The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team to play at Sacramento’s Raley Field May 6 !

softballRESTON, VA  – The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) will head to Sacramento, Calif. for a doubleheader at Raley Field, home of the Sacramento River Cats minor league baseball team, on May 6. The WWAST will take on the Sacramento All-Stars at 3:30 p.m. before the River Cats host division-rival Reno Aces at 7:05 p.m. for Salute to Armed Forces.  This is the second time the WWAST will take the field in West Sacramento after making their Raley Field debut in July of 2015.  Tickets are available now and can be purchased through www.rivercats.com/tickets or by calling the River Cats ticket line at (916) 376-HITS (4487).

“It is very exciting to be returning to Sacramento,” said WWAST Executive Director and US Army Retired Veteran, Dennis Wince. “Working with the event organizer, we have seen firsthand the strong pride that this area displays for military personnel and Wounded Warriors. It is very gratifying to see the recognition for those that have served our country.”

The WWAST is made up of brave men and women, both veterans and active duty soldiers, from all service branches, who have sustained injuries resulting in amputation. Through extensive rehabilitation, they have become competitive athletes again, playing against able-bodied teams in competitive, celebrity, and exhibition games across the country.

In addition to functioning as an outlet for veterans and active duty soldiers to compete athletically, the WWAST uses these cross-country games to raise funds for the WWAST Kids Camp, medical research, and rehabilitation equipment. Now in its fifth year, the WWAST Kids Camp seeks to empower young boys and girls with amputations. The camps are led by WWAST players who work as coaches and mentors, helping teach not just softball skills, but more importantly life skills as well.

“Sacramento is proud to host the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team again,” said Event Organizer Sara Minnehan. “We are a city who cares for our veterans, and are excited to team up with the Sacramento River Cats to bring them to our area.”

For more information regarding the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team and upcoming events, visit www.thewwast.org.

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About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.

As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.

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About Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team

The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) is a standalone 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to inspire and educate others while enhancing the health and welfare of wounded warrior amputees.  The team was created in March 2011 and travels the country playing able-bodied softball teams.  The WWAST is not affiliated with other charities having the words “Wounded Warrior” in their name (e.g. Wounded Warrior Project, etc.).  Since its inception, over 85% of donations have supported programs helping Wounded Warrior Amputees, amputee children, and supporting medical research. You can find more information about the WWAST at www.thewwast.org.

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SODA Public Service Note 2017 . . .SODA_Logo_New. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The 2024 Olympics: See the flashy sports park planned for the Valley !

It would host equestrian, shooting, and canoe events for the upcoming 2024 Olympics !

Bad Behavior, High Costs Contribute to Umpire Shortage !

umpireChicago, IL – When Jeff Siegel was an 18-year-old baseball umpire in Morton Grove, a coach angry with a call he made started yelling at him. Then the coach grabbed Siegel by the arms and shoved him.

Police were called to the ballfield, and the coach was arrested. The charges ultimately were dropped, and Siegel continued working as an umpire.

“He had to go to court, and that was enough for me,” Siegel said. “It made me stronger as an umpire.”

Not every umpire shakes off something like that as easily as Siegel did. Actually, most don’t. Bad behavior by coaches and parents at youth sporting events has contributed to an umpire shortage in the suburbs, which has increased officiating costs for most leagues, league officials say.

From ABNo Referees, No Games

Many youth leagues now outsource umpire jobs to regional “assigner” companies or associations, which is far more expensive than having in-house umps recruited from within the community, a common practice in the past.

Umpire costs vary depending on the age and playing level, and whether the umpires are certified by the Illinois High School Association.

While an in-house umpire might cost around $25 to $30 a game, an association or IHSA umpire is a minimum of $50 a game, said Adrian Steinberg, who managed the umpires in Lake Zurich’s baseball and softball leagues for many years.

Working as an umpire once was a popular job for high school and college students. But teens now represent a small percentage of umpires, league managers say.

“It’s a shame. These are perfect jobs for high school kids,” said Kevin O’Donnell, youth athletic coordinator for Mount Prospect Park District’s youth baseball leagues, which now use an assigner to provide umpires for the 683 kids signed up to play baseball this spring. “These are kids 16 and 17 years old who are just trying to make some money. Then you have these older gentlemen or women who really scream at them and make them feel bad about themselves. It deters them and terrifies them. How do you come back every weekend and want to do that job?”

