being held responsible for the substandard condition.

Once a permitted patron takes possession of the field, the patron is responsible for cleaning up after their activities or event and leaving the field in as-good or better condition than when they arrived.

On occasion, and if the patron plans to hold any ancillary activities other than strictly playing the identified sport, CRYSP DC may require the patron to pay a cleaning deposit prior to engaging in any activity on the field or other areas of the facility. The circumstances under which a cleaning deposit will be required shall be made on a case-by-case basis but include the presence of outside food and beverages. In the event that CRYSP DC requires the patron to provide a cleaning deposit, the deposit will be refunded as quickly as possible after the event, assuming the field(s) is/are in the same condition after the event as before it. A deposit will not typically be required for routine amateur sports.

 

Permit Violations

When exercising a permit at The Fields at RFK Campus, the Patron and its participant coaches, staff, players, parents and any and all other attendees must comply with both the established Facility Use Policies (see below) and any and all additional District of Columbia Ordinances and Public Health Guidelines in effect. Failure to do so may result in a fine for the violation and/or the cancellation of the permit without refund. Three violations within a year will result in the suspension of any and all permits for the following year.

First Observed Violation: Violation is documented with picture/date by field staff. Permit POC is given first warning via phone call that staff observed the participant’s violation, and such violations may not continue. Follow up email includes documentation, an invoice for the fine, and information on repercussions of second and third violations.

 

Second Observed Violation: Violation is documented with picture/date by field staff. Permit POC is given notice via email and phone call that the staff observed the participant’s violation in a second instance, and such violations may not continue. Follow up email includes documentation, an invoice for the fine, and information on the repercussion of a third violation.

 

Third Observed Violation: Violation is documented with picture/date by field staff. Permit POC is given notice of termination of permit without refund, via phone call and email. The patron’s next seasonal permit application will be considered AFTER ALL other applicants.

CRYSP DC reserves the right to revoke permitted time at any time, for any reason whatsoever.

 

Facility Use Policies - The Fields at RFK Campus

Unless otherwise provided, the following Use Policies are in effect. Campus patrons are responsible for adhering to these Use Policies and all applicable federal and District of Columbia laws at all times; Failure to do so may result in being asked to leave the campus.

  • The Fields at RFK Campus are open to the public during published hours of operation as shown on RFKfields.com and posted on site at the Field Office
  • During Community Use time, designated fields are available on a first-come-first-

served basis for youth/families OR adults as published schedule indicates

  • If you wish to reserve time for league play, apply for a permit at RFKfields.com
  • Permit holders are responsible for adhering to all field and campus policies and may use the playing fields ONLY during their designated time; Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of permits
  • All children under the age of 18 must have adult supervision
  • Leashed dogs are allowed on the campus, but please keep dogs off the playground. Dogs are NOT permitted on the turf playing fields
    • Please pick up after your pets
    • Pet watering fountains are provided -- Please keep pets out of people fountains!
    • Only guide dogs are allowed on the turf and in the playground area
  • Enjoy the entire site as a smoke-free, tobacco-free, drug-free destination
  • Alcohol — in any container — is prohibited on site except by specific permit
  • Barbecuing and open fires are prohibited
  • Food is allowed in all areas except the playing fields; chewing gum, sunflower seeds and beverages, other than water, are prohibited on the playing fields
  • Wear sneakers or rubber cleats -- bare feet and metal cleats are prohibited on the playing fields and playground
  • Protect the turf: Keep bikes (motorized and non), ATV’s, in-line skates, skateboards, scooters and heavy equipment off the playing fields; Tape, paint, and adhesives are prohibited on the turf
  • Amplified music is prohibited except by specific permit
  • Sales and vending are prohibited, except by permit
  • Signs or other posted materials are prohibited, except by permit
  • Keep The Fields clean! Remove all refuse from seating areas and playing fields before departure, deposit all trash and recyclables in cans provided or take it with you
  • Please enjoy restrooms during posted hours of operation; dispose of diapers in trash receptacles
  • Please do not move or remove field equipment (goals, corner flags, etc.)
  • Park only in designated spaces
  • Take lots of photos and videos, but not with drones – drones are prohibited
  • Commercial, political or religious solicitation is prohibited
  • Field closures due to weather or other reasons will be announced on RFKfields.com; if a field is closed, no use is permitted; CRYSP DC will attempt to notify permitted patrons by email or other means if a field is closed unexpectedly
Facility Use Policies

Unless otherwise provided, the following Use Policies are in effect:

