The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Avera reinflates sports dome, installs new turf. !

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) – A Sioux Falls sports complex is nearly back in working order.

The Avera Sports Institute’s dome was reinflated over the weekend. Today, new turf was installed.

The dome was destroyed back in September during a night when three tornadoes hit Sioux Falls.

The hard structure of the complex, which housed offices and other training areas was unaffected by the storm.

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  • HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL !

  • FROM ALL OF US HERE AT SODA !

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    Save Money On Your 2020

    Amateur Sports Programs Now !


    * ( 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

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    “Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

    Since 1981”

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U.S. Pickleball Association adds major championship at Alabama facility. !

Hoover, Ala. – The United States Pickleball Association (USAPA) has announced the addition of a major championship to the yearly playing calendar.

The 2020 USA Pickleball National Indoor Championships will be played on June 9-13 at the Finley Center, part of the Hoover Met Complex in Hoover, Ala., just outside of Birmingham.

Nearly 1,000 players are expected, all competing in age/skill brackets.

“Coming off a thrilling Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships, we are now adding a major event for indoor play that will certainly draw pickleball’s finest as the USAPA continues to grow this incredible sport throughout the country and beyond,” said Karen Parrish, director of competition for the USAPA.

The Finley Center is located in the Hoover Met Complex in Hoover, Ala.

The National Indoor Championships will feature five days of events featuring singles, doubles and mixed doubles in skill/age brackets. Gold medalists from each division will receive a pre-registration spot for the 2020 USA Pickleball National Championships. The sport’s premier event will be played at Indian Wells, Calif., on Oct. 31–Nov. 7, 2020.

Registration for the 2020 USA Pickleball National Indoor Championships will get under way on Jan. 15, 2020 at pickleballtournaments.com.

The Finley Center is a state-of-the-art sports complex and event venue that will transform its nearly 100,000 square feet of indoor playing space into 32 pickleball courts. A stadium court for championship play also will be featured for tournament action.

“Aside from being an outstanding facility, the complex also offers Hoover RV Park and plenty of parking for players and spectators alike.” Parrish said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better facility to stage our inaugural indoor championship.”

Additional site information can be found at www.hoovermetcomplex.com.

For more information on the 2020 USAPA Pickleball National Indoor Championships, visit www.usapa.org.

USAPA is a non-profit that was established in 2005 to further the advancement of the sport on a national level. As the official governing body of pickleball in the United States, USAPA promotes the growth of pickleball by maintaining the rules, setting player ratings, advancing the sport through its national network of 1,900 ambassadors and sanctioning tournaments.

During the past five years, USAPA has realized a growth of 650 in its membership, which now totals about 39,000.

USAPA is divided into 11 regions across the country with all 50 states being represented. The extensive group of volunteer ambassadors oversees the sport in their respective states. For more information, visit www.usapa.org.

Pickleball is hugely popular in The Villages. The mega-retirement community features more than 100 courts and residents of Florida’s Friendliest Hometown have the advantage of being able to play the sport and participate in a variety of tournaments on a year-round basis.

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Save Money On Your 2020

Amateur Sports Programs Now !


* ( 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

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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Bill would make it a crime to harass a sports official !

STEVENS POINT, WI. (WKOW) — The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is supporting a bill that would make it a crime to harass or intimidate a sports official.

The proposed bill creates a new crime for harassment and intimidation of a sports official and revises the existing penalty. Statistics from the NASO Legislation Scorecard indicate 13 percent of sport officials have been assaulted by either a fan, coach or player.

The bill proposes a possible penalty of up to 40 hours of community service work, as well as any other penalties associated with the crime. In addition, it may require the violator to participate in counseling, including anger management or abusive behavior intervention, at the violator’s expense.

The decline in the numbers of high school sports officials continues at a concerning rate, and the recruiting and retaining of officials is made more difficult by the lack of sportsmanship at interscholastic and youth events.

Fifty-seven percent of officials believe sportsmanship is getting worse, and they identify parents, coaches and fans as the cause of most sportsmanship issues. Surveys also indicate 43 percent of officials state that most new officials quit within the first one-to-three years.

The bill, LRB 4781, has received support in the assembly from Rep. Don Vruwink, Rep. Todd Novak, Rep. Lisa Subeck, and in the senate from Sen. Andre Jacque and Sen. Jeff Smith.

Other organizations supporting the bill include the National Association of Sport Officials, Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association, Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, according to a WIAA news release.

“Responding to the national crisis as a result of the shortage of amateur and youth sport officials, we applaud and recognize the Wisconsin legislature’s bipartisan efforts to create protections for the men and women that officiate these events,” WIAA Executive Director Dave Anderson said. “We are grateful for their willingness to help protect and preserve these school-based activities, as well as youth and adult recreation opportunities, which contribute to the fabric of our communities and society.”

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Save Money On Your 2020

Amateur Sports Programs Now !


* ( 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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All Field Marking Chalks Are Not Created Equal !

Beacon Athletics

The ultimate ballfield resource. Blog & field tips.

