The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

The Infield Skin Renovation – Part 2 !

Renovation Part 2: The Infield Skin

This is a great opportunity to evaluate your surface grade.

It’s fall and daylight is on the wane. The sun is coming up later and setting earlier. We are beginning to see a cool night make an appearance on occasion. And most baseball and softball seasons have wrapped up for the year. There will be some fall ball seasons played but football season has taken the lead. That means many ball fields are done for the season so it’s time to get to it and get those fields ready for next spring.

In “Renovation Part 1 we talked about getting the grass back into shape after the season as well as dealing with any lip issues that may have developed during the season. Now, we move to the infield skin itself. This time of year is the best time to do any renovation on the infield skin whether it is minor or major. You have plenty of time to work on it without the pressure of an opening day deadline and still plenty of favorable weather and soil moisture conditions.

A season can take a toll on an infield resulting in ragged turf edges and high and low spots in the infield skin. Reestablish your turf edges by running string lines and scribing arcs to mark out where you need the turf edges trimmed back in order to give the field some crisp, clean edges. If you find that trimming your baselines or infield edges are making those skinned areas too large, you may have to consider placing a strip of new sod in along the edges in order to reduce the width of the baselines or the size of the infield. This is usually inevitable over time where cool season grasses are grown. Southern grasses will grow much more aggressively into the skin areas and therefore trimming edges is a more frequent task where they are grown.

With the lips removed from your field and crisp clean edges reestablished, you can now use a string line to evaluate the condition of the surface grade of your infield skin. By stretching a string line from the front turf edge to the back turf edge of an infield, we can instantly see the condition of the surface grade of the infield skin. High spots will push the string up while low areas will leave a gap between the string line and the infield soil surface. When checking the grade, make sure that the string line is pulled as tightly as possible otherwise the line may sag providing incorrect readings of the surface grade. Take a survey of the infield by running string lines in several locations around the skin to check for the amount and magnitude of high and low areas on the skin. In general, high areas will typically occur on the first and third base corners of a baseball infield skin as well as along the back edge along the back arc. Low areas will commonly occur in leadoff areas around bases, fielder’s positions and the front edges of the infield skin.

It is important to rectify these issues as soon as possible as these imperfections in the surface grade of your skin areas can create major headaches in rainy weather when you are trying to drain the field. IF you are lucky, you have the budget to call in a sports field contractor to repair the surface grade and improve its performance. If not, this work can be done on a low budget basis by doing it the old fashioned way, by running string lines and using your nail drag, rakes and level boards to manipulate the surface by cutting the highs and filling the lows to achieve a smooth and consistent surface grade.

If you have historically had problems with the performance of your infield soil, an Infield Soil Test can be performed to look at the physical makeup of your soil. A test will expose any weaknesses in the make-up of your infield soil — Beacon can provide this service to you, contact us for more info. With the innovation of DuraEdge™ and FieldSaver™“engineered infield soils” in the past decade, it has become easier and financially effective to fix most problem infield soils without pulling out the old soil in most cases. The late summer and fall season is a great time to make adjustments to your infield soil using these materials. A balanced infield soil and the perfect grade will provide you the ultimate playing surface.

Finally, I’d like to mention a common question we get here at Beacon. Customers will often call to ask me how to keep weeds out of their infields and warning tracks. You can spray Roundup (Glyphosate) or other non-selective herbicides onto these areas but more than likely the weeds will return. The best way to prevent weeds on an infield skin or warning track is to continue maintaining the surface by dragging it about twice a week. This should be done throughout the remainder of the growing season. It will also keep the field smooth for surface drainage. There really is no other magic way of suppressing those persistent weeds.

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor’s in Soil Science with a specialty in Turf & Grounds Management. Paul took over as head groundskeeper for the Orioles’ final season at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and then was heavily involved throughout the design and construction phases of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which debuted on April 4, 1992. Paul has led Technical Sales Support at Beacon Athletics since the summer of 2000. In 2012, Paul authored and oversaw the launch of “Groundskeeper University”, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Over the years, Paul has donated thousands of hours working with West Madison Little League, which also plays a critical role in the research and development for many of Beacon’s innovative field maintenance tools.

