The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

COVID-19 Developments Information & Peer Recommendations !

Avoid These 6 Common Groundskeeping 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 !]]