The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Tips for Leagues Who Maintain Their Own Facility. !

Massachusetts Relaxes Outdoor Mask Requirement and Announces Future Rollback and Lifting of Business Restrictions !

Effective April 30, 2021, Order 67 relaxes the Commonwealth’s mask mandate, requiring a face-covering outside in public only when not possible to socially distance, or as otherwise required by sector-specific guidance. Face coverings are still required in public indoor places and at all indoor and outdoor events, whether private or public, except when eating or drinking.

With respect to business operations, Massachusetts is currently in Phase 4 Step 1 of its reopening plan. Our overview of current restrictions in the Commonwealth and throughout New England is available here.

Governor Baker recently announced some reopening and capacity changes effective May 10 as part of Phase 4 Step 2, including the following:

  • Large venues (indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas, and ballparks) may increase capacity to 25%
  • Amusement parks, theme parks, and outdoor water parks may operate at a 50% capacity following submission of a safety plan to DPH
  • Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events may take place with staggered starts after submitting a safety plan
  • Youth and adult amateur sports tournaments allowed for moderate and high-risk sports
  • Singing permitted indoors with strict distancing requirements at performance venues, restaurants, event venues, and other businesses

Effective May 29, gathering limits are expected to increase to 200 people indoors and 250 outdoors for event venues and public and private settings. Also on May 29, the following will be permitted:

  • Street festivals, parades, and agricultural festivals may operate at 50% of their previous capacity and after submitting safety plans
  • Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries, and distilleries may open subject to restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90-minute limit, and no dance floors
  • Restaurants are no longer required to serve food with alcohol; maximum table size increased to 10 people

Pending vaccine distribution and health data, all industry restrictions are expected to be lifted on August 1, at which point capacity will increase to 100% across the board, and gathering limits will likewise be lifted.

Please note that some communities have enacted additional restrictions to combat COVID-19 spread locally. For example, Boston will follow the statewide reopening timeline on a three-week delay. A notable exception is that capacity at indoor and outdoor stadiums, including Fenway Park, will increase from 12% to 25% on May 10 at the same time as the rest of the state.

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    We Can Save You Money In 2021 !

    * ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

    ( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

    1-800-622-7370

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    “Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

    Since 1981”

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    [[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

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  • ** STAY HEALTHY **

Libertyville, IL. considers getting out of sports complex business. !

Village officials are considering leasing the indoor portion of the Libertyville Sports Complex, at Peterson Road and Route 45, to a Canadian firm.

 Village officials are considering leasing the indoor portion of the Libertyville Sports Complex, at Peterson Road and Route 45, to a Canadian firm.Mick Zawislak |

After 20 years, Libertyville, IL. officials appear ready to exit the sports complex business by leasing the main component of the operation at Route 45 and Peterson Road.

Village officials on Tuesday will vote on a two-year lease agreement with Canlan Sports USA Corp. to operate the cavernous indoor portion of the Libertyville Sports Complex and assume the risk for any profit or loss.

The meeting will be held virtually at 8 p.m. Visit the agendas and minutes section at https://www.libertyville.com/.

According to the village, Canlan operates sports complexes and ice rinks across Illinois and Canada, including the Lake Barrington Sportsplex, Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee and a large ice sports facility in Romeoville.

As proposed, the lease calls for Canlan to pay the village monthly rent of $20,000 and gives the company an option to buy the facility within two years for $3.75 million.

Pending approval, Canlan plans a “soft opening” July 1 with full operations resuming by the fall, according to the village. Libertyville would retain control of the preschool and dance wing under a sublease and would be given preferential scheduling for in-house programs.

The 169,000-square-foot indoor sports facility has two full-sized indoor soccer fields, multiple indoor courts, a climbing wall, a fitness area and other features.

It has been closed since March 13, 2020, although the Greater Libertyville Soccer Association used a portion of the building privately from Jan. 1 through this past March 31 for winter youth soccer.

The indoor facility is one of three components that made up the Libertyville Sports Complex, which opened on 48 acres in 2002. The village borrowed $25 million in two bond issues to buy the land and build the facility.

However, fees have not covered expenses and the complex has operated at a loss of more than $1 million per year. General funds, which includes sales tax revenue to pay for day-to-day village expenses, have been diverted to subsidize the debt payments.