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

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

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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

www.sadlersports.com/soda

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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Concessions at the Syracuse Carrier Dome have a whole new look for 2019 !

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Step into the Carrier Dome for Syracuse football’s home opener against Clemson on Sept. 14 and you’ll notice something quite different.

The concession stands at the dome have a whole new look this year—each stand has its own name, menu and identity, with the goal of fans connecting particular foods and drinks to individual stands, said Mark Tewksbury, director of food services at Syracuse University.

Many of the stands have now been equipped with TV monitors on the front of the stands that display both the menu and the broadcast of the game, so fans getting a snack won’t miss any of the action.

Here’s a look at both at the stands and the new foods they’ll be serving this season.

Dome Dogs

The menu boards at Dome Dogs. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Jacob Pucci

The menu boards at Dome Dogs. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

The popular nickname for hot dogs at the dome is now official and to celebrate, the school is adding a new dome dog. You can still get the classic Hofmann frank ($4.25), but fans now have the option of a larger, quarter-pound beef frank. Also made by Hofmann, the new hot dog has a firmer texture and bit more spice than the classic Hofmann German frank, which is made from beef, pork and veal. Think something closer to a Nathan’s or Hebrew National dog.

Locations: Between Gates C and D and between Gates A and F.

The new 1/4 pound beef Hofmann hot dog from Dome Dogs. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Jacob Pucci

The new 1/4 pound beef Hofmann hot dog from Dome Dogs. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

The Loud House Grill

The Loud House Grill. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Jacob Pucci

The Loud House Grill. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

Borrowing its name from the Carrier Dome’s nickname, these new stands will offer burgers, sausages, nachos and other foods, as well as draft beer, canned beer, wine and canned cocktails. The location outside Gate E will be the only concession stand in the dome to offer chicken tenders. The braided pretzel at this location ($4.75) costs 50 cents more than the other soft pretzels found in the dome, but it’s larger than the others. Burger and chicken tender baskets come with fries at the Gate E location and with kettle chips at the Gate B location.

Locations: Outside Gate E and Gate B.

The new 1/3 pound Black Angus burger from The Loud House. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Jacob Pucci

The new 1/3 pound Black Angus burger from The Loud House. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

The Tomato Wheel

Menu board at Tomato Wheel. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Jacob Pucci

Menu board at Tomato Wheel. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

Gone is the Sbarro pizza and in its place is The Tomato Wheel, which launched in the university’s Goldstein, Kimmel and Schine food courts in fall 2018. Among the new arrivals are a pair of specialty slices topped with ricotta cheese ($5.25) or pepperoni and sausage ($5.75) and a stuffed pizza pretzel ($5.50). The stands will also serve regular jumbo pretzels, hot dogs, Italian sausage sandwiches, candy, beverages and healthier options, such as fresh fruit or cheese and grapes.

Locations: Between Gates A and B and between Gates D and E.

Ricotta and mozzarella cheese pizza from Tomato Wheel. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Jacob Pucci

Ricotta and mozzarella cheese pizza from Tomato Wheel. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

Salt City Popcorn

Salt City Popcorn, a new concession stand.  New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Jacob Pucci

Salt City Popcorn, a new concession stand.  New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

This is a totally new construction located near Gate E. The menu is succinct: Popcorn—available simply with butter or in flavors that’ll change throughout the season—cotton candy, caramel corn, churros, candy and beverages.

Location: Between Gates D and E.

Popcorn at Salt City Popcorn. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Jacob Pucci

Popcorn at Salt City Popcorn. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

Orange Express

This grab-and-go station was added in an effort to boost the healthier options available at the dome. A variety of wraps and salads are available, as well as hummus cups, yogurt parfaits, fresh fruit and cheese and bottled iced teas and juices. For those looking to indulge, the stand will also sell chips, candy and sodas.