The umpire shortage also can be attributed to higher startup costs to do the job, said Siegel, whose run-in with the coach was decades ago. Now he’s an assignment supervisor at UMPS.org, which provides 375 umpires – mostly adults – to sports leagues across the Chicago area. For certain leagues, it’s necessary to be an IHSA-certified umpire, invest $300 in your own equipment, have medical and liability insurance, and pay for training clinics, he said.

The upside of the umpire shortage is that training is improving and badly behaved coaches are more likely to be disciplined in some way.

Umpire and coaching associations are addressing the situation both from an education standpoint and by encouraging leagues to enforce rules for misbehavior.

“Historically, people sort of just let (bad behavior) go. But there is less tolerance for it now,” said Tai Duncan, executive director of the Positive Coaching Alliance in Chicago, which partners with dozens of suburban leagues for coaches training, workshops and support. “There need to be stronger penalties, but it comes down to the education part of it.”

The alliance emphasizes “honoring the game” in its programs, teaching coaches how to respectfully disagree with a call and be a positive role model for the players.

Since poorly trained umps only worsen the problem, many leagues are improving their umpire training, including lessons on conflict resolution and game management.

Bret Curlin, an umpire for 30 years who runs the Area Umpires Association in South Elgin, trained 45 umpires for this season. Six or seven one-hour sessions not only cover the rule book, but what to do when coaches or fans get unruly.

First, Curlin reminds them that they are the officials, they’re in charge of the game, and the association will have their backs 100 percent.

Curlin tells them to start out by warning a coach to cool it, or use humor to diffuse the situation. If people yell, “You’re blind!” – a common umpire critique – they might respond, “Oh, I forgot my glasses. I’ll bring them next time.”

If the disrespect continues, or gets personal, an umpire can call a timeout and have a quiet one-on-one discussion with the coach.

If the problem is with a fan, the umpire can have the coach ask that person to quiet down or go sit farther down the sideline, Curlin said. An umpire has the option to eject a coach, which is automatically reported to the league.

Curlin, who was once belly-bumped by an angry coach, reminds new umpires that any type of physical assault is a crime.

“If a guy’s giving you a hard time, you can put him back in line. And you can do it with a smile on your face and they don’t even know what hit them,” Curwin said. “You’ve gotta have thick skin.”

While this is hard for new umpires, especially young ones, he said the payoff is big – it’s a job that will build tremendous confidence and self-esteem.

“The more experience (the umpire) gets, the better he becomes. Every situation you’re going to handle early in life is going to make you better down the line.”

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It’s Never To Late – Save Your Program Money !
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Pickleball Championships Big Draw for Community !

Pickleball

Pickleball Championships Big Draw for Community !

Naples, FL – Those who know the sport, which is becoming more and more people by the day, call Naples the Pickleball Capital of the World.

The title might sound hyperbolic, even braggadocious, but the 1,300 players in town this week for the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships would argue it’s accurate. Thousands of matches will be played on 48 courts at East Naples Community Park over seven days, the biggest pickleball tournament in the world.

The U.S. Open is the most visible sign that pickleball is big business in Collier County. However the roots of the quirky sport have dug deep into the community in just a short time.

People across Collier County are playing pickleball, from elementary school students to retirees. Courts are going up at YMCAs and parks. Visitors are coming to Naples just to take lessons. That’s all outside of this week’s national championships, which provide millions of dollars in economic impact.

“Although it’s a very old sport, not many people had heard of it,” Collier County commissioner Donna Fiala said.

“It just hit the area and there was an almost immediate response. People wanted to get on board. It’s given us a place on the sports map as being the home of pickleball. To me, it’s a great asset.”

Catching on quickly

If Naples is the pickleball capital of the world, East Naples Community Park is the statehouse.

When the U.S. Open picked the park as home for its inaugural event last year, the county added 30 permanent pickleball courts. A dilapidated skate park was removed to make way for the courts.

