Techniques for Rationing Public Recreation Services


  • Donald J. McLean
  • Ronald C.A. Johnson


rationing, resource allocation, recreation delivery system, benefits, public good, downsizing.


Recreation organizations have responded to reductions in public funding support for leisure services in a variety of ways, including the use of marketing techniques and the downloading of services to both the private and volunteer sectors. In this paper it is argued that the rationing of recreation services is a justifiable strategy for managing recreation resource scarcity. The authors have identified eight rationing techniques that could be used by recreation service providers based on the public service goals of their agencies. Three distinct missions in the area of public recreation have been identified: resource protection, providing benefits to particular targeted social groups, and the enrichment of individual lives. The mission that a particular recreation provider chooses to pursue will determine which rationing techniques are potentially applicable. The eight techniques discussed have been categorized according to their appropriateness to meet the goals of public recreation to serve the greatest public good.





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