Location: Between Gates A and B.

Grab-and-go salads and other foods at Orange Express. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Jacob Pucci

Jacob Pucci

Grab-and-go salads and other foods at Orange Express. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

Super Nachos

The new Super Nachos stand. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Jacob Pucci

The new Super Nachos stand. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

This stand at Gate A replaces a craft beer stand. Among the new signature items are walking tacos built with your choice of Doritos or Tostitos tortilla chips and nachos served inside a souvenir football bowl.

Location: Gate A.

Super Nachos served inside a collectable football bowl. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Jacob Pucci

Jacob Pucci

Super Nachos served inside a collectable football bowl. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

Cookies!

The three Perry’s Ice Cream stands around the concourse will now serve warm chocolate chip cookies. Sourced from David’s, these cookies would be an ideal pairing with ice cream. Just don’t forget the napkins.

Warm chocolate chip cookies are now available. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Jacob Pucci

Warm chocolate chip cookies are now available. New concessions at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

Southridge Sports Complex to host 9-11 Memorial !

City of Kennewick

KENNEWICK, Wash. – There will be a memorial for 9/11 at Southridge Sports and Events Complex in Kennewick.

The City sent out a press release with the timeline of events for Wednesday.

The release stated the following:

With the upcoming anniversary of September 11, 2001, we want to remind our community of the 9-11-01 memorial located at the Southridge Sports & Events Complex in Kennewick – 2901 Southridge Blvd.

The memorial will be open and accessible all day on Wednesday, September 11th and we encourage everyone to visit at their convenience to remember the tragic events of September 11th.

We appreciate the opportunity to join our community in paying respects those who sacrificed their lives and continue to do so for our safety, security, and freedom.

We will never forget!

The Tri-Cities Professional Firefighters Honor guard and the Kennewick Police Honor Guard will have a combined honor guard. Following is the timeline for the honor guard and moments of remembrance that will be observed at the 9-11-01 memorial location:

0630 Presentation of the Colors – National Anthem – Posting of guard

0700 Guard change

0730 Guard change

0800 Guard change

0830 Guard change

0845 In memory of Flight 11 hitting North Tower – Guard Change

0903 In memory of Flight 175 hitting South Tower – Guard Change

0930 Guard change

0943 In memory of flight 77 hitting Pentagon – Guard Change

0959 In memory of South Tower Collapse. Line of Duty bell ringing (5-5-5)

1010 In memory of Flight 93 crash in Pennsylvania – Guard Change

1028 In memory of North Tower Collapse. Line of Duty bell ringing (5-5-5)

1030 Memorial Service

1100 Honor Guard exits

The Kennewick Police Department in conjunction with the Fraternal Order of Police and local emergency personnel will also be holding the annual 9/11 Memorial Run starting at 8:30am from the Kennewick Police Department to the 9-11-01 memorial.

This is the 17th annual anniversary of the memorial run.

9-11-01 Memorial Background – The City of Kennewick was one of only a few communities throughout the entire United States that received a piece of steel from the World Trade Center and we are extremely proud to have this memorial in Kennewick. Lampson International worked in conjunction with the City of Kennewick and the Port Authorities of New York and New Jersey to facilitate the monument’s transfer and fabrication.

The memorial quickly grew in to a community-wide volunteer project that had numerous local businesses and residents working in partnership and donating generously.

The three-ton, 35-foot-tall monument was dedicated on September 11th, 2011.

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

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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

www.sadlersports.com/soda

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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Here are all the new food offerings at Soldier Field for the Bears’ 100th season !

Here are all the new food offerings at Soldier Field for the Bears’ 100th season !

Here are all the new food offerings at Soldier Field for the Bears’ 100th season
Souvenir nacho bowl, which will be sold at Bears games this season. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)

At first glance, the Hot Bob sandwich — one of the new food offerings available to Bears fans at Soldier Field concession stands this season, unveiled by the team Monday — is just an ordinary school-cafeteria sloppy Joe.