The village has tried for several years to sell the driving range and mini-golf operations, which have been closed. Sales are pending for an industrial park on the former site and commercial area on the northeast corner of Route 45 and Peterson Road.

The indoor facility had not been for sale, but the enduring pandemic has resulted in various scenarios to be considered during the past year.

Village officials say they want to provide recreational services but be able to temper the high cost of operating the building, which has been exacerbated by Mayor Terry Weppler has said selling the property would allow the village to stop subsidizing the Sports Complex and allow the funds to be used for roads or other capital needs.

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    We Can Save You Money In 2021 !

    * ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

    ( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

    1-800-622-7370

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    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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    [[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

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FIELD TESTS: Streamliner vs. The Competition !

April, 2021

Streamliner 20thOur field tests proved it again. The Beacon Streamliner line chalker really does save 30% on annual chalk costs. We pitted our legendary chalker against two other leading chalkers in both capacity and line quality tests.

The results show that only a Beacon Streamliner can deliver a perfect line every time. Consistent chalk delivery from the brush agitator, easy-to-use flow control, a clear line guide and no-flat wheels for a steady ride all add up to straighter lines using less chalk.

See the test results below and then watch the test story as it unfolded.


Streamliner Field Test 1Streamliner Field Test 2


WATCH THE TESTS UNFOLD…

VIEW PRODUCT STREAMLINER 20TH ANNIVERSARY

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

    We Can Save You Money In 2021 !

    * ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

    ( Teams, 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”

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

    [[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

    ** “STAY SMART ** STAY SAFE” **

  • ** STAY HEALTHY **

Shade at The Strand !

Recreation Management Featured Content - Featured Stories for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Shade at The Strand

The Strand @ Gilbert is a 25-acre sports-based waterpark that is part of Gilbert, Ariz.’s new Regional Park. Park amenities include three lagoons for cable-based wakeboarding and skiing, surfing, kayaking, paddle-boarding and a floating obstacle course, as well as restaurants, a beach, a swimming area and a retail store. The park also features ramada shade structures manufactured by Classic Recreation. There are also six swings at the park, picnic areas, bathrooms and a lighted walkway. It could take another 16 to 24 months to completely build out all of the waterpark’s features.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CLASSIC RECREATION SYSTEMS INC.
The Classic Northwest model ramada shade structures at the new Gilbert Regional Park.

 

“Mostly it’s a place for the community. It’s a community asset; it’s for the residents of Gilbert and the surrounding area,” said John McLaughlin, CEO of Strand Resorts. “We’re not a typical waterpark with slides or rides. We’re more on the skills side, so the more you surf, the better you get. The more quality waves you can get, the faster you’re going to progress.

“The surf lake (the cable-based skills course) is an engineering masterpiece,” he added. “It’s extremely complicated engineering and creating the swells, causing the waves to do what they do�”

PHOTO COURTESY OF CLASSIC RECREATION SYSTEMS INC.

“We spent a lot of time working with groups and community reach-out so that no matter what your ability level is, you can use every aspect of this park, make it to the top of the mountain and make it down,” said Recreation Director Robert Carmona. “There are wide walkways to accommodate wheelchairs, specialty swings on the zipline and in the swing areas, and cushioned ground throughout the play area.

“Every time you go down, there are different ways to go back up. And within ‘The Mountain’ there are a lot of different play features, even climbing features, to get up and explore. Really the idea behind it is to be able to explore every time you come to the park. That each time you come to the playground you’re going to have a different experience and be able to use it in a different way than you used it before,” Carmona added.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CLASSIC RECREATION SYSTEMS INC.

The Classic Northwest model has a striking clerestory design, creating a modern look with classic lines. The variable roof pitch of the shade and the large opening provide unparalleled ventilation. The Northwest structure protects park occupants from the elements with its heavy-duty engineering and geometry.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

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

    We Can Save You Money In 2021 !

    * ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

    ( Teams, 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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    [[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

    ** “STAY SMART ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

Nail Dragging: Why & How !

You likely have heard of the concept of nail dragging if you have worked in baseball as a turf manager or groundskeeper. Perhaps you have been advised, “you should consider nail dragging your dirt once in a while.” Or maybe you have heard more directly, “you gotta nail drag!”

You may ask, “Why should I do that?” With proper watering, raking and dragging techniques, you can certainly have an acceptable infield surface. Working with a nail drag is about taking your infield dirt to a higher level.


