The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Bare Necessities: How to Preserve Your Field !

Summer 2020 · Paul Zwaska

Your guide to downtime field maintenance.

As different part of the country move through various reopening phases,those on the front lines of youth sports — specifically baseball and softball — are in many places stuck in a wait-and-see mode. Left to the mercy of their governor and local officials, those of us involved understand that youth sports are not considered essential like other parts of the economy. Some states have already called off all youth sports for the summer as governors also contemplate the fate of fall sports. While some states have welcomed teams and families back to the ballpark, there will undoubtedly be other states and individual leagues that won’t see any action at all this summer.

But even if the sport is idling, fields will still need to be managed as they are living biosystems that will need your attention. So what basic maintenance do you really need to be perform? How will these practices help to maintain or even improve the playing field for next spring season or fall ball?

 

MOWING: This is pretty obvious but let’s dig in a little deeper. Whether your field is irrigated or not, raise the mowing height. Raise it more for unirrigated fields than irrigated. This will push the plant to lengthen its roots in the soil making it more drought tolerant going into the hot and dry summer months. Mow according to growth rate so that you are mowing off no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade off the plant.

IRRIGATION: If your field is outfitted with irrigation — be it manual or automatic — use it! Nothing helps thicken your turf more than water and a lack of play. No capitol project pays more dividends to your field than having an irrigation system installed. Not only will it help your turf, but when play does resume, it will also greatly improve the condition of your infield skin as well.

FERTILIZATION: If your organization can afford it in the current situation, maintain fertility on your field to encourage thick, healthy turf. This is an extremely rare opportunity (hopefully) to have a growing season without play. You can really improve the quality of the turf areas on your ball diamond. With limited staff for mowing, use slow release fertilizers and only apply one half to ¾ of a pound of nitrogen per 1000/sq ft. Enough fertilizer to keep the grass healthy and spreading, but not too much to push a ton of top growth requiring more frequent mowing.

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INFIELD SKIN: Keep it weed free by dragging twice a week and keep them tight to prevent any soil migration from heavy rains. Fix any lips that impede the flow of water off the infield skin. Level any low areas that are holding water. Clean up the turf edges by running an edger along them as your grass growth dictates. All of this improves infield drainage and plays into how quickly the field will be ready to play on after a rain event.

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WARNING TRACK: Same as infield skins mentioned above, drag periodically to manage weeds. Edge the turf edge if you have the time and manpower to do so.

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MOUND & PLATE: Keep them tarped to preserve moisture in these areas. Use of tarps will also prevent the pitching mound from eroding into the infield grass from rainfall or irrigation.

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CREW SAFETY: Finally, make sure you are protecting yourself and your crew or volunteers. These are ways to help ensure a safe environment for everyone:

  • Adhere to strict guidelines that make sure staff who are feeling sick do not come to work.
  • Wear masks and gloves.
  • Sanitize equipment before and after use.
  • Minimize face-to-face meetings in smaller areas.
  • Have sanitizing wipes available in many areas at your facility.
  • Schedule staff to work in shifts for easier social distancing while working on fields.
  • Minimize projects that require staff to be in close proximity.

Make the most of things.

Take this rare opportunity to give your field, especially your turfgrass, what it needs to become better and stronger so your field will be in tip-top shape when games resume. These field preservation tips will help whether you can finally get back on them in the next several weeks, months or next spring. Your field will thank you.

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We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 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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** “STAY HOME ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

[[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

Madison, Indiana, sports complex shuts down after COVID-19 cases linked to facility !

MADISON, Ind. (WDRB) — A youth sports player in Madison, Indiana, tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the city to shut down its sports complex.

The gates to the baseball diamonds at Rucker Sports Complex are locked with signs that read “Field Closed. Keep Off.””We decided it would be prudent to suspend use of all of the fields in the complex,” Madison Mayor Bob Courtney said.

According to a Facebook post by the City of Madison’s Parks Department, two coronavirus cases are linked to the sports facility. Courtney confirmed a case is connected to a youth sports team but said the virus wasn’t contracted at the field.