But take a bite and you’ll soon realize there’s just enough ghost chile in the seasoned beef with fried onion to take it to the head of the class of 2019 additions to the stadium menu.

The Hot Bob sandwich (beef seasoned with ghost chile and fried onions) was previewed Monday at Soldier Field.
The Hot Bob sandwich (beef seasoned with ghost chile and fried onions) was previewed Monday at Soldier Field. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)

Hot dogs, pizza and chicken tenders are sure to remain the big sellers at Bears games, as always. But every year concessionaire Aramark attempts to jazz things up with new items.

In addition to the Hot Bob, new items include the Lightlife’s plant-based burger and what’s touted as the Lake Shore Drive Hoagie, which is based on a South Side favorite, combining gyro meat, Italian Beef and corned beef with Tzatziki sauce, giardiniera and tomato.

Lake Shore Drive Hoagie, a version of the Jim Shoe sandwich, with sliced gyro meat, corned beef, Italian beef with a mix of Tzatziki sauce, giardiniera relish and tomatoes on a sesame hoagie roll.
Lake Shore Drive Hoagie, a version of the Jim Shoe sandwich, with sliced gyro meat, corned beef, Italian beef with a mix of Tzatziki sauce, giardiniera relish and tomatoes on a sesame hoagie roll. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)
Lightlife's plant-based burger, which will be sold at Soldier Field at Bears games this season.
Lightlife’s plant-based burger, which will be sold at Soldier Field at Bears games this season. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)

Like some Bears games, not everything turns out as hoped.

A Nashville-style fried chicken sandwich introduced to great fanfare last year enjoyed an initial surge in interest, but appetite for it dropped off by season’s end. It’s not available this year, supplanted by a crispy chicken sandwich with bacon that will have to prove it can fly.

Here are photos of more of the food available at Soldier Field this Bears season.

A crispy chicken sandwich with bacon, white cheddar, herb remoulade, pickles, lettuce and tomato will be sold at Soldier Field this season.
A crispy chicken sandwich with bacon, white cheddar, herb remoulade, pickles, lettuce and tomato will be sold at Soldier Field this season. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)
a slow-roasted prime rib sandwich, which will be sold at Soldier Field for Bears games this season.
a slow-roasted prime rib sandwich, which will be sold at Soldier Field for Bears games this season. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)
Prime rib and turkey pastrami, which will be sold at Soldier Field for Bears games this season.
Prime rib and turkey pastrami, which will be sold at Soldier Field for Bears games this season. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)
Aramark chef Tom Elder addresses the media at Monday's food preview at Soldier Field.
Aramark chef Tom Elder addresses the media at Monday’s food preview at Soldier Field. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)
Barbecue wings, which will be sold at Soldier Field for Bears games this season.
Barbecue wings, which will be sold at Soldier Field for Bears games this season. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)

A Labor Day Salute to Groundskeepers. !

A Labor Day Salute to Groundskeepers. !

“I salute you ! Beacon Athletics salutes you !…”

With the Labor Day holiday approaching, I wanted to take a few minutes and extend a personal shout-out to all the hardworking ballfield groundskeepers.

Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, the fantasy of a “part-time groundskeeper” has been exposed — that idea of showing up for work at 3 pm to mow the grass and paint and chalk the fields before the evening game is not realistic. There is now a much better public understanding and appreciation of the hours upon hours you spend maintaining your fields no matter the weather, no matter the day. Many of you worked through many weekends and summer holidays, while missing countless family events and activities. Many worked seemingly endless days in a row with only a handful of hours of sleep each night.

As I often remind people, “the grass doesn’t stop growing when the club is on the road or it’s the weekend”. Like farmers, we cultivate the soil and manage our turf crop no matter the weather or conditions thrown at us. We tend to our “living ballfields” as if they were one of our children. We suffer when they suffer. It is truly a labor of love.

I know the long hours. I know the exhaustion. I know the stress. I know the self-applied pressure for perfection. And, I know your concern for and appreciation of your own crew. Your dedication and hard work is enjoyed by millions — by those playing on your fields, fans watching a game at the ballpark, in a stadium, or on TV. It is your work that helps the rest of America relax and enjoy a break from their hard work.

From one groundskeeper to another on Labor Day – I salute you ! Beacon Athletics salutes you !

So, crack open a cold one this weekend, sit back, relax and reflect for a few minutes on all the great work you and your crew performed this season. Your work is appreciated.

View Labor Day Specials

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor’s in Soil Science with a specialty in Turf & Grounds Management. Paul took over as head groundskeeper for the Orioles’ final season at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and then was heavily involved throughout the design and construction phases of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which debuted on April 4, 1992. Paul has led Technical Sales Support at Beacon Athletics since the summer of 2000. In 2012, Paul authored and oversaw the launch of “Groundskeeper University”, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Over the years, Paul has donated thousands of hours working with West Madison Little League, which also plays a critical role in the research and development for many of Beacon’s innovative field maintenance tools.

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

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

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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

www.sadlersports.com/soda

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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A Special Message on Fan Safety from Beacon’s CEO !

Beacon Athletics

The ultimate ballfield resource. It’s all here.

AUGUST 2019

Dear fellow ballfield professionals,

We’ve all seen the horrific headlines, images and stories of fans being struck by errant line drives and foul balls. While fans being injured isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon, that precise fact is really at the heart of the sentiment being expressed by so many in our industry: “why is this continuing to happen?”

Answers typically vary from a reluctance to change the spectator’s view, to cost factors and the challenges of retrofitting netting to existing structures. But something has to be done. The game we love continues to stand at risk of being marred by serious, life-changing injuries to our friends, family and neighbors.

I share your concerns and we stand ready to help you answer the other unrelenting question: “what can we do?”

Now is the time to improve fan safety, and we understand what needs to be done to achieve it. We have outfitted and retrofitted facilities with netting for decades, engineering systems for all levels of play. Together, let’s get this done to ensure all fans can safely enjoy the tradition of watching ballgames for decades to come.

Sincerely,
Message from Beacon CEO
John Maher,
Owner & CEO, Beacon Athletics
608-824-1547

Contact Us          More About Fan Safety

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

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

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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

www.sadlersports.com/soda

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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Panama City Beach, FL. Sports Complex Opens Today !

Panama City Beach Sports Complex Opens Today

July, 2019


Panama City Beach’s new Sports Complex,managed by Sports Facilities Management (SFM), opens today, July 8. The brand-new $37 million complex will offer visitors on ‘play-cation’ a place to enjoy multiple sports and activities on its 13-field complex. The complex is already booked solid for the year with 48 tournaments scheduled between July 2019 and July 2020. Last week it was announced that a new Skate Park will be added to Chip Seal Parkway near the new complex, accessible to all members of the Panama City Beach community.

“Panama City Beach’s new Sports Complex will become the ultimate destination for sports in the southeast,” shares SFM General Manager of the Panama City Beach Sports Complex J.D. Wood. “We can’t wait to welcome athletes from all over the country to experience not only our new world-class facility, but our beautiful beaches and off-the-field activities as well.”

The Panama City Beach Sports Complex will feature nine turf fields, four natural grass fields, dedicated tournament buildings, two championship fields with seating up to 1,500 and over 1,000 parking spots. The complex’s flexible design will allow for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, football, baseball, softball and more. The final construction tasks to be completed include paving the entrance roadway, completing installation of lighting, finishing work on several administrative and concessions buildings, and landscaping.

A 2017 study projected that in its first year of operation, the Panama City Beach Sports Complex will generate $867,000 in gross revenues, or $580,000 in income after expenses. The bookings already confirmed on the complex’s calendar are anticipated to generate 37,000 room nights at hotels in the area, bringing an estimated $13.9 million into Bay County’s economy. Details of the grand opening including special festivities for Bay County residents will be announced soon.