From ABAdding Pickleball to Parks and Recreation Programming

For a $25 annual membership, players can use the pickleball courts any day between 7:30 a.m. and noon. More than 1,200 people are members, and games can be found just about any time.

“We’ve got a lot of seniors and retired people who are down here full time,” said Jim Ludwig, a USA Pickleball ambassador who spearheaded the project at East Naples. “They’re looking to get healthy and stay healthy. This is a way to do that. They love the facility we built.”

The sport – which resembles tennis played with ping-pong paddles and a wiffle ball on a badminton court – caught on so much that other parks followed suit. Fleischmann Park in central Naples added permanent courts. So did Veterans Park in North Naples.

There are plans for a new county park near the Collier County Fairgrounds. Ludwig is doing his best to make sure pickleball courts are part of the discussion.

Never too young

Pickleball was invented in the 1960s and has been popular among seniors for decades. The sport doesn’t require much skill or physical power, plus there isn’t a lot of movement like in tennis, making it perfect for older people with limited mobility.

Those same qualities make it ideal for children, who still are learning coordination. Collier County Public Schools took notice, and through the help of Ludwig’s charity Pickleball For All, the district added pickleball to its physical education curriculum.

Tracy Bowen, the district’s coordinator for health and physical education, bought a temporary equipment set three years ago that she rotated among schools. Since then, two more full pickleball sets have been donated through Pickleball For All.

Pickleball is easy to learn, much easier than tennis. Young kids can control a pickleball paddle better than a tennis racket, and they can get a volley going easier.

Plus pickleball courts take up less space than tennis courts, allowing schools to have more children playing at once and reducing the time and distance it takes to retrieve errant balls.

“We want kids to be successful (at sports),” Bowen said. “Pickleball allows kids at younger ages more control over (ball) placement. They’re more successful and they want to do it more. They can play with their parents or grandparents, and they can play the rest of their lives.”

The district’s pickleball kits travel between schools, where physical education classes teach sports in two-week units. Bowen said the kits were in use all but three weeks during this academic year.

Manatee Middle School has its own pickleball equipment set, purchased by a private donor. When Manatee’s tennis court was resurfaced recently, pickleball lines were permanently painted on. Oakridge Middle School has an intramural pickleball club.

Spreading the game

East Naples Community Park doesn’t just provide a place to play pickleball. It’s also home to a new academy that teaches the sport to locals and brings in people from around the country to learn.

After winning the professional women’s singles title at last year’s U.S Open, Simone Jardim fell in love with Naples. Already bitten by the pickleball bug, she quit her job as women’s tennis coach at MichiganState and worked with tournament organizers to start the U.S. Open Pickleball Academy, based at the East Naples park.

Jardim teaches lessons every day. She said she’s had 400 students the past five months, and there’s a two- to three-week waiting list.

The academy also hosts destination camps, which combine pickleball and tourism. Athletes come down and practice for a few hours a day, then see the sights of Naples, including boat rides and fine dining.

“A lot of people like me, from out of town and cold weather, they want to get away,” Jardim said. “There are so many courts here. There are so many people from different backgrounds that get together and play. Their common theme is pickleball.”

The Naples and Bonita Springs YMCAs also offer pickleball lessons and games.

Economic impact

People who travel to Naples to attend the Pickleball Academy contribute to the millions of dollars the sport brings to Collier County each year.

Last year the U.S. Open contributed $2.5 million worth of direct economic impact – money spent at local hotels, restaurants and stores. That was with about 800 pickleballers playing over five days. This year’s tournament will feature 1,300 players from 42 states and is seven days long.

The U.S. Open is part of the county’s newest push into sports tourism. The pickleball tournament is the second-largest sporting event in Naples. The National Field Hockey Coaches Association’s recruiting showcase, which brought 2,000 athletes to town in January, is the biggest.

“(The U.S. Open) allows us to be somewhat unique in the sports marketing arena,” said Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Pickleball came at the right time. It’s a growing sport, and we’ve made a long-term commitment.”

The pickleball national championships have a contract to be in Naples through 2021. The Convention and Visitors Bureau has invested in the event to help make it successful.

This year the CVB will spent about $1 million on the tournament. About $700,00 of that is a massive shade structure covering the entire championship court at East Naples Community Park.

