(The individual pictured here is NOT associated with SF Social incident referenced in this article on Thursday March 29).

Employee “won’t be able to continue working for SF Social,” says company director 


A group of kickballers associated with the recreation company SF Social Sports attempted to kick lazing denizens off the lawn at Dolores Park Thursday evening, allegedly threatening to call the police because they had reserved the park. 

That’s according to several witnesses who tweeted out photos and accounts of the incident.

“These idiots are trying to kick everyone out of Dolores Park, saying, ‘they bought the park’ for a kickball game,” tweeted Jack Morse, a writer for the news site Mashable. 

In the tweets, Morse said he talked to some staff, who said the organizer of the kickball event was SF Social.

In some photos, the kickballers were, indeed, wearing shirts emblazoned with the URL: www.sfsocialsports.com.

Another witness, Kevin Montgomery, also tweeted about the incident, alleging that the kickballers threatened to call the police because the group had reserved the park.  

“These Natty Light-chugging kickball players are calling the cops on *everyone* in Dolores Park,” he tweeted. “They claim the [sic] rented the park for the day and we can’t be here.”

Connie Chan, a spokeswoman for the Recreation and Park Department, initially said that the group did not receive a permit from the department, but upon further inspection, it appears the group was permitted to play there. 

She said SF Social has a permit to play sports at Dolores Park Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and has since 2016.

One commenter tweeted that it was the “dropbox thing all over again.

That was in reference to an incident in fall 2014, when a group of Dropbox employees attempted to kick locals off Mission Playground’s soccer field because they said they had paid for one-hour reservation.

Turf War at Mission Playground

A representative from SF Social responded Friday around noon.

“It was brought to my attention that yesterday one of the part-time refs we hire was harshly speaking to someone at the park, trying to get them to move,” SF Social Sports Director Frank Marcantoni wrote in an email. “That is inexcusable, and we certainly don’t train or encourage our staff to do that.” 

He suggested that he would release the ref who intimidated denizens out of the park.

“As the director of the company, I’ll sit down with the individual in question to discuss his actions, and explain why he won’t be able to continue working for SF Social,” he said. “This will take place within a week.”

Calls to police to confirm whether they were called, let alone dispatched, were not immediately returned. 

Julian Mark

Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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28 Comments

  1. THis is SF parks and recs’ fault and continues to be an issue all over the city. SImply put SF parks and rec is willing to takes people’s money to reserve spaces in parks for everything from kickball, to soccer games, to birthday party’s, etc. but does absolutely nothing to let the public know that these spaces can and are rented.

    All they would need to do is place a sign up indicating that the space is available for rent and to call or check the website to see the rental schedule. Instead we get these dumb conflicts where one group of people is upset because they spend money to reserve a space and another group of people upset because they feel like they are getting kicked out a public space.

    1. Thank you! As a current SF Social employee, the company DOES purchase permits to all fields and gyms, but to “kick” out those who are there, is inexcusable. We were trained to WORK with those occupying the space, not force them. We had this issue with a soccer group in North Beach, where I currently work. When we explained and compromised, all was settled. He just settled it wrong, those who “tweeted” didn’t make the situation any better. But, he’s gotta go for those actions!

    2. That is not the issue, we all own the park and it is not fair to rent out public space whether there is a sign or not!
      They can rent a school yard or other, as the park is for all, all of the time!

      1. Well – as a matter of city rules, a park can be rented and often is. We had our company picnic at a field at Golden Gate Park. It was specifically ours to use. Without the reservation we wouldn’t have been allowed to set up a bounce house or bring a caterer (including a meat smoker). I think it also allowed us to have alcohol. However, we didn’t set up a perimeter where we kept people out. Had someone just been walking through our reserved area (and many people did) we would have no issues.

        There are a lot of large events that use SF parks. Outside Lands is probably the best known example.

      2. It’s like paying for express lanes on the south bay highway. The rich get to pay and drive on a less crowded strip of road than everyone else. If the rich want to drive faster they should buy the land associated with building a new highway and pay to build it. Then they can drive as quickly as they want. They shouldn’t be able to pay more for better usage on the public highways.

    1. SF Social is not a tech company, but Dropbox, referenced at the tail end of the article, is.

  2. Bubble soccer, athletic activties and rented equipment are not permitted. Jump houses are only allowed at the playground picnic table CT-1 from 10 am to 12 pm.”

    1. That’s right off the Dolores Park rental application site. These kickballers rented a picnic space and tried to play a sports game there. That’s against the rules, seems like. Plus, sorry, but kickball for grownups is way too cool for me. Except the opposite.

  3. Kickball…really, grow up this isn’t PS 134 and you are not the king of the playground leave the nice people in the park alone and get a real sport.

  4. The easy thing here is for the Parks and Rec department to deny this reservation request because the intended use of Dolores Park is not a sports field. Playing Kickball is perfectly okay if they were to reserve a designated sports field for this activity. There are numerous designated sports fields across the city. While they do currently allow these Rec Sports leagues to play in random grassy areas of Golden Gate Park that are not necessarily “sports fields” there is enough room for other patrons to enjoy the park because GGP is big enough.

    They city should understand the intended use of the permit first and know exactly how much room it is going to take up. In general Dolores was not designed as a sports field.

  5. I heard that guy blow a whistle and then tell everyone that they had “bought” that section of the park. People looked at him for a second, then just went back to talking and drinking.

  6. Why not play kickball at one of the many baseball or softball fields in the City? No one is going to be sitting on the pitchers’s mound having a picnic. People understand that these spaces are for sports.

  7. People making fun of the “Kickballers” are being ignorant. They sign up for a service and go wherever the games are. There is a bigger picture. The fact that San Francisco allowed SFSocial to reserve a section of Dolores Park for league games is the big problem. What did they honestly think would happen?

  8. It’s interesting how quickly the “parks are for everyone” crowd change their tune when it comes to homeless setting up tents in public parks so that no one else can use the space.

  9. RENTALS: There are plenty of real fields to rent, not just patches of Dolores Park. Rec-Park rents all kinds of well-maintained fields for the purpose. Plus, they can also rent fields from the school district or from private schools who would be very interested in getting the money.

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