Panama City Beach’s Sports Complex is made possible through a public-private partnership with the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, St. Joe Company and Bay District Schools. More information on the new complex can be found at www.playpanamacitybeach.com. A link of renderings can be found here. If you are interested in booking tournaments or trainings, please contact J.D. Wood at jdwood@sportadvisory.com.

About Panama City Beach: Panama City Beach is situated on 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordering clear, emerald-green waters where the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay converge.  With 320 days of sunshine annually and attractions such as St. Andrews State Park and Pier Park, the region has long been favored by travelers seeking an affordable beach vacation with year-round offerings for families, couples, groups and adventure-seekers.  These include championship golf courses, spas, sporting events, award-winning dining and diverse recreational activities. In addition, Panama City Beach’s Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport offers non-stop flights on Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. For more information, call 850-233-5070 or visit the official website of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau at http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.  Live HD video of the world-famous beach is now available at http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com/webcam/. Stay connected with Panama City Beach on Twitter (@Visit_PCB), Instagram (@Visit_PCB) and Facebook (@Visit_PCB).

About Panama City Beach Sports Complex: The Panama City Beach Sports Complex is located within the Breakfast Point development and is the premier destination for travel sports tourism in the Florida panhandle. The facility features 13 rectangular fields including nine with artificial surfaces and two championship fields with seating up to 1,500 spectators. The flexible design allows for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, football and flag football, as well as baseball and softball to be played. The Panama City Sports Complex is a facility managed by Sports Facilities Management, LLC. For more information, visit:www.playpanamacitybeach.com

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

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

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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

www.sadlersports.com/soda

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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

The Danger of Artificial Turf Warning Tracks !

It’s about safety…

With the increase in artificial turf baseball and softball fields, one issue has really grabbed my attention — Warning Tracks!

Ballfield warning tracks are meant to keep players from getting hurt

Warning tracks have been a part of baseball/softball for decades. They serve a critical purpose in warning players that they are approaching a permanent fixture of some kind. When players are focused on catching a fly ball, they are looking up at the ball, not down at the field.  Fielders rely on a change of texture under foot to alert them that they are approaching immovable barriers along the perimeter of a playing field.

Artificial turf warning tracks don’t have a change of texture, only a change of color, which puts players at risk. A player engrossed in catching a ball is rarely going to think about looking down to see the change of turf color that notifies them they are on the artificial turf warning track and rapidly approaching an obstacle.  And therein lies the problem with the rapid proliferation of artificial turf ballfield.

Changing turf color just isn’t enough

Pretty much all artificial turf fields delineate the warning track by simply changing the color of the artificial turf. Unless a ballplayer is looking down when he approaches the warning track, he or she will have no other way to be warned of a potential collision with the wall. There’s no change in feel, like turf grass to warning track soil — not audible difference when your spikes hit the warning track material. It’s a purely visual difference. If I was a college or high school athletic director, I would be pressuring the artificial turf manufactures for a better solution to warn fielders of the danger. Ultimately, it comes down to those decisionmakers to look out for their players’ safety.

Ideal width of warning tracks

Warning tracks play a key role in the game and in the maintenance and upkeep of a ballfield. The standard rule of thumb for the width of a warning track is to provide a 3-step warning for a player who is running at full speed. This allows one step for the player to realize they are on a different textured surface and two additional steps to decelerate before impacting the solid object such as a fence. Since the age of a player is a fairly good indicator for length of stride at a full out run, use this chart for recommended outfield warning track widths per age group.