► Nail Dragging: Time and field expectations

Before jumping into the details of the nail drag and what it can do for you, the questions of time and field expectations come into play.

At the professional level, the game day nail drag process can be very involved and take at least two hours, including finish screen dragging and midday watering. Time management is always very important to our success as baseball groundskeepers. In my case, game day nail dragging happens with spurts of activity, followed by breaks to answer emails or look at weather forecasts. Often on days where we have a 7pm start, I will walk the nail drag across the infield skin for the first pass of the morning starting at 9:30am. I may not be done with my mid-day watering until after 12:30pm. That does not mean I have spent three straight hours on the process. I have other items to manage within that time.

For other levels, one potential scenario for you at your facility is to start nail dragging and get the first pass in, then get away from it and work on the mound or mow some turfgrass. Following that, you can come back to the infield skin and finish from there. Keep in mind that the weather is a big part of the day for your infield skin. A sunny day with low dew points means you can nail drag earlier and faster than a cloudy and humid day. If rain is on the way, that may be a day to skip the nail dragging and just roll to firm up your skin areas, so you are ready to handle some precipitation.

Three reasons when you should nail drag

  1. Field renovation – Here, you are looking at aggressively spiking your infield skin, perhaps to a depth approaching one inch, so you can either prep the skin for re-grading or are working some calcined clay deeper into the profile. This process can occur in the fall, or maybe prior to the season, or perhaps in-season when you have at least a few days prior to play to firm up the surface after you scarify it.
  2. Following a rain event – It’s highly beneficial to get a nail drag onto your infield skin as soon as you can. Remember that regardless of the exact ratio of sand, silt and clay in your infield mix, heavy rain will cause most of the finer sized particles to sink and the coarser sand to rise to the top. This does not leave your field unplayable, but it does diminish the quality of the surface. When the coarser sand particles dominate the upper profile of the infield skin, it tends to play a bit soft and cleats will move more loose material around. So after a rain event, as soon as you can get out there, nail drag…slowly…and the better off you will be going forward.
  3. Gameday nail dragging – This is the most precise of the three. Let’s go bit deeper on this one…

Gameday nail dragging

To execute a really good nail drag on a game day, the moisture content of the skin needs to be just right. This means, depending on the time of year and your schedule, a heavy soaking of the infield skin late afternoon prior to gameday or the night before is necessary. It takes some time to learn your field, sun patterns and how it takes water. Consider that the post-game watering should be heavy if dry weather is in the forecast.

A big part of your job as a groundskeeper is having a constant awareness of the weather expected over the next 12 to 24 hours.

Also, understand that you will need to go lighter on water where runners the lead off at 1st and 2nd base.

Your goal with watering is to always have moisture all the way down through the infield skin profile. This is achieved by heavy soakings after practice or games. From there, you can manage the moisture in the top half inch of dirt effectively, knowing that your skin is moist down below. Why is this important? The pace and bounce of the baseball correlate to the moisture content of the entire infield skin soil profile. Lightly watering infield dirt for dust control, or appearance, will NOT lead to a high-end surface that produces quality ground balls and hops for your infielders.

First thing in the morning. My preference is to walk a nail drag because it is good exercise and I can really get a feel for the condition of the dirt that way. If you start the day pulling the nail drag with your infield tractor, go very slow to start, and drive at a consistent speed. The dirt should be moist so that nail dragging will get all the cleat marks scarified about a quarter inch deep. If you go too fast, the dirt will start to ball up on the nails and you will have to keep cleaning the drag off.

Regardless of the type of utility vehicle or trap rake you use to nail drag, remember to go slowly at first. As with all dragging of the infield, driving at a consistent speed is very important. The result of the surface will always be smoother if you drive at a constant pace. As the nail dragging process continues in the morning, you can begin to increase your speed as you go over the skin in different directions.

The two reasons for nail dragging on a gameday are:

  1. To get all the cleat and traffic marks cleaned up from the previous day
  2. To ‘set up’ the infield surface for the game.

The term ‘set up’ refers to the tractor and the nail drag firming up the skin as you work on it. For this reason, I prefer treaded tires rather than knobby tires on the trap rake (picture below). The tires will help to firm up the surface, as will the repetition of the nail drag going over the dirt. In high traffic areas where infielders play and the lead off area around 2nd base, I will continue to drive the nail drag over those spots in tight figure-eight patterns to help firm up the dirt. The entire infield surface should be nail dragged in two or three directions, and small areas that need attention can get extra passes. Once you have worked everything to your satisfaction, you can screen drag to finish the surface prior to your mid-day watering. I advise using a stiff direction drag, the 6’ x 18” model is ideal, as long as it covers the wheel width of your tractor.