According to a Facebook post by the City of Madison’s Parks Department, two coronavirus cases are linked to the sports facility. Courtney confirmed a case is connected to a youth sports team but said the virus wasn’t contracted at the field.

“This was a participant who had been out of town and came back and developed symptoms,” he said.

Out of precaution, Rucker Sports Complex and John Paul Park are shut down for the next few weeks. That means no games or practices for the city’s softball and baseball leagues or travel teams. Field rentals and tournaments are off the table, too.

“As a reminder to all of the coaches and the players there, we take the health of our community very seriously,” Courtney said.

Courtney said the city also wanted to close the fields so teams can now monitor for anyone else who may develop symptoms over the next two weeks.

“Coaches and players, you’re responsible for yours and everyone else’s health,” Courtney said. “Don’t take it for granted and come to the field when you’re symptomatic or when you’re waiting on test results.”

Both parks are closed until Aug. 1. The city will reevaluate at the end of the month to determine if it’s safe enough to reopen, and, if so, how to hold events going forward.

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

We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 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”

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

** “STAY HOME ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

[[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

LakePoint Sports prepared to host basketball showcase with COVID-19 precautions !

  Atlanta, GA. – More than 50 elite basketball teams from all over the country will compete in a showcase event at LakePoint Sports Complex.

  But unlike previous years, hundreds of coaches will not be there in person to recruit.

  The complex in Emerson to find out how state-of-the-art technology will still keep coaches connected to potential recruits.

After nearly four months of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, LakePoint Sports is back open and will host the LakePoint Hoops Live Showcase this weekend.

“All the games this weekend will be live-streamed for college coaches, fans and others who would like to watch,” said Dave Keener, LakePoint’s senior vice president.

LakePoint will allow limited fans in the stands and it will only use six of the 12 basketball court to ensure social distancing is followed.

Keener told Mastrangelo that all coaches and players will have their temperatures checked. Masks will also be required until the games they participate in.

The facility does have about 80 different cameras with multiple views of the games. So fans, coaches and players can watch the games through a different perspective.

Could this be the future of recruiting? Keener says due to restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, they have seen a high demand for the event.

But Keener believes coaches will always prefer to see players in person — whenever that is allowed again.

“Coaches really like to sit in a gym by nature regardless of the sport,” he said. “Right now, it’s the only way for college coaches at any level to be able to get eyes on any prospects.”

LakePoint Sports will have a busy weekend with the basketball tournament going on inside and the 16U baseball national championship going on outside.

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

We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 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”

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

** “STAY HOME ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

[[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

 

 

Fan Safety: 5 Things to Consider !

Jul 14, 2020 · Beacon Athletics *

The injury to a young girl at a Houston Astros game at Minute Maid Park in 2019 prompted a surge of news and commentary about improving fan safety at major league ballparks. At a minimum, attending a baseball or softball game should just be fun & safe, legalities and liabilities aside. But of course, it’s not that simple.

Beacon Athletics

At the professional and college level, the ball moves fast — really fast. Much has been written and studied about how quickly a batter must react to a 100 mph fastball. One study says a hitter only has 0.412 seconds to react. The speed of that same pitch leaving the bat is even faster – 110 mph or more. Thus, fans have even less time to react to a sharply hit line drive heading foul. Not to mention, since they’re not playing they’re easily distracted, making them ill-prepared for the unexpected.

This really is an important issue for ballfields at all levels of play. (Read a special Fan Safety message from our CEO) At Beacon Athletics, we have been installing backstop and protective netting solutions for our customers for decades and we are often asked for advice on fan safety and options for backstop netting. Our immediate answer is typically the same, “…it really depends on your ballpark’s situation, but here are five things you should always think about.”