The CVB operates solely on money raised on Collier County’s 4-percent bed tax on short-term room rentals. Last year the tax raised $21.8 million, making the county’s investment in the U.S. Open almost 5 percent of its annual budget.

That’s on top of the money spent to upgrade East Naples Community Park and install 30 permanent pickleball courts.

“Pickleball has become a pleasant surprise, how much it’s been embraced by the community,” Wert said. “We’ve got multiple events each year, and we’ve established the Pickleball Academy. It’s a year-round function, which is why it’s good to make a long-term investment.”

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It’s Never To Late – Save Your Program Money !
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BEACON Ballfields Weekly Field Tips ! ( Apr.’17.)

 

April 24, 2017       |       BeaconAthletics.com        |       Ballfields.com

THIS WEEK’S FIELD TIP

So much of a baseball or softball game involves the one-on-one battle between pitcher and batter. Every pitch of every game involves the mound and home plate area. Consequently, no areas on a ballfield see more wear. The common wear areas on the mound and where batter’s and catcher’s cleats dig in will need extra attention. Here’s what you’ll need to properly repair these areas fortified with clay: grooming rake, sharpened iron rake, medium bristled push broom, corn broom, square end shovel, tamp, small hand-pump sprayer or watering can, sifter shovel, and pre-moistened mound clay.

To learn more repairing these high-wear clay-fortified areas, visit the Groundskeeper University lesson, 102: Mound & Home Plate Care: Repairing Clay-Fortified Areas…

Visit Ballfields.com frequently for tips & articles andGroundskeeperU.com for online training.

Premium 5×3 Nail Drag — 10% OFF

IN STOCK: Ships within 24-48 hours! This 5 x 3 drag is built for aggressive, punishing work. Constructed with welded steel for rigidity and durability. Includes wheel, tongue transport kit, and chain. Exclusive Premium 5×3 Nail Drag, use nail10 during checkout (offer valid thru April 30).

Kwik-Release Varsity Base Set — 10% OFF

This varsity base set with double 1st base will compress and then disengage from base upon impact, if necessary. Exclusive Hollywood Kwik-Release Varsity Base Set with Double 1st Base, use kwik10 during checkout (offer valid thru April 30).

Discontinued ITEM OF THE WEEK

Discontinued — Infield Lip Broom SAVE $20!  — Ideal for removing loose material from turf edges to reduce lip build-up. Bent 60″ handle reduces back strain, 28″ broom head. Discontinued item available in limited quantities. Brand-new condition. Infield Lip Broom

Get the Ultimate Ballfield Resource…

If you need it for your field, you’ll find it here. Request your copy today. Our 2017 catalog is a complete listing of products to keep you rolling with everything you need all season long.

Request a Catalog

ONLINE TRAINING for Staff & Volunteers

COMPLETELY FREE & MOBILE FRIENDLY. We’ve relaunched the web’s premier online field maintenance training tool, Groundskeeper University. Our goal is to bring professional training directly to you and your staff. But that means it has to be done right. Learn the tried & true practices of the pros. Our dedicated online resources by groundskeepers for groundskeepers are available in whichever format works for you: blog articles, online field dimensions, innovative products and training at Groundskeeper U. Whatever you need for your ballfield, think Beacon. 

Visit Groundskeeper University!

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It’s Never To Late – Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

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QUALITE SPORTS LIGHTING, LLC IS NAMED A 2017 GOLD EDISON AWARD WINNER !

QualiteSportsQUALITE SPORTS LIGHTING, LLC IS NAMED A 2017 GOLD

 EDISON AWARD WINNER
The Q-LED GameChanger Wins at New York Ceremony; Edison Awards Celebrate 30 Years of Honoring Innovators and Innovation
New York, NY – April 21, 2017 The Edison Awards, celebrating 30 years of honoring the best in innovation and excellence in the development of new products and services, announced today that Qualite’s Q-LED GameChanger was voted a Gold Winner for innovation at the April 20th event at The Capitale in New York City. Eric Boorom, Qualite Owner, joined hundreds of senior executives from some of the world’s most recognized companies to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of all of the 2017 Edison Award winners.  
 
