VCMI removal

Removal Appeal for five portals.

Title of the Wayspot:

VCMI Square Four Hopscotch

VCMI Basketball Courts

VCMI Soccer Field

VCMI Playground

VCMI Softball Field

Location: All near 38.980854, -76.749470

City: Bowie, MD

Country: USA

Additional information:

Several portals at a local church were removed today. The waypoints were valid and should not have been removed. The front sign at the church was NOT removed and can still be seen in Ingress.

The church is Victory Christian Ministries International (VCMI) and can be validated here (front picture attached):

The building looks like an old school building, but is NOT a school. The building was sold/leased to the church in 2018. The only signage that exists is for the church because the church is the only tenant.

The portals were valid because the waypoints are places that people meet, and are accessible to a large number of people.


  • Thanks for bringing this to our attention, @MamaMaligator-PGO! I have escalated your report to our team and will follow-up as soon as we have more information to share. Meanwhile, I'd really appreciate if you could report all the Wayspots via the abuse form if you haven't already. Thank you!

  • LenaRose3-PGOLenaRose3-PGO Posts: 1 ✭✭

    With further restrictions due to the pandemic, it was very helpful to have these gyms and stops that were easy to walk to safely with sidewalks and also easily accessible by car with ample parking. With the winter months and it getting dark so early, it also enabled friends to raid remotely and safely. Thank you so much @MamaMaligator-PGO for appealing the removal of these easily accessible waypoints.

  • MamaMaligator-PGOMamaMaligator-PGO Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited December 2020

    Just to be clear, @NianticGiffard I submitted this to try and get the portals put back in the game. They disappeared yesterday and should not have been removed. Thanks.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 5,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It could very well be that the church asked for their removal people of people entering the loitering on their property. I know of a few churches in my area that doesn't want vehicles in their parking lots unless it is for a church function. If that is the case, these Wayspots will not be restored.

  • Bulg390-PGOBulg390-PGO Posts: 3 ✭✭

    I would also like to have these waypoints added back to the game. These are valid points and not on school property. With Covid-19, any stops and gyms that are available to players from vehicles are paramount in order to maintain social distancing and removal of these severely impacts the ability for players to enjoy the game during these trying times as players are still trying to play in a safe manner.

    Thank you for looking into this and I hope for a quick resolution.

  • @TheFarix-PGO I can totally see what you’re saying about churches not wanting tons of people on the property. We have reason to believe that this location was targeted not by the church but by another player

  • destroCP4-PGOdestroCP4-PGO Posts: 17 ✭✭

    I play Ingress in the area for the past year or two and I was disappointed to see these portals disappear yesterday. I came here to post an appeal myself, but the PoGo community beat me to it!

    I don't believe they were removed by the church, which is a very open and friendly congregation. One of the portals is still there, which would indicate that the church didn't ask them to be removed but rather someone is targeting the players in the area. It sounds like the PoGo players already know who it is and could probably provide additional information if requested by Niantic to prevent it from happening again the future. It would be a shame to lose five portals because of one individual.

    Thank you for reviewing this and restoring the portals. As far as I can tell they are valid and should be restored.

  • TerpMike-PGOTerpMike-PGO Posts: 1 ✭✭

    Last night my wife and I were driving down Moylan Drive past VCMI heading home after doing some PoGo raids. We were surprised to see so many POI gone. We both play PoGo. I play Ingress and she plays Wizards. I've done reviews in Wayfarer and have read the criteria for Wayspots several times. The only way these POI would be invalid is if an official from VCMI complained. Otherwise, they meet all of the criteria. That's how they got approved in the first place. We know a lot of players in the Bowie area and we have never heard from anyone that VCMI was complaining about players on their property. It's sad to see that one disgruntled player can ruin an area for everyone in all three games.

  • Appeal Denied - Thanks for the appeal, Trainer. We have taken another look but stand by our decision to retire this Pokéstop/Gym.

  • Bulg390-PGOBulg390-PGO Posts: 3 ✭✭

    @NianticGiffard would you be able to provide some insight as to why these are actually removed and the appeal denied?

    Without further insight it discourages players from submitting portals as it would be to only have them removed even though they meet the criteria your company has set in place. This impacts the community as a whole. It also affects people's abilities to play. I personally know of a disabled player who relied on these stops and gyms since mobility is an issue. The removal of these portals makes it very difficult for them to be able to continue playing.

    Any further feedback and insight would be much appreciated and another look into this would be much appreciated by the Bowie Community.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 5,063 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    While Giffard didn't state it, I take their response as a strong indication that the church requested all Pokestops/gyms to be removed from their property, leaving only the Wayspot next to the sidewalk.

  • Bulg390-PGOBulg390-PGO Posts: 3 ✭✭
    edited December 2020

    @TheFarix-ING if this was actually the case then all the portals at this location would have been removed. This is not the case as has been previously stated. If the the church had submitted to have portals removed, all would have been. Not just some.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 5,063 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    It depends if they only requested those Wayspots that showed up in Pokemon Go or just the ones that were "deep" onto the property. The only remaining Wayspot was the one at the sign, and that was close enough to the sidewalk and road to not cause anyone to trespass—assuming it was in Pokemon Go when the others were removed.

  • That’s why we would like more info from niantic about why they were removed.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 5,063 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Understood. However we have reason to believe this was targeted at some players in the area. This isn’t a normal “oh the stop disappeared” kind of thing. We lost 2 gyms and 3 stops

  • WheelTrekker-INGWheelTrekker-ING Posts: 3,369 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't know who requested the removal, but if those gyms where used by people parking their cars, then the church might have decided that they don't want so many people going there for that reason.

  • joemassi49-PGOjoemassi49-PGO Posts: 2 ✭✭

    When these stops were originally set up, the building was a YWCA. In 2018 the building was sold to a Church. The Church had nothing to do with the removal of these stops.

    We have a player in Bowie, who controls multiple accounts (up to 25 identified so far), who is targeting certain players. He has blocked new stops in Wayfarer, and is constantly requesting the removal of stops. He harasses players telling them they are lazy do not deserve a game such as PGO since they do not keep it up to date with the changing environment around Bowie.

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