    1. Protect the bleacher areas. It’s important to do whatever you can to protect all seating areas. Minimally, provide coverage for all spectator seating down the foul lines. In smaller fields, this may only be 2-3 sections of bleachers extending about 50 ft down the line. In larger facilities for professional and college teams, seating may continue from behind the dugouts to the outfield, in which case protective netting would ideally extend all the way to the foul poles. Keeping the view unobstructed will give your fans the best of both worlds.
    2. Remember adjacent activities. In an urban setting, there may be street traffic or a playground adjacent to the ballfield, in which case higher and longer netting is required. In a rural setting, you may have an adjacent cornfield where very little netting will be needed. Multi-field complexes in a clover-leaf design have become common, so the height of your netting becomes important for protect fans watching games on adjacent fields.
    3. Plan for tough weather conditions. Are you susceptible to hurricanes or unexpected spring snowstorms? You’ll need to consider protecting your investment to make sure you can long-term protect your fans. Investing in a winch system for easy raising and lowering can give you the speed and flexibility to quickly adapt to fast-approaching severe weather. Netting systems engineered to handle high winds or unexpected snow loads will save your netting assets, and save you repair costs.

Beacon Athletics

  1. Aesthetics matter. A ballfield is a reflection on the community in which it resides. It can be a source of price, a place where people come together. Providing unobstructed views of the field within a safe viewing distance is ideal and has a major impact on the overall perception of your facility. There is nothing worse than being stuck in a bleacher seat behind a 12-inch steel pole.
  2. Consider all related costs. If poorly designed, the cost of installing a netting system can sometimes be more than the cost of materials (nets, cables, poles, etc.). We advise clients to to fully understand all costs that will be involved. For instance, a tie-back netting system may be more expensive when comparing the material cost, but it can also be considerably less expensive to install. Oftentimes, the tie-back system affords flexibility with how it can be integrated with the existing structures of a ballpark, making installation smoother and less costly than other systems. Make sure you are well informed and aware of all costs before making a decision on what is the best fit for our facility.

We are proud to be part of America’s pastime. Outfitting ballparks with innovative and appealing netting solutions is a big part of what we do, and it has become very important for protecting fans. Player safety through a well-maintained, more playable ballfield is only part of the story. Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you in your efforts ensure friends & family are safe and worry-free at the ballpark. A protective netting solution may be more affordable than you think. As our parents and coaches used to tell us, “let’s have fun out there – and be safe.”

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

We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 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”

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

** “STAY HOME ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

** {{ Available In SODA Products Area } **

Batting Cages — Important Considerations !

COVID-19 testing results at CenturyLink Sports Complex taking longer than expected !

Wednesday, July 8th 2020, 4:49 AM EDT
Image

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – People have been lining up to get tested for coronavirus at the CenturyLink Sports Complex every day for weeks, but getting their results could be taking longer than expected.

Some have reported they’ve gotten tested over a week ago and still don’t have results. Others think their tests have gotten lost in the process.

NBC2 contacted Genetworx Lab about the claims, and they said they are working to get us more information.

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

We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 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”

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

** “STAY HOME ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

Youth Sports Practices Get State’s Green Light In PA. !

Youth Sports Practices Get State’s Green Light in PA.  !

HARRISBURG PA – There’s no public conversation, yet, about officially bringing back youth sports in the age of coronavirus. The governor’s office, however, “has issued preliminary guidance” that lets high school and recreational sports teams re-start “voluntary workouts and other in-person activities,” Royersford-based 146th District state Rep. Joe Ciresi said Friday (June 12, 2020).

Ciresi has advocated a resumption of sports activities, now that Pennsylvania counties are slowly re-opening under Gov. Tom Wolf’s color-coded “yellow” and “green” phases. Wolf’s guidance also covers college and professional sports; rules for fall, winter and spring sports seasons may be updated later, Ciresi added.

The highlights:

School team workouts. Public and private kindergarten through 12th grade schools governed by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association, during yellow and green phases, can resume voluntary sports-related workouts. Schools must first develop an athletic health and safety plan approved by the schools’ Boards of Directors and posted their websites.

Recreational team workouts. In counties with green-phase clearance, recreational and amateur sports teams not affiliated with a K-12 school can hold in-person activities, including games and practices. Examples include basketball, hockey, field hockey, football, soccer, swimming, baseball, softball, lacrosse, gymnastics and kickball. Youth sports organizations should follow CDC guidelines.

Crowd control. Gatherings of all participants, including players, athletic staff, officials and spectators are limited to 25 in the yellow phase; and 250, or 50 percent capacity, in the green phase.

