Toggle menu

Ball games

Football and other ball games in themselves are NOT anti-social behaviour or illegal. Please consider the following when deciding if making a Ball Game related complaint is appropriate.

  • "No Ball Games Signs" are not enforceable, they are a request and not a byelaw requirement or legal order.
  • It is a fair expectation that young children and youths can play near to their own homes, for their own safety.
  • It is reasonable to expect a certain level of noise from children/youths playing after school, at weekends and into the evening, especially in residential areas.
  • It is not illegal to play football on a grassed verge or open space.
  • Ball games are part of the school educational curriculum and it is widely proven that diverting young people's energies into sporting activity, produces positive outcomes.

What is unacceptable

  • Deliberately kicking a ball against your wall, property (including plants), vehicle or pedestrians.
  • Trespassing into your garden to retrieve their ball without your permission.
  • Playing football or other ball games on private land without the permission of the owner.
  • Causing excessive nuisance by shouting or swearing.
  • Running frequently over gardens or constantly causing damage to property by playing in the street with hard balls.
  • Reasonably expect to play after darkness or beyond 11pm.

Ball games deliberately and persistently played recklessly, leading to property damage, can be classed as anti-social behaviour which is something the council and Lancashire Constabulary takes very seriously and will investigate.  Anti-social behaviour may also affect the tenure of a property.

Initial compromise, maybe the best option, create a dialogue and speak to your neighbours to find an agreeable time and location to play. This will hopefully prevent any further problems. If you do not know who the parents are, or have some concerns about approaching them, you should contact South Ribble Borough Council.

On receipt of a complaint, we will arrange initially an officer to visit the area and speak to you, the young people and their parents to ensure the children are made aware and are encouraged to play in an appropriate and safe area for the activities undertaken.

However, please note, South Ribble Borough Council cannot act upon reports of criminal damage or trespass, therefore;

Please ring 101 and make a complaint to Lancashire Constabulary, if damage is being caused and anti-social behaviour is on-going. Or contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team directly at

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email