The watering after this process depends on the time of your game that day or evening, and many weather concerns as well. Consider the sky cover, wind, dew points, and any rain in the forecast, then adjust your plans accordingly.

Larry Divito

Larry Divito

As head groundskeeper for the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club,Larry DiVito has worked in professional baseball for 23 years. Beginning as the head groundskeeper for the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox in 1995, Larry moved to Dodger Stadium in 2002 as assistant groundskeeper. After four seasons with the Dodgers, he was named head groundskeeper for the Washington Nationals in 2006. In his three seasons there, Larry was involved with the building of Nationals Park, which opened in 2008. He moved to Minnesota in 2009 to be a contributor with the construction of Target Field, which he helped open for the Twins in 2010. As a member of the Sports Turf Managers Association, Larry spent three years on the STMA Board of Directors from 2008-10.
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    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    We Can Save You Money In 2021 !

    * ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

    ( Teams, 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”

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

    [[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

    ** “STAY SMART ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

New food at Chase Field: All the new concessions to try at Arizona Diamondbacks games !

PHOENIX, AZ. — Hot dogs, nachos, and beer are staples at the ballpark. For any fan who has been to an Arizona Diamondbacks game, it’s no secret that the chefs at Chase Field like to go beyond the everyday staples.

Ahead of the D-backs’ Opening Day at Chase Field on Friday, here is a look at some of the new menu items that fans can try.

Ultimate Bacon Pub Burger

NEW CONCESSIONS

  • Ultimate Bacon Pub Burger (pictured): Chuck patty, pub beer cheese, bacon, battered onion, barbecue sauce, pickles, potato roll
  • Poblano Cheesesteak: Shaved Philly Ribeye, American Cheese, fire-roasted poblano chile, barbecue aioli, battered onion straws
  • Beer Cheese Bratwurst: Beer bratwurst, pub beer cheese, griddled onion, brown mustard, pretzel roll
  • 505 Green Chile, Chicken Bacon and Ranch Tots: Grilled chicken, tots, nacho cheese, bacon, 505 green chile
  • Danzeisen Dairy Chocolate Mint Chip Stack Shake (pictured): Chocolate milkshake topped with whipped cream, chocolate chips, Andes chocolate mints, and mint Oreos.
Danzeisen Chocolate Mint Chip Stack Shake

Local Phoenix restaurant Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup will have two concession stands serving up their signature “festival” tacos, enchiladas, and house margaritas. They will be located near sections 116 and 314, replacing America’s Taco Shop.

Festival tacos: 50/50 flour and corn tortillas, sweet and spicy cornbread, pulled roasted tomatillo chicken and zesty honey vinaigrette slaw, topped with jalepeño ranch and cotija cheese crumbles.

For the enchiladas, fans will have a choice of braised short rib, roasted tomatillo chicken, or sweet and spicy cornbread. Craving dessert? They’ll also have Mama Linda’s Bakeshop pumpkin cookies. They also have plans to add nachos and quesadillas.

FRY’S GRAB N’ GO

Fry’s will have a few grab-and-go stands throughout the stadium will small bites, drinks and pre-packaged foods that fans can select and purchase with a debit or credit card.

THE STILL AT CUTWATER

San Diego-based Cutwater Spirits will have its canned cocktails for sale at Chase Field, including their vodka mule which will be served in a limited edition D-backs can. They will be located near section 139.

BEFORE YOU GO…

  • Chase Field is completely cashless and ticketless this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All transactions have to be made with a debit or credit card or via the MLB Ballpark app.
  • Make sure to download the MLB Ballpark app to access tickets. You can also order concessions from the phone.
  • Clear bag policy: Large bags and backpacks are not allowed inside Chase Field. Only clear plastic or vinyl bags will be allowed inside. Small clutch purses are OK.
  • Fans are allowed to bring their own snacks inside as long as they’re in a sealed, clear bag. A sealed or empty water bottle is also OK.
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    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

    We Can Save You Money In 2021 !

    * ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

    ( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

    1-800-622-7370

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

    www.sadlersports.com/soda

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

    “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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    [[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

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Your 7 Tips For Wet Fields !

The Ongoing Battle Rages On…

Thanks to the often-squishy sound beneath my feet as I walk the ballfields at our nearby Little League park, I know the first month or so of most seasons is typically a bit of an adventure (public health crisis aside). Even as summer starts to show up and warmer days become the norm, most groundskeepers have been battling (and many continue the battle) against the same thing … wet fields. What is a groundskeeper to do to keep his or her fields dry and get them playable as quickly as possible?

 

HERE ARE 7 TIPS FOR WET FIELDS:

    1. Winds can build up soil and topdressing materials into the lips of the infield skin. These lips will drastically affect the drainage of water off of your infield skin so be sure to regularly clean out all lips (see our Groundskeeper Umodule on Lip Management).
    2. Make sure the surface of the skin is smooth and level. Fall can be a great time to re-level your infield skin so there are no low spots in the skin which will collect water. This exercise best prepares your field for rapid water removal.
    3. If your infield was not regraded last fall, go out to the field right after a rain while there are still puddles on the infield skin and, using a rake, carve the outline of each puddle. When dry, nail drag the infield avoiding the low spots so you can find them, then use the loose infield soil to fill these low areas to help the water move off the infield more effectively.
    4. When it’s early in the spring, you need to wait until the field has lost all frost in the soil profile before attempting any work on the skin portion. If it’s too soft to walk on, you should not be on it.
    5. If your field is in the northern part of the country — where there’s a noteworthy depth of frost each year (3″ or more) — be sure to roll the field early, once it has dried enough to help seal the field back up so water will run off the field more easily.
    6. Keep some calcined clay drying agents around for those emergencies. But if the puddles are large or deep, then use some puddle sponges or a puddle pump to remove excess water leaving just very shallow wet areas where drying agents can then work their magic.
    7. Whatever you do, NEVER use brooms to sweep excess water off your infield soil (see Top 6 Most Common Groundskeeping Mistakes). You will only be worsening the surface grade of the skin by sweeping more soil out which will create an even deeper hole for water to stand in. This will also cause build up of the lips which, even worse, creates a bigger dam along the turf edge. Save the brooms and squeegees for the turf grass only.

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul has been with Beacon for more than two decades. Among his many accomplishments he authored Groundskeeper University, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Paul continues to seek innovative ways to help groundskeepers.

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We Can Save You Money In 2021 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, 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”

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

[[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

** “STAY SMART ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

 

The Bridge Sports Complex now offering memberships !

The Bridge rendering
Pictured is a rendering of one of the fitness areas of The Bridge Sports Complex. The complex, set to open this summer, is now offering memberships.

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WV News) — Ahead of its opening this summer, The Bridge Sports Complex in Bridgeport has launched several membership packages for the community.

Opening in June, The Bridge Sports Complex, located on Forrester Boulevard, features a fully-equipped fitness center, including a walking track, premium indoor aquatics and sports spaces in courts and turf boxes.

Members have open access to the facility, which includes a fitness center, six hardwood courts, indoor turf field and two pools. The fitness center features more than 3,000 square feet of state-of-the-art equipment. Group fitness classes, personal training and sports performance training all will be offered as well.

Droo Callahan, general manager of The Bridge, is excited to welcome the new members.

“We look forward to creating a family-friendly atmosphere for all patrons of The Bridge. The opportunity to bring world-class products, services and facilities is exciting for all of us. We look forward to building relationships with families across the region.”

There are varying levels of membership. Early bird pricing is available until June 25, 2021.

“From senior to youth, family to individual, we wanted to make sure that everyone had an opportunity to achieve their goals here,” said Ryan McCoy, fitness and membership manager at The Bridge.

The different levels and costs of each memberships can be found in the Membership Guide online at www.thebridgewv.com/memberships.

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

We Can Save You Money In 2021 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

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5 Ways To Help Your Infield Skin Rebound From Rain Quickly. !

While some parts of the U.S. may be battling a daunting drought, the other parts of the country could be dealing with lots of rain. In fact, things can change quickly. For example, a few years back within a three week span the entire state of Texas went from a major 4-year drought to being totally drought free. It takes a lot of rain to knock out four years of drought in just three weeks. With all that rain, surely there were many having issues with trying to get their fields ready after a rain. If you have already ready encountered a lot of rain, of you do later this season, let’s take a look at what you can do to help your fields recoup from a rain event as quickly as possible.

