COVID-19 Developments Information & Peer Recommendations !

With teams throughout the country seeking to play baseball and softball this summer in the midst of the ongoing public health crisis, we surveyed our customers to gather tips on how to play safely.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this survey. Below, we have compiled the most frequently mentioned tips for playing safely in hopes of keeping everyone healthy.


TOP TEN Play Safe Suggestions

  1. Sanitize all equipment, dugouts, bathrooms, and high traffic facility areas.
  2. Social distance. Spreading out 6′ down your team’s baseline fence and avoid dugout use. Hang equipment and gear on fence.
  3. Take temperatures of players and coaches prior to getting on the field.
  4. Limit the presence and participation of non-players, coaches, or staff members.
  5. No formal handshakes between teams. Tipping of the cap is a great alternative way to demonstrate sportsmanship!
  6. No shared sources of refreshments, sunflower seeds, or bubblegum. No spitting in or around the field of play.
  7. Have each team supply and use their own baseballs. Bleach baseballs after use and rotate in next set.
  8. Restrict the route to get on and off the field to defined entry points on 1st and 3rd base paths.
  9. Require everyone to wear masks, including coaches and umpires.
  10. Check and follow CDC guidelines on a regular basis.

SEE COMPLETE RESPONSES

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

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 !]]

Avoid These 6 Common Groundskeeping Mistakes. !

HOW TO AVOID MISTAKES? Harness the assets that you have…

Coaches and volunteers, God love ’em. The games of baseball and softball usually can’t go on without these dedicated people who are there to either teach or just help out. Most are genuinely trying hard to do the right thing; others are just there to fill a void. It is no wonder that sports field managers cringe when they find out that the coaches and volunteers worked together to get a game in after a rain event. Instead of throwing caution to the wind and doing whatever it takes to get your game in, consider the consequences to the quality of the field surface, those who must fix it, and the other teams that are affected by your actions.

So, let’s look at some of the most common groundskeeping mistakes committed by those with good intentions, but mistakes that nonetheless create undesirable, or even detrimental, results.


1) Using a broom or squeegee to push standing water off your infield skin.

UNDESIRABLE RESULT: Infield soil and topdressing are picked up along with the water and pushed off into the lip. This ends up building the lip higher, creating a natural dam, and also making the low spot, where the water collected, lower due to infield material being pushed out along with the water.

THE CORRECT ACTION: Use a puddle pump or Beacon Puddle Sponges to suck up and remove excess freestanding water in the low spots.


2) Using excessive amounts of drying agent.

UNDESIRABLE RESULT: The only thing this does is waste large dollar amounts of drying agent to get games played. Excess drying agent remains on the field afterward, which can increase the speed of the field drying, but it can also help store more water at the surface in a rain event as the calcined clay drying agent gorges itself with water. This may actually slow the drying process if too much is sitting on the surface. On a field without a water source, you can actually suffer from the field getting too dry and hard as the calcined clay sucks every bit of moisture out of the infield skin.

THE CORRECT ACTION: If you walk on an infield and it is soft enough that your feet sink, it is too soft to play on. Incredible amounts of damage can occur on a ballfield when it is played on when the infield skin is too soft. Let Mother Nature do her evaporative magic first. Once the field is stable enough to walk on, then you can work to dry the low spots by removing the freestanding water first. Only then should you use drying agent to finish the drying process and it will take much less material to do so.


3) Dragging an infield without removing bases, then pulling a drag right over the top of them.

UNDESIRABLE RESULT: Infield soil builds up around the bases slowly burying them and making them harder to remove. This also destroys the consistency of the surface grade across the infield. This is just plain lazy.

THE CORRECT ACTION: Remove the bases and place in dugouts. Install base plugs in base anchors before dragging infield. Cut down any high areas under or around bases with an iron rake or aluminum field rake.


4) Dragging infield material into the turf edges.

UNDESIRABLE RESULT: When dragging the infield, if the drag wanders onto the turf edges, it deposits infield soil and topdressing into the turf edges which is then glued in by rainfall and irrigation cycles, unless cleaned out fairly soon afterwards. As this material builds up in the turf, it creates a lip which becomes a natural dam impeding the free flow of rainfall off the playing surface.