Being recognized with an Edison Award has become one of the highest accolades a company can receive in the name of innovation and business. The awards are named after Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) whose inventions, new product development methods and innovative achievements literally changed the world, garnered him 1,093 U.S. patents, and made him a household name around the world. 
 
“Our judges recognized Qualite’s GameChanger as a true innovator out of the many products in its category,” said Frank Bonafilia, executive director of the Edison Awards. Eric Boorom, Qualite owner, further added that “we have worked long hours to develop a system that would revolutionize sports lighting and all of the work has been validated by winning the Gold award. This is the greatest honor in the history of the company”. 
 
The ballot of nominees for the Edison Awards™ was judged by a panel of more than 3,000 leading business executives including past award winners, academics and leaders in the fields of product development, design, engineering, science and medical.  
 
About Qualite Sports Lighting
Qualite has been the Sports Lighting Partner for high schools, colleges, parks and recreation departments, and minor and major league professional sports franchises for over 30 years. Qualite’s Q-LED GameChanger™ is the first high performance sports lighting system designed for all sports venues, from youth to professional sports stadiums with a focus on great connectivity and functionality at affordable pricing.
 
About the Edison Awards™
The Edison Awards is a program conducted by Edison Universe, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to fostering future innovators. The Awards have been recognizing and honoring the best in innovations and innovators since 1987. They honor game-changing innovations that are at the forefront of new product and service development, marketing and human-centered design, and are one of the highest accolades a company can receive in the name of successful innovation. For more information about the Edison Awards complete program and a list of past winners, visit www.edisonawards.com.

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It’s Never To Late – Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

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BEACON Ballfields Weekly Field Tips ! ( Apr.’17.)

 

April 17, 2017       |       BeaconAthletics.com        |       Ballfields.com

THIS WEEK’S FIELD TIP

Remember, when mowing, never cut more than one-third of the blade of grass. Mowing more than 1/3 of the shoot height will significantly lower the rate of photosynthesis. This will create a shallower root system which will weaken the turf. The best time to renovate fields is in the fall. Use local resources such as agriculture departments at schools to determine the best type of grass for your region. Always water your turf deeply to encourage a stronger and deeper root system. And, light, frequent waterings can cause crabgrass and other weeds to develop.

You can learn more tried and true techniques for common game day prep at Groundskeeper University, Introduction to Groundskeeping…

Visit Ballfields.com frequently for tips & articles andGroundskeeperU.com for online training.

Deluxe Overseed Enhancing Tool — 10% OFF

IN STOCK: Ships within 24-48 hours! Designed to penetrate compacted soil for overseeding wear areas on your field. 66″ heavy-duty aluminum handle, 9″ head. Exclusive Deluxe Overseed Enhancing Tool, use over10 during checkout (offer valid thru April 23).

Official Lacrosse Goals — 10% OFF

It’s the world’s strongest lacrosse goal. It would take King Kong to bend it. The best part? With just 5 pieces, this 6′ x 6′ goal sets up in minutes and is portable. Exclusive Official Lacrosse Goals: use lax10 during checkout (offer valid thru April 23).

Open Box ITEM OF THE WEEK

Open Box Item — Standard Backstop Padding SAVE up to $85!  There are two options: Royal blue 4’H x 10’W or Kelly green 45″H x 87″W. In both cases the padding was returned for being the wrong size. Brand-new condition. Standard Backstop Padding

Get the Ultimate Ballfield Resource…

If you need it for your field, you’ll find it here. Request your copy today. Our 2017 catalog is a complete listing of products to keep you rolling with everything you need all season long.

Request a Catalog

ONLINE TRAINING for Staff & Volunteers

COMPLETELY FREE & MOBILE FRIENDLY. We’ve relaunched the web’s premier online field maintenance training tool, Groundskeeper University. Our goal is to bring professional training directly to you and your staff. But that means it has to be done right. Learn the tried & true practices of the pros. Our dedicated online resources by groundskeepers for groundskeepers are available in whichever format works for you: blog articles, online field dimensions, innovative products and training at Groundskeeper U. Whatever you need for your ballfield, think Beacon. 

Visit Groundskeeper University!

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It’s Never To Late – Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

SODA_AD_17
www.sadlersports.com/soda

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SODA Logo “Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

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The 109-acre sports park clears another hurdle !

