NEW YORK, Nov. 18 (UPI) — Seven New York men said they were issued desk-appearance tickets for playing chess in an area of a park designated for kids.

The men said they were playing at the chess tables in a Manhattan park Oct. 20 when police officers arrived and issued them tickets for “failure to comply with signs,” the New York Post reported Thursday.

The chess tables at the park are in a fenced-in area bearing a sign reading: “Adults allowed in playground areas only when accompanied by a child under the age of 12.”

One of the men, Yacahuda Harrison, 49, said the group plays chess at the tables regularly and even once received the go-ahead from a park ranger.

“The day we got picked up, there were no kids” in the area, he said. “They treated us like drug dealers. All we were doing was playing chess.”

Parks Department First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh said the rule is “designed to protect children using our playgrounds and to deter inappropriate adult use of space designated specifically for children.”