THE CORRECT ACTION: Stay a minimum of 6 inches away from the edge of the infield skin where it meets the turf. This will help to reduce the incidence of lip build-up. Additionally, use a push broom, leaf rake, backpack blower, yard vacuum or power broom to pull loose material out of the turf edges after you drag the skin area.


5) Packing dry mound spoils back into the wear holes on the mound slope.

UNDESIRABLE RESULT: This is basically wasted effort, pure and simple. Water and clay are the glue that bind a soil together. Without those, no binding will take place, no matter how hard you pulverize and pound the old clay that has been kicked out of the wear areas. Additionally, if you pull the old clay laying on the surface of the mound back into place, it undoubtedly has also been contaminated with other materials, like topdressing or infield soil, which drastically reduce the binding power of the used material.

THE CORRECT ACTION: The only way to patch a clay area that produces an effectively sturdy and stable patch is by using fresh new clay and water. The process is as follows:

  1. Sweep all loose material away from the wear holes.
  2. Use water to adequately moisten the sides and bottom of the holes. Allow some time for the water to absorb into the established clay.
  3. Add fresh clean clay to the wear areas and tamp into place. Level as needed.
  4. Sprinkle some water over the entire surface of the patch.
  5. Pull old topdressing and other material back over patch and finish groom.

6) Not using tarps on the clay areas on the mound and home plate at the end of the day.

UNDESIRABLE RESULT: The clay areas are left open to the atmosphere where evaporation will pull the moisture out of the mound and batter’s box clay. Without the moisture in the clay, it fractures and chunks out of those areas very easily, drastically reducing its effectiveness of providing proper footing for a pitcher or hitter.

THE CORRECT ACTION:> If area tarps are available, place the mound and plate tarps on whenever you finish a game or practice and no one else is around to use the field. It is always important to minimize evaporation on the clay whenever possible. BONUS: If water is available, add some water to the clay areas on the mound and batter’s box to replace what Mother Nature evaporated during the time you were using the field. Just don’t overdo it.


GIVE COACHES & VOLUNTEERS SOME TRAINING!

To avoid these common groundskeeping mistakes, coaches and volunteers should only perform minimal work on a field — unless they have received some training. An excellent resource for basic game day groundskeeping skills is available through Beacon Athletics.

Beacon’s online training at Groundskeeper University is totally FREE and offers 8 modules covering the basics of ballfield maintenance, teaching the tried & true best practices. The training is geared toward coaches, volunteers, summer help or new grounds crew members — but, it is also an excellent refresher for experienced groundskeepers. Users signup for a free account (if you are a registered Beacon customer your BeaconAthletics.com login will work) and can track their progress as they finish the modules and lessons. In the end, you can take the final exam to gain certification — but you must be a logged in user to track & store your progress. We highly recommend this free training service to get everyone on the same page, doing things the right way. Visit GroundskeeperU.com.

Sports Field Managers have a tough and challenging job to do,especially at schools and park and recs where their time is limited at each field they manage. I’ve never met a sports field manager who didn’t have incredible pride in the work they do, no matter the situation that gets handed to them. The hope is that coaches and volunteers respect what these field managers do in order for the rest of us to play our games, both competitive and recreational. We hope this post helps you avoid these most common mistakes.

Greater Binghamton, NY Sports Complex to begin hosting drive-in movies !

The Greater Bignhamton, NY Sports Complex will begin hosting drive-in movies, with a two-day event titled Drive-In at the Dome.

This marks the complex’s first time screening movies.

Here’s what you need to know about the new drive-in series.

How much does it cost?

Tickets are $30, which covers the cost of the parking spot and admission for two people of any age. Each additional person is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Tickets cover one movie showing. No over-sized vehicles will be permitted. Once the movie begins, no vehicles will be allowed to leave.

Tickets need to be reserved online in advance of the screening.

To purchase a ticket, visit eventbrite.com/e/drive-in-at-the-dome-tickets-115206724414.

The Greater Binghamton Sports Complex is located at 1500 Airport Rd. in Johnson City.

Where is it?

Each movie will be screened outdoors at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex at 1500 Airport Road in Johnson City.

For more information on the sports complex, visit facebook.com/Thedomegbsc.

When is it?

The first showing is 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21, featuring “The Greatest Showman.”

Aug. 22 will mark a double feature day, with the “TROLLS World Tour” at 7:30 p.m. and “Remember the Titans” at 10 p.m.

P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman, center) creates a family of circus stars out of society's outcasts in the musical 'The Greatest Showman.'

Is there anything to eat?

A concession stand will be open during each movie showing and will include nachos, popcorn, pizza, candy, soda and more.

No alcohol will be permitted and social distancing rules will apply at the concession stands.

The sports complex has also partnered with Little Venice Restaurant, with added-on dinner packages that can be pre-ordered along with the movie tickets.

Dinners will be delivered to each car once they arrive to the venue.

Below is the dinner menu:

  • Meatlog and cheese sub with side of rigatoni, $15
  • Chicken cutlet parmigiana sub with side of rigatoni, $15
  • Housemade cheese ravioli with two garlic knots, $17
  • Kids choice of rigatoni with butter sauce, $8
  • Sides: Small salad mixed with Italian dressing, $6;  Housemade Tiramisu, $6; Two housemade brownies, $7; Pack of six mini cannoli, $10.

For additional information about Drive-In at the Dome, visit facebook.com/Thedomegbsc.

If You Lost This Season, Come Back Next Spring With A Win! !

It’s been a crazy Covid-19 growing season in the world of baseball and softball. Just as all of you were ramping up for the season back in March, the hammer came down and everyone was shut down for weeks or, in some cases, months. Throughout the country, there have been some re-openings, with some states and local jurisdictions resuming play in some form. To those that are up and playing, the fields are getting their dose of daily recommended care. But for those at facilities that have remained closed due to cancelled seasons, you and your fields may well be suffering right along with players, families and coaches. We have a few recommendations to help you make next season a success.

In my rather restricted travels these days, I’m noticing quite a few ballfields that have had their maintenance reduced or cut altogether. As a result, challenges are literally rising right out of the very ground of the infield skin.

WEEDS ! Because these fields have not received their regular dragging over the spring and summer, the weeds have populated the infield skins in varying degrees.

We all hope to be back to normal for baseball and softball next year. We’re counting on it. To have your infields ready for spring ball, it would be time well spent this late summer and fall putting the fields to bed ready to play. This is especially important in the northern half of the country, as the end of winter bumps right up against the start of the spring baseball & softball seasons. You don’t have the luxury to wait until next spring to do it.

Ideally you will start with an herbicide application that will kill all weeds that have sprouted up in the infield skin. Let the infield sit for two weeks while the herbicide does its job. You can then go in and mechanically remove the dead organic material using sod cutters or infield groomers with underbelly knife attachments to harvest the dead weeds. This would also be a good time to re-grade the infield and add any infield material needed to meet grade. This will help with surface drainage of water off the infield which will be very important once play hopefully resumes next spring.

Finally, make sure you roll the infield skin if you substantially disturb the soil. You’ll want that infield tight so it doesn’t soften up too much from excessive moisture. If you leave an infield skin churned up going into winter, you could have a quagmire on your hands come spring.

The bottom line is, we know many of you lost this season and it’s extremely disappointing. But let’s look forward and make sure we come back strong and ready for action next spring by doing our due diligence in preparing this fall.

If you have before and after photos you’d like to share with us, send us a message please attach your photos. We’d love to see your work.

Contact us with any questions or product selection guidance.

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.

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

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 !]]

State of MA. Releases New Guidance On Youth, Amateur Sports !

New MA. state guidance set to take effect Monday outlines what youth and adult amateur sports activities will be allowed to take place — and with what safety precautions — during the current phase of the state’s reopening plan.

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs said its guidance “applies to K-12 school and other youth sports activities,” and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association said in a statement posted to Twitter that it is awaiting “accompanying guidelines from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.”

The document categorizes sports into three levels of COVID-19 transmission risk, based on the amount of close contact required or expected, with different limitations for each.

Lower-risk activities, like tennis, golf, gymnastics and cross country, can hold individual or socially distanced group activities, competitive practices, competitions and outdoor tournaments.

For the other two risk levels, competitive practices and competitions are only allowed with modifications in place. They can participate in individual or distanced activities like non-contact workouts, aerobic conditioning and drills the way the sport is traditionally played.

Sports including baseball and softball, team swimming, volleyball and field hockey are deemed moderate risk. The higher-risk category includes football, basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and ultimate Frisbee.

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

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 !]]

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.

VIEW PRODUCTS

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.

VIEW PRODUCTS

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.

VIEW LESSON

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.

VIEW PRODUCTS

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.

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

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 !]]