WARNING TRACK WIDTH
OLDEST AGE GROUP USING FIELD WIDTH OF WARNING TRACK
10 & under 8′ – 10′
11 – 12 10′ – 12′
13 – 16 12′ – 15′
17 & older 15′ – 18′

 

Warning tracks serve other purposes, too

On natural grass fields, warning tracks not only provide a safety feature to the field but they also provide a marked roadway for maintenance vehicles to travel on instead of on the grass. The correct size/width warning track also allows the foot traffic that exits the dugouts to spread out before stepping foot on the grass thereby reducing turfgrass wear. Warning tracks also reduce or eliminate maintenance of vegetation along and against walls and fences on the perimeter of the field.

But for the sake of player safety, let’s hope that turf manufacturers/installers and athletic directors pay more attention to this issue and address it before too many more faux artificial turf warning tracks are installed.

Learn About Building the Warning Track

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor’s in Soil Science with a specialty in Turf & Grounds Management. Paul took over as head groundskeeper for the Orioles’ final season at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and then was heavily involved throughout the design and construction phases of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which debuted on April 4, 1992. Paul has led Technical Sales Support at Beacon Athletics since the summer of 2000. In 2012, Paul authored and oversaw the launch of “Groundskeeper University”, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Over the years, Paul has donated thousands of hours working with West Madison Little League, which also plays a critical role in the research and development for many of Beacon’s innovative field maintenance tools.

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

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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Choosing Float Drags for Your Infield Skin !

Choosing the right float drag for your infield can be confusing. Actually, it’s smart to have a couple different types of float drags on hand so you are properly equipped for your dragging duties no matter what the conditions are. All of the float options below will leave a nice professional finish on your infield skin. To help you understand what combination of float drags may be best for you, we have assembled the following summary listing the benefits and uses of each drag.


Steel Mat Drag

Beacon Steel Mat Drag

  • Excellent for any type of infield skin surface
  • Able to pulverize soil chunks
  • Helps to “screen out” small rocks and pebbles on infield surface
  • Can help to cut down high spots and fill low spots
  • If using one large enough to tow, it is suggested to add a drag bar ahead of the drag to help redistribute any soil or topdressing piles on the infield surface

Rigid Steel Mat Drag

Beacon Rigid Steel Mat Hand Drag

  • Terrific for in-game dragging
  • Works well with any type of infield skin surface
  • Will pulverize soil chunks
  • Helps to “screen out” small rocks and pebbles on infield surface
  • Can help to cut down high spots and fill low spots

Buy Now


Pro Rigid Steel Mat Drag

Beacon Pro Rigid Steel Mat Hand Drag

  • Only for use with infield skins that have a topdressing layer on the surface
  • Reduces the amount of material transported within the drag mesh
  • Great option for in-game dragging

Cocoa Mat Drags

Beacon Cocoa Mat Drags

  • These are the best drags to use in a damp or somewhat wet infield skin situation
  • Should only be used on topdressed infield surfaces
  • Does not transport infield soil, so there’s no big pile left at the end of the drag
  • If using one large enough to tow, it is suggested to add a drag bar ahead of the drag to help redistribute any soil or topdressing piles on the infield surface
  • Smaller cocoa mats/mops are excellent for in-game dragging

Drag Broom

Drag Broom

  • Works best on infields that have a topdressing layer on the surface as this tool will not pulverize soil chunks
  • A good option when infield conditions are damp or somewhat wet
  • Lightweight tool makes it a great choice for in-game dragging

Buy Now


Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor’s in Soil Science with a specialty in Turf & Grounds Management. Paul took over as head groundskeeper for the Orioles’ final season at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and then was heavily involved throughout the design and construction phases of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which debuted on April 4, 1992. Paul has led Technical Sales Support at Beacon Athletics since the summer of 2000. In 2012, Paul authored and oversaw the launch of “Groundskeeper University”, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Over the years, Paul has donated thousands of hours working with West Madison Little League, which also plays a critical role in the research and development for many of Beacon’s innovative field maintenance tools.

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

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

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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

www.sadlersports.com/soda

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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

These 25 foods caught our eyes at Progressive Field concession stands, so we ordered them and ranked them for Indians fans. !