Differences in Marking Chalk

Dry line products used for marking lines on ballfields usually come from one of two types of stone, limestone or marble. Limestone is a sedimentary rock while marble is a metamorphic rock that is formed when heat and pressure are exerted on a limestone deposit, such as during the formation of mountains, and the limestone transforms into marble.

Both of these stone products are high in calcium carbonate, which helps to give these materials a white or off-white color. Dry line marking material that is produced from sedimentary limestone is generally a softer material and flows more slowly through a dry line chalker. Limestone-based chalk is produced in many areas all across the United States which tends to make it more widely available. Conversely, marble is a harder, purer marking material that tends to flow faster in a chalker. Marble chalk is produced in more mountainous areas of the US, primarily in northern Georgia and western Colorado.

How to Prevent Line Chalk from ‘Bridging’

Since both chalking materials are stone products, their particles will be fairly angular when crushed down to fine powder. This angularity usually is not visible to the naked eye, yet has a significant effect on flowability of the fine powder through a dry line marker. Frequently, groundskeepers will blame moisture as the culprit for their chalking material bridging in the hopper of their chalker. However, the main reason chalk bridges is because the angular particles will slowly interlock with each other as the chalk slowly settles out in the hopper.

When you first pour a bag of marking chalk into the hopper, air is infused into the chalk powder, which makes it flow more easily as the air takes up space between the particles. As the chalking unit is pushed along the ground, the vibration shakes the hopper and slowly the air is removed from the chalk. This allows the material to settle and interlock, thereby impeding the flow of the chalk through the hopper. It is always Beacon’s recommendation to fill your chalker’s hopper at the home plate circle and only place the amount of chalk needed to line that particular field. Usually 25 to 35 lbs. of marking chalk is sufficient enough to properly line a ball field.

As mentioned earlier, the different marking chalks move at different speeds through a chalker. Marble flows faster than limestone chalk. To correct for this, it is critical to have a chalker that has an adjustable flow control to enable the operator to meter out the desired thickness of chalk. Many dry line markers only have an on-off lever to control the chalk. These are either open or closed with no additional adjustment for chalk flow control.

The Streamliner Dry Line Marker is one of the very few that allows a range of openings in the drop slot to allow the operator full control of the chalk flow (no matter which type is used) and the quality of the line produced. A chalker like the Streamliner with the variable flow control will likely end up helping an organization cut their marking chalk needs by as much as 1/3 while improving the quality of the chalk lines they apply.

Definitely check out Groundskeeper U for lessons about Creating Foul Lines and about preventing bridging.

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.

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

Save Money On Your 2020

Amateur Sports Programs Now !


* ( 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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New connected community, sports complex coming soon to Warren County, Ohio !

Ten builders will contribute homes, apartments or condominiums to the first phase of Union Village, a community also to feature a $15.3 million, 20-field sports complex expected to open in the spring.

“It’s going to be incredible,” said Charles Simms, one of the builders comprising the Union Village Guild. “It’s just going to take a little time to get it going.”

Union Village is expected to be developed over the next 30 years on the land off Ohio 741, between Springboro and Mason.

The development is to include retail, restaurants and offices accessible via walkways and a 200-acre greenway system of meadows, woodland parks and pathways connecting to Warren County Armco Park and the Warren County Sports Park at Union Village. according to a press release announcing the builders.

Last week, the entrance to the town center and the road system for the first phase were complete. The town center will be anchored by a $6 million, three-story building for Otterbein’s headquarters, a restaurant and bank, as well as the Union Village real estate office.

Simms, known for townhome developments in Dayton and Springboro, has signed on to build seven townhomes and 48 apartments here. Nine other home builders will construct the homes in the first phase, beginning this winter.

The guild is to eventually include a range of “designers and craftspeople who share a vision” for the principles of New Urbanism, according to the press release.

For example, garages will be behind the residences and accessed from alleys, the homes sitting close to streets designed to “calm traffic,” Project Manager Matt Obringer said.

“It’s things like front porches, tree-lined streets, and the ability to walk to the corner store a block away that makes the project special,” Obringer said in the release announcing the guild.

Obringer proudly pointed out how Marble Hall — one of the original buildings in the Union Village Shaker community that predated Otterbein — stands directly across Ohio 741 from the Union Village town center entrance. In another nod to history, the streets are named for Shaker families that lived there.

For the first time, Otterbein’s 200-acre retirement campus on the west side of Ohio 741, and Union Village are being described separately, although the entire tract is owned by the retirement-community provider.

“They are two distinctive projects,” said Gary Horning, vice president of marketing and communications for Otterbein. “The Otterbein Lebanon senior life community is not part of Union Village, although who knows there may come a time we use the location to make it easier to find us.”

“Residents of Otterbein and those of Union Village may certainly walk across the street to leverage events or activities or shopping or restaurants – no different than Otterbein residents spending time in Lebanon or other local towns or attractions,” Horning added in an email.