1. Keep Your Infield Properly Graded

First and foremost,infield make sure that your infield is properly graded to promote positive surface drainage. Ideally, the infield should be graded so that the area around the base of the pitcher’s mound is the highest point on the infield with the surface grade then sloping away from the mound in all directions. However, depending on the lay of the land that the field was built on, the other way of grading an infield would be to “sheet drain” it. This means the entire infield is tilted in one direction; for example, the infield may tilt from the first base foul line towards left field. In either instance, both of these surface grades are only efficient at draining the water off it if the surface is smooth and consistent. In other words, there are no high spots or low spots to impede or deflect the drainage. Proper nail and float dragging are crucial maintenance practices that, when done correctly, will keep your skin surface in smooth and consistent surface draining condition.

2. Maintain Your Turf Edges

Maintaining your turf edges to prevent lip buildup will allow the water to easily pass over from infield skin to turf area without any issues. When infield soil and infield topdressing buildup in the edges of the grass, that ridge or “lip” impedes the water from freely moving off the field. The more severe the lip, the more water it will hold back onto the infield skin. Properly maintain those lips to keep them from slowing your field from recuperating.

 3. Choose Appropriate Infield Soil Material

The right beaconinfield soil material has a huge impact on speed of reentry onto an infield after a rain. Infield soils that are either high in silt or high in fine and very fine sand drastically effect how quickly the field is playable again after a rain. Even worse is when you have both problems! High silt and high fine sand content infield soils can take a day or multiple days to recuperate. Have your infield soil tested to check to see how your soil material lines up with the acceptable specifications. Strive for a balanced infield soil with the right amounts of medium to coarse sand and the proper ratio of silt to clay. It’ll make all the difference in the world as to how easy it will be getting the infield back into playing condition.

4. Use an Infield Top Dressing

Use a topdressing on your infield skin surface. An infield topdressing is a ¼” to ½” layer at the infield skin surface of a granular material that will not stick to a players cleat, even when wet. These materials, usually made of calcined clay, vitrified clay, expanded shale, crushed aggregate or crushed brick, tend to dry more quickly on the surface then if you just had the bare soil exposed. The topdressing will dry on the surface while your infield soil underneath is still moist, but the topdressing allows you still to reenter the field. It acts much like a mulch in a landscape bed and provides many benefits in the performance of the infield.

 5. Drag the Field Before Rain Storms

When you know a rain is coming, keep the field dragged smooth if at all possible. The water will flow more easily and rapidly off the infield if it is smooth and not pock marked with cleat marks and divots. Additionally, keep the field TIGHT! A tight field absorbs less water than one that has been deeply nail dragged, which will create pore space for water to fill and slow the drying process down considerably after the rain event.

How it rains also can have an impact in how fast your field will recuperate and come back up online for play. A long, slow light to moderate rain of a couple hours or more is very penetrating and will be deeply absorbed by your infield soil. This type of a rain usually requires longer for the field to dry from. Compare that to a heavy rain lasting 15 to 30 minutes, or even an hour. This kind of rainfall, while possibly dumping many times the amount of water than a slow rainfall did, is a violent rainfall to the soil. That violent pounding of the soil compacts it and doesn’t easily allow water to be absorbed into the infield soil. With the right weather conditions, you may be amazed sometimes how fast you can get back onto a field after one of these gully washers, provided you did everything else that we mentioned above in this article.

Let me leave you with one other piece of advice. The weather after the rain event matters just as much as how the rain fell. If your humidity is very high and has not lowered much below 75% after the rain, it will take a much longer time for the field to dry out. Sun and wind help, but there has to be room in the air parcel floating over your infield skin to take in more moisture. If the air parcel is 75% full, it won’t take much more in, but if it is only 50% full (50% relative humidity) then there is a lot of room to evaporate water from your field and be absorbed into the air parcels. The faster the humidity lowers after the event, the faster the drying process.

Make the right moves ahead of your rain events on your fields and you may come to not fear the rain as much or need to work as hard afterwards either.

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul has been with Beacon Athletics for two decades. Among his many accomplishments, he authored Groundskeeper University, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue and continues to find innovative ways to help groundskeepers.

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* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, 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”

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

[[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

** “STAY SMART ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **