If you’ve ever been bonked on the head by a Frisbee or football while relaxing on the beach, the LA County Supervisors are looking out for you.
A new Beach Ordinance, which goes into effect immediately, provides a set of guidelines for safe ball playing at the beach – and also imposes a fine for offenders.
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Beachgoers may throw, kick, or roll any ball or light object on county beaches during the off-peak season between Labor Day and Memorial Day as long as persons or property are not endangered, and may do so year-round in established and/or designated areas or if they receive permission from the Department of Beaches and Harbors or a lifeguard.
The new ordinance lifts a decades-old, all-out ban on playing football, Frisbee and other ball on the beach. Its intention was not to preclude football or Frisbee tossing. Rather, its purpose is to allow ball playing, while providing reasonable safety measures that lifeguards may impose on a crowded beach day, when wayward footballs or Frisbees could cause injuries to bystanders.
The ordinance allows football play, Frisbee and other ball play during the off-peak beach season. In the summer months, when millions of visitors come to L.A. County beaches, lifeguards have the authority to stop a game if it threatens safety in crowded areas of the beach. If necessary, a citation may be issued by law enforcement or Department Code Enforcement Officers to individuals who ignore the lifeguards’ directives on ball playing.
Even during the peak season, the rule does allow for games in specially designated parts of the beach.
If the ball-playing code section is violated, the violation is an infraction punishable by a fine in accordance with California Government Code section 25132 as follows:
(b) “Every violation determined to be an infraction is punishable by (1) a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) for a first violation; (2) a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200) for a second violation of the same ordinance within one year; (3) a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) for each additional violation of the same ordinance within one year.”
Now about those kids kicking sand in your face? You’re on your own.