Multi_sports_complex_1April, 2017

The Warren County Board of Commissioners signed off Tuesday on plans for the $15 million county sports park to be built at Union Village, a 1,200-acre development to take shape in coming decades west of Lebanon.

The commissioners approved the plan for the part of Union Village where the park is to to be built on 109 acres off Ohio 741 and Greentree Road.

Two hours later they approved, with a dozen conditions, a site plan for the land to be transferred by Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices, developers of Union Village, to the county for the project.

The votes came after a week’s delay prompted by opposition from residents of New England Way, a street across Greentree Road from a section of the park.

“We are conceding. It’s happening. Help us out here,” said resident Barry Nuss on Tuesday during a pubic hearing of more than two hours.

The conditions are expected to ensure the roads are sufficient and safe before the sports park, to include about 2,000 parking spots, opens next year. Other conditions are to keep lights from poles at the park and cars entering and existing the complex from disturbing residents on New England Way and other nearby streets.

Still undecided are what, if any, improvements will be needed to manage traffic on weekends when the baseball, soccer and other sports tournaments are in play. Or how many or the exact location of driveways into the segment of the complex on Greentree Road.

Consultants from the Kleingers Group said only 20 percent of traffic is expected to use Greentree Road, but withheld how many cars this was projected to equate to.

The commissioners added a condition designating the address on Ohio 741 in hopes of keeping the bulk of the visitors off Greentree, but New England Way residents predicted GPS systems and human nature would draw drivers to the shortest route, regardless of the address designated by the county.

Also still unresolved was whether one of the driveways would be shared with the Turtlecreek Twp. Park just west on Greentree Road. It remained unclear if another proposed driveway at the east end of this park section – across from New England Way – would be needed or a 150-space parking lot at the end of the complex would be developed or left as a buffer for adjoining residential properties.

“Nothing you are going to say is going to change our opinion,” Commissioner Dave Young said as Alan Wolfson, of the Warren County Airport board, began to raise questions. “You might as well sit down.”

Wolfson sat down and the meeting moved toward the second unanimous vote.

Tuesday’s meeting was the last opportunity in the permitting process for the commissioners to weigh in on the sports complex.

They have yet to approve a 1-percent hike in the lodgings tax to be used by the operators, the Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau, to finance the project.

On April 25, the Turtlecreek Twp. trustees are expected to approve tax sharing and the formation of a new community authority to help offset costs of Union Village’s development, maintenance and operation.

Then Otterbein is to give the sports park land to the county. Otherwise the land can be turned to more than 400 of the 4,500 residences permitted at Union Village.

While creating problems for neighbors and fueling traffic problems on already busy roads, Commissioner Shannon Jones said the project – designed to bring in sports competitors and other tourists from around the country and overseas – would be a “net gain for our entire county.”

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Neighbors, Opponents of Sports Park Turn to Lawyer ?

multi_sports_fields#2

April 2017

TURTLECREEK TWP., WARREN COUNTY, OH — Neighbors of the proposed Warren County Sports Park at Union Village have turned to a lawyer for help in appealing for alterations to the plan locating part of the 109-acre complex across from their homes.

On Tuesday, Warren County commissioners are expected to decide on the land-use plan for development of the $15 million park, off Greentree Road and Ohio 741, west of Lebanon.

Last week, lawyer Andy George delivered a letter advising the commissioners that he was representing 10 residents of New England Way, a residential street across Greentree Road.

The letter lists concerns ranging from property value losses to noise and light pollution to traffic and safety concerns during large sports tournaments to be played on fields in the park.

“We hope that all of these concerns will be addressed before the commissioners make any decision that would have such a dramatic effect on their homes and lives,” George said.

This is the latest obstacle to the project, which has been opposed by local tea party leaders and hinges on approval of a series of agreements between the developer and local governments.

The commissioners are facing deadlines for approval of the plan, which has been developed through a series of meetings and agreements, reached since the overall plan for Union Village was approved in October 2014.

On April 22, the Turtlecreek Twp. Board of Trustees is expected to approve tax abatements and creation of a community authority that will help a company set up by Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices offset the costs of development of the 1,200-acre, 4,500-home community.