Union Village residents who are at least 55 years old and willing to pay fees will be eligible for Otterbein activities and amenities, Horning said.

The first phase of Union Village is expected to draw baby boomers and millennials, rather than senior citizens like those residing across Ohio 741.

Simms said the builders visited Norton Commons, a new urbanism community outside Louisville, Ky., to understand New Urbanism principles. The two-story townhomes he plans to build will have detached two-car garages, separated by yards.

“Otterbein hopes to earn money from the land development, which we will invest in our core business – senior care,” Horning added.

Across Ohio 741, Otterbein continues to expand its main campus, most recently investing close to $2 million in five new sign-family homes designed for retirees, with New Urbanism features.

“You can think of Union Village and Otterbein as really good neighbors,” Obringer added.

Contractors are putting the final touches on $1.2 million in road improvements on Ohio 741 and Greentree Road.

The first tournament at the Warren County Sports Park at Union Village is expected to be held in April, depending on how well the “growing season” prepares the grass fields for use, Deputy Administrator Martin Russell told the Warren County commissioners.

Save Money On Your 2020

Amateur Sports Programs Now !


* ( 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”

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

Save Money On Your 2020 Amateur Sports Programs Now !

Save Money On Your 2020

Amateur Sports Programs Now !


* ( 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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Low-cost youth soccer program at the Libertyville Sports Complex, Jan. 18 – Feb. 22 !

Heart of the City participant plays during last year's Winter Soccer Academy.Leah Perri

Heart of the City participant plays during last year’s Winter Soccer Academy.

Heart of the City invites boys and girls born in 2008-2013 to participate in Winter Soccer Academy, a six-week coed program with a focus on player development.

The program, held at Libertyville Sports Complex, will run on Saturdays from Jan. 18 through Feb. 22. Times include 11 a.m. to noon for kids born in 2012-2013; Noon to 1pm for 2010-2011; and 1pm to 2pm for 2008-2009.

Heart of the City is excited to share the game of soccer with kids throughout Lake County who want to learn the game, make friends and have fun while being active.

Each week’s training will focus on a specific topic, such as: ball mastery, 1v1 attacking & defending, shooting, etc. There will also be a weekly round-robin tournament to end every session for kids to implement the learned skills during game play.

The program is led by Heart of the City’s licensed professional coaches and HOTC Elite travel club high school athletes.

Cost is $25. Each participant will receive a free Academy t-shirt.

To register, please contact our Program Office at 847-623-6200, vashon@hotcsoccer.org, or register online at www.heartofthecitysports.org/recreation. Limited spots available! Register by Jan. 9 to reserve your player’s spot.

About Heart of the City

Founded in 2014 by community members, nonprofit organization Heart of the City provides an opportunity for youth in Lake County to participate in recreational and competitive soccer activities. We believe that all youth should have access to high-quality sports programs and academic learning opportunities. As a result, we endeavor to teach our players to be competitive on the field, successful in their school and productive in their community. To learn more, email leah@heartofthecitysports.org or visit www.heartofthecitysports.org.

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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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Update Your Ballfield Inventory Annually !

As we move our operation from the growing season to the off-season at the little league complex where I volunteer, we also perform an annual inventory. This inventory is used to update our insurance coverage each year. As a manager, you want to protect all the investments your organization has made in the tools and equipment that you use to perform your job. If ever there is a fire, theft or act of nature, you need the ability to prove to insurers what you had on hand and how much it was worth based on the purchase price and age of the equipment. Over the course of a year new equipment & tools are added (purchased) while equipment is retired, so it’s important to update your inventory annually (see sample inventory document below).The information collected is tracked with a spreadsheet and includes the make, model and serial numbers for mechanized equipment as well as whether it was purchased new or used. A picture is also taken of each piece of equipment and dropped into the document. We provide the insurance company the actual purchase price of the equipment and have coverage that pays full replacement cost. That type of policy is a little more pricey but should an unfortunate situation occur where you lose a majority of your equipment, you get the full replacement cost of the equipment with just your deductible to pay. That’s peace of mind I like to have.The full crew is involved in this process so they learn the importance of keeping a record of this information and where to find it. The crew first goes through the list from the previous year and they remove any equipment or tools we have parted ways with. Then they go through and recount all of the existing items on the list to make sure all counts of hand tools, power tools, office equipment and furniture are accurate or adjusted, if need be. Finally, they get to the larger field maintenance equipment and double check all model and serial numbers.

Next, our crew adds all of the new equipment acquired this year. Invoices are used to record the original price paid and the date purchased. If you purchase some large or pricey pieces of equipment with a lease or lease-to-own agreement, you probably have already alerted your insurance company. But in general, it is good business practice to supply your insurance company with a comprehensive list of all of your equipment together for quick and easy reference.

An organization spends years accumulating the equipment and tools needed to operate a facility. But, it can all be gone in the blink of an eye. Be sure to document your equipment and adequately insure it. The more comprehensive your records for your insurance company, the faster you will receive a check to replace what you lost after a theft or catastrophic event.

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.

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

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”

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