  • All children under the age of 18 must have adult supervision
  • Leashed dogs are allowed on the campus, but please keep dogs off the playground. Dogs are not permitted on the turf playing fields
    • Please pick up after your pets
    • Pet watering fountains are provided -- Please keep pets out of the people fountains!
    • Only guide dogs are allowed on the turf and in the playground area
  • Enjoy the entire site as a smoke-free, tobacco-free, drug-free destination
  • Alcohol — in any container — is prohibited on site except by specific permit
  • Barbecuing and open fires are prohibited
  • Food is allowed in all areas except the playing fields; chewing gum, sunflower seeds and beverages, other than water, are prohibited on the playing fields
  • Wear sneakers or rubber cleats -- bare feet and metal cleats are prohibited on the playing fields and playground
  • Protect the turf: keep bikes (motorized and non), ATV’s, in-line skates, skateboards, scooters, football sleds and other heavy equipment off the playing fields; tape, paint, and adhesives are prohibited on the turf
  • Amplified music is prohibited except by specific permit
  • Sales and vending are prohibited, except by permit
  • Signs or other posted materials are prohibited, except by permit
  • Keep The Fields clean! Remove all refuse from seating areas and playing fields before departure, deposit all trash and recyclables in cans provided or take it with you
  • Please enjoy restrooms during posted hours of operation; dispose of diapers in trash receptacles
  • Park only in designated spaces
  • Take lots of photos and videos, but not with drones – drones are prohibited
  • Commercial, political or religious solicitation is prohibited
  • Fields may be closed at any time due to safety concerns; if a field is closed, no use is permitted
  • Campus patrons are responsible for adhering to these use policies and all applicable federal and District of Columbia laws at all times; failure to do so may result in being asked to leave the campus.
  • Patrons should clean up after their activities and leave the area in as-good-as or better condition than when they arrived.

ADDITIONAL PLAYING FIELD RULES

  • The Fields at RFK Campus are open to the public during published hours of operation as shown on RFKfields.com and posted on site at the Field Office
  • During scheduled Community Use time, designated fields are available on a first-come-first-served basis for informal groups of people for unorganized activities. Other uses require a permit..
  • Amateur sports organizations may not hold recurring practices or games during Community Use time. Individuals or organizations may not conduct commercial recreational activities or other paid services during Community Use time.
  • Permit holders are responsible for adhering to all field and campus policies and may use the playing fields only during their designated time; failure to do so may result in the cancellation of permits.
  • Metal cleats and bare feet are prohibited on the playing fields
  • Please do not move or remove field equipment (goals, corner flags, etc.)
  • Do not leave personal items unattended
  • Drink water only on the fields
  • Food, chewing gum, sunflower seeds and beverages are prohibited on the playing fields

The following activities or items are prohibited on the playing fields:

  • Bicycles
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Glass containers
  • Fireworks or any open flame
  • Golfing, shot putting, javelin or discus throwing
  • Use of drones or model planes or rockets
  • Painting, chalking, tape or other adhesive material without prior approval
  • Stakes, spikes or other pointed objects

 

PLAYGROUND RULES & POLICIES

The playground area, open from dawn to dusk daily, is designed and designated for youth, ages 12 and under, with adult supervision. This area, including the playground picnic area (tables next to the playground, under the shaded structure), is for everyone’s use on a first-come-first-served basis. Patrons are expected to be neighborly and share the area. Being the first does not mean being the only.

Patrons may have small birthday parties and other informal social events at the playground picnic area for up to 20 people, for up to two hours, using up to four tables, as long as patrons do not prevent shared use by others who are already there. There is no charge for this use.

Patrons who wish to reserve space at these tables may visit the field office up to 48 hours in advance of their party/gathering. The same 20-person/two-hour/four table limit applies to these reservations.

Patrons assume their own risk when using the playground and the tables next to it.

  • All children under the age of 18 must have adult supervision.
  • Patrons must clean up after themselves before leaving.
  • Confetti, glitter, rice, birdseed, and spray “silly string” are prohibited.
  • As with the entire complex, alcoholic beverages, smoking, and drug use is prohibited.
  • Dogs are not in the playground and adjacent areas but are allowed elsewhere on The Fields complex
  • Barbecuing and open fires are prohibited.
  • Amplified music is prohibited.

Report any concerns to uniformed field staff, who will facilitate the use of the playground and the tables next to the playground.

 

PAVILION USE

Music is permissible with a permit between the hours of 9 am to 8 pm, Sunday to Thursday, and 9 am to 11 pm, Friday and Saturday. Amplification is limited to two speakers facing east (toward the river); subwoofers and low base are prohibited.

 

WEATHER POLICY

The safety of our participants and staff is our number one priority.

Fields and Office Closures

Call the weather hotline, 202-539-9555, ext. 1, to check whether playing fields and/or the office at The Fields at RFK Campus are closed.

In the event of inclement weather, including lightning, snow and/or ice accumulation resulting in unsafe road, sidewalk and parking lot conditions, The Fields may be closed. Decisions about closure are at the sole discretion of CRYSP DC, the operator, or Events DC, the owner.

Patrons may not shovel snow off the field at any time.

In the event that lightning is observed at or near The Fields, the entire facility will be closed for 30 minutes; the 30-minute clock will restart after each subsequent observation of lightning. Field staff will announce field closures via the public announcement system and on the weather hotline, 202-539-9555, ext. 1. All players, spectators and others must follow the instructions of The Fields staff and vacate the fields. Staff may reopen the park after lightning or other weather hazards have passed, but all decisions of The Fields staff are final and within their sole and absolute discretion.

Patron responsibility

With the exception of closure by CRYSP DC or Events DC, decisions about whether to play during inclement weather are up to patrons, at their own discretion and their own risk.