Union Village, built on land around Otterbein’s existing retirement community and headquarters, is expected to be developed in coming decades and include commercial development, as well as the sports complex.

But unless the plan for the sports complex is approved by Nov. 1, Otterbein can build homes on the land on either side of Turtlecreek Twp. Park. No land would be transferred to the county for the sports park.

The Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau, which is to operate the sports park, wants to begin work this summer, so the facilities can open next season.

The approval would also enable the county to enact a 1-percent hike in the local lodgings tax, approved by Ohio lawmakers to help finance the development – on the drawing board for more than a decade.

“They are very adamant. This is going to be it,” said Larry Williams, who lives on New England Way.

The conclusion of the approval process was advertised by a small sign, posted on the property, west of the section of the park across from New England Way.

Residents complained about a lack of public notice during a March 29 public hearing, which ended with Turtlecreek Twp. Trustee Dan George agreeing to consider trading the land for its park.

This could enable the county to move the project west, up Greentree Road, away from New England Way.

Last week, Commissioner Dave Young said restrictions on use of the land gifted to the township by Otterbein and state funds used to develop the park limit conversion of the land for the sports complex.

The residents’ concerns must be balanced against the economic impact anticipated from teams and their fans traveling to “Ohio’s Largest Playground” for a tournament, Young said.

“If I lived on that street, I would be one of the ones out there trying to fight it,” Young added. “Any decision we make is going to try to lessen the impact to residents.”

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BEACON Ballfields Weekly Field Tips ! ( Apr.’17.)

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April 10, 2017       |       BeaconAthletics.com        |       Ballfields.com

THIS WEEK’S FIELD TIP

“Evaporation will be your enemy…” Moisture is crucial to keep high-wear areas under control. The areas around home plate and the pitcher’s mound are subject to the most wear and keeping moisture in these areas is critical for reducing wear. Often you’ll see tarps covering the mound and home plate. Those weren’t necessarily placed there to protect those areas from rain. That’s the secondary benefit. The main reason is to keep moisture from evaporating from those areas. If left uncovered, evaporation will cause dry soil to easily break apart, and heavy wear will occur more quickly.

You can learn more keeping moisture in your high wear areas and more with this Groundskeeper University lesson, 105. Moisture Management: Managing Moisture Around the Field…

Visit Ballfields.com frequently for tips & articles andGroundskeeperU.com for online training.

FieldShield Standard Hem Area Tarps — 10% OFF

IN STOCK: Ships within 24-48 hours! Lighten up, but stay tough. These mound covers and home plate tarps handle easy, but wear hard. Made in the USA and high quality. Includes spurred, rolled rim grommets every 3 to 4 ft. Exclusive FieldShield Standard Hem Area Tarps, use fss10 during checkout (offer valid thru April 16).

Non-Absorbent Roller Squeegee — 10% OFF

IN STOCK: Ships within 24-48 hours! Heavy-duty aluminum handle with 36″W seamless rollers. For infield skin we recommend using this non-absorbent roller. Exclusive Non-Absorbent Roller Squeegee: use sqg10 during checkout (offer valid thru April 16).

DISCONTINUED ITEM OF THE WEEK

DISCONTINUED Item — Infield Lip Broom SAVE $20!  —  Ideal for removing loose material from turf edges to reduce lip build-up. Bent 60″ handle reduces back strain, 28″ broom head. Discontinued item available in limited quantities. Brand-new condition. Infield Lip Broom

Get the Ultimate Ballfield Resource…

If you need it for your field, you’ll find it here. Request your copy today. Our 2017 catalog is a complete listing of products to keep you rolling with everything you need all season long.

Request a Catalog

ONLINE TRAINING for Staff & Volunteers

COMPLETELY FREE & MOBILE FRIENDLY. We’ve relaunched the web’s premier online field maintenance training tool, Groundskeeper University. Our goal is to bring professional training directly to you and your staff. But that means it has to be done right. Learn the tried & true practices of the pros. Our dedicated online resources by groundskeepers for groundskeepers are available in whichever format works for you: blog articles, online field dimensions, innovative products and training at Groundskeeper U. Whatever you need for your ballfield, think Beacon. 

Visit Groundskeeper University!

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It’s Never To Late – Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

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