Health measures. League and team staff must review CDC guidance for youth sports. Coaches and other adult personnel should wear face coverings and screen athletes for symptoms before practices and games. All participants must follow safe hygiene and social distancing practices, avoid unnecessary physical contact, and clean and disinfect equipment and facilities. Teams are encouraged to stagger drop-off and pick-up times at outdoor locations and designate entrances and exits to facilities.

Spectators. Parents and other spectators should practice social distancing, wear face coverings and not enter the field or bench areas. Parents should monitor children for COVID-19 symptoms and evaluate children at higher risk for severe illnesses.

College teams. College sports sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), including intramural and club sports, can resume in-person activity after developing an acceptable athletic health and safety plan.

Pro teams. Professional sports can resume immediately. Teams or leagues in the yellow phase, or if more than 250 people are on site in the green phase, must have a COVID-19 safety plan approved by the state Department of Health.

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We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 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”

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

** “STAY HOME ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

Baseball returns to Elizabethtown Sports Park starting in July. !

 

After a four-month shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, baseball is coming back to the Elizabethtown Sports Park when the facility opens with new safety procedures in mid-July. Built in 2012, the complex features 25 fields for a variety of sports spread across 158 acres.

According to Janna Clark, Executive Director of Elizabethtown Tourism, the Sports Park hosts nearly 70 events each year, bringing more than 60,000 athletes to the area. Clark said the pandemic-forced shutdown caused 25 events to be canceled.

“It represents about 55,000 hotel nights, and 10 million dollars of impact to our local community,” Clark said. “As an economic driver to this community the Sports Park is a valuable part of rebuilding our economy locally.”

There is now a plan for bringing sports back to the complex for the first time during the pandemic, starting with baseball and softball on July 10. The reopening plan calls for no-touching among the athletes, even eliminating high-fives and fist-bumps. While players will not be required to wear face masks while competing, officials may have to depending on how close they get, and they are recommended for spectators in tight areas. Clark said the Sports Park will have a team disinfecting the facility and social distancing will be stressed.

“We’ve already communicated to families already. Bring your own chairs. Have your blankets. Bring additional shade. The areas that you would usually congregate will be off-limits,” she said.

The Sports Park will host both local and out-of-town teams, and Clark said they will keep diligent records for contact tracing should it be needed. While the experience will be different for everyone, Clark believes an important part of summer will return when kids can once again play ball.

“We are beyond excited. And not only the sports park. Our community is looking forward to it,” she said. “All of our businesses are hurting right now. And our hearts are hurting a little. So we need some baseball and a little bit of normalcy for our kids.”

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

We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 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”

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

** “STAY HOME ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

The Jump-Start Field Opening Checklist !

The Jump-Start Field Opening Checklist

There are dozens of critical tasks for a groundskeeper to complete to open a field. We’ve boiled down the list into the most important things you should remember to do for quickly reopening your field.


JUMP-START FIELD OPENING CHECKLIST

▢   Charge and reinstall all batteries for motorized equipment

▢   Inspect, repair or replace netting and padding on all screens

▢   Inspect last year’s bases and dispose of or replace any heavily worn bases

▢   Clean up any remaining fall/winter debris from along ballfield fence lines

▢   Replace any badly faded, worn or torn outfield advertisement banners

▢   Install backstop padding, dugout bat racks and helmet racks

▢   Hoist backstop nets, batting cage nets and soft-toss nets

▢   Turn on water to facility – Test irrigation system

▢   Renovate all mounds (tables, front slopes and new topdressing application

▢   Renovate all home plate areas (releveling batter’s and catcher’s boxes with clay and leveling home plate circle) and redress with new topdressing

▢   Relevel 1st and 3rd baselines and topdress

▢   Relevel infields and topdress as needed

▢   Relevel warning track and walkups (if track material is available)

▢   Apply crabgrass preventer

▢   Make sure mower is set to only cut one-third length of grass blades

▢   Check any field lighting and scoreboard operation and replace bulbs

▢   Hoist Flags

▢   Distribute picnic tables, garbage and recycling receptacles

▢   Update missing or faded signage, add new signs as needed

DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE PDF  VIEW THE ULTIMATE FIELD PREP CHECKLIST

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

We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 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”

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

** “STAY HOME ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **