The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Programs, Activities, and Safety for Youth

Dudley briefs Rotarians on sports complex project !

Jim Dudley
Jim Dudley, chairman of the McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission, talks Wednesday to Paducah Rotarians at the Carson Center, as Rotary Club of Paducah President Clay Howerton (pictured at right) looks on. Dudley shared information about the McCracken County sports complex project.

The planned McCracken County Sports Complex served as the main topic of discussion Wednesday for the Rotary Club of Paducah, as McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission Chairman Jim Dudley gave an overview of the project and shared what’s next.

The sports complex, using the former Bluegrass Downs property and Stuart Nelson Park in Paducah, has a projected cost of around $43 million. Once built, the complex would host recreational sports events for community and tournament play, including soccer, baseball and softball.

In his presentation, Dudley told Rotarians the project is a 105-acre development. He also described the regional draw of such a sports facility, noting the many cities and states within a five-hour drive.

“All those people, if you have the right type of tournaments and you have the right complex, will come here for a weekend, spend the night at a hotel, shop at our stores, eat at our restaurants, increase our tourism,” he said.

He went over planned features, funding sources (including naming rights), revenue sources (fees, concessions, field permits, advertising and sponsors, etc.), playing surfaces, the economic impact, staffing and other details.

There isn’t an exact opening date, but it’s “probably sometime in 2024.”

The sports complex will have lighted fields for baseball and softball, and rectangular (soccer) fields of tournament size, along with amenities, such as a renovated Bluegrass Downs grandstand, restrooms, concessions and parking.

Dudley said one of the features is a plaza that honors Dr. William Stuart Nelson, who grew up in Paducah and graduated from Lincoln High School.

Nelson, a World War I veteran, was the first African American president of Shaw University in North Carolina and Dillard University in Louisiana. An advocate for nonviolence, Nelson worked with Mahatma Gandhi and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

“We want to be able to really showcase everything he’s done as a true ambassador of Paducah and really honor his life,” Dudley said.

Dudley said the next step includes finalizing a memorandum of understanding with the city and county. It’s also in the process of releasing a Request for Quote for operational development services to help in opening the sports complex on time and on budget, as he noted you have to “start selling this facility” 18 months before it’s open and get tournaments booked.

“The next phase of design work by PFGW (Peck Flannery Gream Warren) Architects and their team will include further design development of the master plan, completion of construction documents for bidding and construction of the facility and administration of the construction contract,” Dudley added.

Several officials were in attendance Wednesday, including Paducah Mayor George Bray and McCracken County Judge-Executive Craig Clymer. After the meeting, both officials gave The Sun an update on the memorandum of understanding.

At a June 24 joint meeting, the Paducah City Commission and McCracken County Fiscal Court agreed to partner together on two projects: the sports complex and needed upgrades for the 911 system’s infrastructure. The projects are both listed in the city commission’s top 12 priorities. Both sides are working toward putting together the agreements.

Clymer said they are getting down to the details and it’s a matter of “getting the language right,” but it’s essentially a done deal.

“We’ve seen a first draft of it and I think both the city and county are still looking at it,” Bray said, on the memorandum of understanding.

“I don’t really see a lot of changes from the first draft, just a couple things that we’ve got to work through. We originally had wanted to get it on the agendas for next week’s meetings. I’m not sure we’re going to have it in the final form by then, so it might be two weeks after that, but everything’s going well so far.”

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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

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

“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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  • ** STAY HEALTHY **

Give Me Some Water… !

I grew up in California, in the San Francisco area. Over the course of the first twenty-five years of my life we experienced a major drought and some other moderate droughts, too. If you have ever lived in an area where water scarcity is a concern, your role as a groundskeeper or sports turf manager becomes heavily scrutinized in a hurry. “Why on earth are you watering dirt?!!!!” Believe me, I heard that loudly a number of times in my teens and early twenties, when I was tending to fields or working as a baseball coach in California. To the novice, the notion of watering around home plate, on the baselines and the infield dirt is about dust control. To the grounds manager on a baseball field, watering dirt is about ensuring that the entire soil profile players hit, pitch, run and field on has sufficient moisture not just on the surface, but through the surface.

If you remember anything at all from this article, please retain this: the most important time for you to improve playability on your infield is not by watering the dirt before the game — it is the water you apply six, twelve, eighteen hours or more before the game. That is when you have the opportunity to thoroughly water the soil profile of the infield skin and saturate the dirt, while still allowing time for the top quarter to half-inch to air out and be firm enough and ready for quality play.

Somewhere along the way growing up, I knew to a degree that deep moisture on infields was a good thing. However, it was not until the 2002 season, when I went to work for the Los Angeles Dodgers as Eric Hansen’s assistant that I really began to appreciate the benefits of deep watering on infield skin areas. Southern California is certainly not the toughest place to grow grass, but maintaining a quality infield skin there is a unique challenge. The lack of significant rainfall, coupled with the strong sun during the baseball season, meant the quality of the infield skin falls squarely on the lap of the groundskeeper. I spent four seasons working for Eric, and my time there led me to strongly believe that a key to quality infield skin was never letting it completely dry out. While our maintenance activities on the turf always meant there would be a day or two after a home stand when the skin area would not get heavily watered, I still made a point of trying not let it totally crack under the baking sun. There were many hours I spent watering the infield dirt at Dodger Stadium late in the day, while the team was out of town… wonderful and quiet times in an empty ballpark. I found that starting a home stand was much smoother for us if the skin areas had been receiving thorough and deep water in the days leading up to our games.

I am not a soil scientist or someone who looks to quantify everything, but I am writing this based on years of experience and observation. How the infield skin looks at the surface to your eye is just one part of the equation. Whatever your infield dirt profile depth happens to be, ensuring that the dirt is moist all the way through that profile is a critical part of your success as a groundskeeper. Adequate moisture through the skin will act to reduce the hardness of the soil profile and lead to truer bounces and improved playability of the surface. I find it very interesting that the golf industry has really embraced the use of handheld soil moisture meters for turfgrass. If you are new to your field or have multiple fields, perhaps one of these devices can be beneficial to you in keeping track of your infield skin moisture. My personal situation is unique in that for the past twenty-two years I have always gone to work at a ballpark, and had only one field to keep an eye on. During the season I am there so much that between my eyes and a rain gauge I have an idea of where my infield skin moisture is. For those of you running complexes, or skipping around town to various parks within your area, tracking moisture content is certainly a huge challenge. If you have time to water infield skin areas heavily by hand, you have an opportunity to do great things. If you do not, consider the use of automated irrigation for infield skin areas. If this is an option for you, be sure to use high-speed heads that turn in double the time of a standard turf irrigation head. Those will be less of a problem in windy conditions.

Beacon Athletics has a fine selection of nozzles for you to consider for watering your field. When I water turfgrass, I generally prefer to get as much flow as I possibly can for interval watering. Syringing or cooling is a different consideration. When we water our dirt areas in Minneapolis, the area and weather situation will dictate the type of nozzle we use. For instance, watering batter’s boxes and the mound requires a finer mist that is easily controlled at your fingertips. Watering baselines means we like to have a nozzle that has a horizontal flow rather than conical, so that we water the dirt of the baselines but not the grass. Infield skin watering requires different nozzle considerations depending on time of day, weather conditions, and proximity to game time. The pre-game watering should just be a touch up, to ensure consistency. Hopefully in the hours leading up to the game you have adequately watered the skin, so that pre-game is not a time to play catch up on water distribution.

What about the weather? If you did not know, the National Weather Servicein your area is required to provide some type of Aviation Forecast under their Forecast Discussion tab every six hours. They also update an Hourly Weather Forecast in graph form quite regularly throughout the day. Between those two options, you can get a great picture of what your day can and will be like. In terms of your infield skin, you must look well beyond the chance of rain and potential amounts of rainfall. In addition to rainfall, the amount of sky cover, wind and dew points all play a big part in infield skin maintenance. Just over a week ago, I had a very interesting scenario going into a noon game. Reading the hourly weather graph the previous afternoon, I saw that in spite of cloud cover, the wind would be out of the North and the air was dry and cool. We went into game time at noon the next day with air temperatures in the mid 40’s, winds from the North at 5-10 mph, full cloud cover and a dew point of 22*F. I felt the field played really well that day, mainly because at 5 pm the previous afternoon I watered the infield skin really heavy to the point where there was standing water. I knew from the forecast that the dry overnight air would lead to a firm surface the next morning while the water slowly percolated down through the dirt profile. Certainly an odd situation for April 5 in Minnesota, but just an example of knowing what air and sky conditions can mean to a playing surface.

Dealing with days and games when rain is an issue is a critical part of our profession. If you expect a day or two out that you need to be ready to handle a rain event, a couple of things are important to remember. First, thorough moisture content all the way through your infield skin is a huge factor in having a field play well. When expecting rain, try and get a good, deep watering of the skin done two or three days in advance of the adverse weather. From there, you can work to dry out the upper quarter to half inch of your infield so it can handle some precipitation. The second point I want to make is that you want to be firm and tight with your dirt heading into a rain game. This does not mean bone dry and cracking. Instead you are looking to have enough moisture ahead of the game so you can roll the dirt with a lightweight roller to firm it up. From there you can add the calcined clay of your choice to improve traction and playability in the rain. My observations have lead me to believe that firm dirt with adequate, but not excessive, moisture will accept light to moderate rain better than dirt that is loose and bone dry. This is particularly important around the bases and in the base runners lead off areas. (Note: See Groundskeeper University for more about “Ways to Attack a Wet Infield“.)

We here at Beacon Athletics want you to find a way to get out and water your dirt… and we want you to enjoy it! I have one more experience that I would like to share. During my four seasons working for the Dodgers, we rarely played day games on any day but Sunday. My job now in Minnesota is a different story, as we move game times around quite a bit depending on the time of year or day of the week. I recall that during warm and sunny Sundays in Los Angeles, we had the potential of really drying out on the skin during the last few innings of those Sunday day games. In spite of that, we found that the ball would still bounce well on the skin — this is, if we had kept up all week with deep post-game soakings of the dirt after night games. The Friday night watering of the dirt at 11 pm was critical for Sunday’s playability. Knowing that post-game Saturday night would not be as heavy a watering going into a day game, we really pushed to apply a lot of water on Friday night. So we were considering weather and game times thirty-six or so hours in advance. It definitely mattered.

Just a few more thoughts: Short of absolutely flooding the infield dirt to the point of runoff, there is a technique to daily watering of infield skin areas. Even if you roto till your infield in the offseason, once your season gets going, areas where the players’ cleats work in calcined clay will hold more moisture than other areas. For instance, where runners lead off 2nd base tends to hold more water, as do the spots where the shortstop and 2nd baseman creep in to play at double play depth. The areas where the 1st baseman and 3rd baseman play back tend to hold more moisture as well. About three to four feet off all the edges will be firmer than other areas in the body of the infield dirt. This is partly due to your nail drag not working those spots in different directions, and also due to calcined clay not being worked in as much by cleats. So what is the point? Observe your dirt and water more thoroughly in the spots that dry out quicker. Think of the foul lines going past 1st and 3rd base. The first few feet inside the lines on the skin has a tendency to get real hard if you don’t really focus on putting water there. Water less in the spots that hold more moisture, like lead off areas and where infielders spend more time. If you have a low spot or two, remember to water around the low spot, not in it, as water will find a way to get there until you are able to address the grade. Most of all, just try and enjoy the onset of spring and the chance to be outside working on your fields, knowing that your fine efforts make will make kids of all ages veryhappy.

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 fall flag football league for 1st-4th graders coming to TBK complex !

DAVENPORT, Iowa –

The RedZone Football Academy League is coming to the Quad Cities! TBK Bank Sports Complex will host a flag football season for 1st-4th graders this fall. Registration is going on now. The first deadline for sign up is August 1.

RedZone Coach Tyler Blum, who started RedZone Football Academy in 2010 and is a former Iowa Hawkeye football player, joins PSL as an in-studio guest to talk about this exciting new, professionally-run flag football program being offered to young Quad Cities’ kids. The academy’s first flag football league was established in Iowa City. Blum has been conducting summer football camps in the Quad Cities for the last five years.

RedZone QC Flag Football League Sign Up HERE

REGISTRATION: $109 per child

  • All games are Wednesday nights (under the lights!) at TBK Sports Complex w/ 5:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. start times
  • Reg. season is Sept. 8-Oct. 6 Post-season games Oct. 13 (5-game regular season w/competitive, balanced scheduling)
  • Athletes can expect to be teamed with players from their school district, community, or region in the QCA
  • Players get a reversible NFL team jersey—theirs to keep.
  • Big games for EVERY team including an end-of-season “bowl” game.
  • This league offers professional administration, highly organized operation, & fast-paced action

ABOUT RedZone Football Academy & its programs: The mission is to encourage football players to chase their football dreams. They offer training programs to facilitate skill development, increase their knowledge of the game, use the sport to instill character, and inspire players to truly love the game.

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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 !]]

** “STAY SMART ** STAY SAFE” **

  • ** STAY HEALTHY **

McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission gears up to find sports complex manager !

sports complex rendering

PADUCAH, KY. — The McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission is getting ready to work with a $2 million budget in the upcoming fiscal year. It will be made up of surplus from this year and money from the transient room tax. However, it doesn’t currently factor in design costs for the outdoor sports complex. That’s because there has yet to be a signed memorandum of understanding between the city of Paducah and McCracken County to fund the project. It’s in the works, but it still needs to be approved by both governments.

Despite the slight hold up, the Sports Tourism Commission is moving ahead with finding someone to run the complex. The ultimate goal is to have the facility open and able to host tournaments in 2024.

“We’ve got to be able to have everything lined up perfectly for opening day,” McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission Chair Jim Dudley said.

A key step in getting to that point is sending out a request for qualifications, or RFQ, for a potential manager or management company. Dudley is eager to get that process rolling.

“We send those RFQs out to see, hey, who’s interested in this, one, and then what all do they do, what can they do for our facility? What kind of guarantees do they come with?” Dudley said.

bluegrass downs
The complex is set to take over the old Blugrass Downs site.

Their RFQ lists 14 sought-after qualities like tournament development, sponsorship sales and daily operations. They want the manager to step in and hit the ground running to allow the complex to hit its full potential early on.

“It’s not just ‘Get the thing built and people will come,'” Dudley said. “We’ve got to start advertising now. We’ve got to start booking tournaments now, because if you’ve ever been in travel ball, you know that you’ll start scheduling your tournaments out six months to a year in advance.”

Another hurdle to jump in the budget is getting that final design paid for and completed.

“We left a big contingency in there for the cost of design, because we haven’t seen that price yet. We’re still fiscally conservative, and we’re doing everything we can to be smart with the money,” Dudley said. “Transient room tax is starting to go up as we see tourism go up, so that’s a good sign for everybody.”

Once the memorandum of understanding is approved the final design process can move forward. From there, the commission can start submitting construction documents and work toward breaking ground on the complex.

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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” **

 

USSSA softball tournament brings 300+ teams — and money — to Delmarva !

USSSA softball tournament brings 300+ teams — and money — to Delmarva

Over the next three weeks, nearly 375 girls’ softball teams will make their way to Maryland’s Lower Shore as part of the United States Specialty Sports Association Eastern National Championships.

Held on Delmarva the past 15 years, the event brings in anywhere from $18 million-$20 million in economic revenue. Since 2007, nearly 3,900 teams have participated, generating a total economic impact of over $186 million, according to a news release.

The USSSA, which is one of the largest softball tournaments in the country, draws teams from up to 19 states and Canada.

The USSSA will welcome over 375 teams to Maryland's Lower Shore over the next three weeks.

The growth of the tournament is due in part to the Mid-Atlantic Amateur Sports Alliance, a formal sports marketing partnership between Wicomico and Worcester counties and Ocean City. MAASA was formed in 2014 to accommodate the growth of the Eastern National, which had expanded beyond Wicomico County’s borders.

“USSSA East and the MAASA partners worked for years to grow the Eastern National,”  Kristen Goller, tourism manager for Wicomico County, said in a release. “Because of the dedication from all sides, this event is now one of the largest fast-pitch tournaments in one location in the nation.”

READ MORE: New Chincoteague park will honor Brianna Merritt

MORE SPORTS: Parkside’s Michalski wins Coach of the Year: All-Bayside boys lacrosse selections

The schedule over the next three weeks is as follows:

The Eastern National is divided into three tournament weeks:

Week 1: July 13-18: 10U Open, 12U Open

Week 2: July 20-25: 14U Open, 14U B

Week 3: July 26-31: 16U Open, 18U Open, 18U B

Athletes who will participate in the USSSA softball tournament celebrate during the event's opening ceremony on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.

The Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex in Salisbury provides the main fields of play for the tournament, and other fields tentatively scheduled for use in Wicomico County include East Wicomico Little League, Eastside Youth Sports Complex, Mason-Dixon Sports Complex and WinterPlace Park.

In Worcester County, games are scheduled at Showell Park and John Walter Smith Park. Games will also be played at Northside Park in Ocean City.

In accordance with USSSA national guidelines, schedules will be released at the beginning of each tournament week and will be posted to the USSSA website. Tournament games are open to the public, with no admission fee charged.

For more information on the Eastern National, visit WicoSports.org.

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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” **

 

After nearly 16 months, Libertyville Sports Complex reopens !

Tammy Kerr, general manager for Canlan Sports on reopening day at the Libertyville Sports Complex.

Tammy Kerr, general manager for Canlan Sports on reopening day at the Libertyville Sports Complex. 

Libertyville, IL. – To thousands of motorists who pass each day on Route 45 or Peterson Road, the village-owned Libertyville Sports Complex looks much the same as in March 2020, when it was closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But a lot has happened behind the scenes, including the village’s exit from day-to-day operations. On July 1, it reopened as Canlan Sports, a Canadian-based business eager to revive the spacious facility and strengthen its brand in the suburbs.

Nick Mostardo, the village’s finance director, said Libertyville has been “more than impressed” with the professionalism and attention to detail shown by Canlan as the transition unfolded the past 60 days.

Changes in the look and feel of the facility are pending but are not considered major in the big picture.

New signage is coming. The concession area will be upgraded in terms of menu offerings and technology. The main entry reception area will be reworked.

No one had stopped early Thursday but plenty of people have been calling and emailing, according to Kerr.

“They’re just so happy we’re open and they can come back,” she said.

Canlan’s immediate goals in Libertyville are to introduce itself and let customers know they’re open. A social media campaign is underway and Canlan has been contacting past users from a list made available by the village.

The Lake Barrington and Libertyville indoor facilities are similar in size at 175,000 square feet and 169,000 square feet respectively but have different numbers and types of sports fields.

Canlan has an option to buy the Libertyville Sports Complex for $3.75 million anytime during its lease.

The arrangement was hailed by Libertyville officials when it was announced in April. The sports complex also includes a golf driving range/learning center and mini-golf course. Those elements have been closed, with separate sales for other uses in the works.

“The village remains committed to supporting the indoor recreational needs of its residents while simultaneously supporting Canlan’s efforts to create a long-lasting community enterprise at the sports complex,” Mostardo said.

The indoor portion broke even but the village has been transferring about $1 million a year to cover outstanding debt for the complex, which opened in 2002.

The debt is just under $13 million but is expected to be reduced by refinancing, Canlan rental payments and the eventual sale of the other two pieces.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

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 **

WAYS TO ATTACK A WET INFIELD !

101. Tools of the Trade

101a_overviewLike any craftsman, an athletic field groundskeeper relies heavily upon the tools he or she uses to hone their craft of maintaining ballfields. From basic tools like rakes and shovels to the more specialized tools like a level board or slope gauge, groundskeepers use a wide range of hand tools to accomplish their work with a varying attention to detail.

You probably have ideas of what some of these tools are used for. You may or may not be right. A seasoned groundskeeper will likely show you several other ways he or she has used that tool for groundskeeping tasks.

In this introductory module we take a look at some of the tools of the groundskeeper’s trade. Because these tools will be used in later modules, we’ll get you familiar with their names, their application, and their care.

102. Mound & Home Plate Care

103-intro_moundhome-bigSo much of a baseball or softball game involves the one-on-one battle between pitcher and batter. Every pitch of every game involves the mound and home plate area. Consequently, no areas on a ballfield see more wear. From the first pitch to the last out, players look for firm, stable footing in the mound landing area, the batter’s boxes, and catcher’s box areas. If daily maintenance of the mound and home plate areas is followed, your field will likely satisfy most players who use your fields.

In this module you’ll learn proper maintenance of mound & home plate areas.

103. Lip Management

103a_overviewWith 2 or 3 different surfaces, baseball and softball fields are unique. Anywhere the infield skin or warning track come in contact with turfgrass is where “lips” can form. If this happens, it is not only bad for playability, it affects proper drainage. As a result, many problems with an infield can be traced back to poorly managed lips.

In this module you’ll learn how to properly manage a lip.

 

104. Infield Skin Game Day Prep

104a_overviewIt’s all about the infield skin and how well it plays. That’s what it boils down to. The reputation of a groundskeeper at any level — big leagues included — is not determined by how beautiful their grass looks. It’s not determined by how fancy their mowing pattern is. Those are things the average fan watching a game will notice.

The players? They’ll remember an infield that is prone to bad hops or one that drains poorly, and that’s what ballplayers will be talking about amongst themselves.

Properly maintaining an infield skin is an art. The groundskeeper needs to truly know the “personality” of the skin. How will it react to varying weather conditions?

105. Moisture Management

105a_overviewMany groundskeepers fear water. But the reality is water is the lifeblood of a ballfield. We rely on water to help keep the infield soil as one cohesive unit, to provide a resilient playing surface, and to help reduce wear.

That’s right. Water is the key tool in reducing wear. Moisture and clay are the glue holding infield soil together. Without moisture, your field can become hard and unforgiving to the players. By simply adding a water line out to your field, you can apply water to the skin and drastically improve the quality of your playing surface. Moisture Management is an art form…

106. Creating Foul Lines

106a_overviewThere’s something about a well manicured ballfield. It captures the attention of players and fans alike. The geometry of the sport naturally draws the eye in. With each park having unique dimensions and it’s own flavor of the local scenery, there’s variation visually from park to park. But all parks are framed with the straight, crisp, and vibrant white of the foul lines.

In this module, you’ll see what goes into applying these lines.

107. Base Placement & Care

intro_baseA well-maintained ballfield has a smooth surface, both on grass and skinned areas. But in contrast stand the bases, protruding up from the smooth surface. One wrong step, one improper slide, and injury can occur. It is up to the groundskeeper to minimize that risk.

In this module you’ll see how frequent base inspection and base care — along with proper maintenance to the playing surface surrounding the bases — goes a long way toward reducing the risk of player injury. This module is presented in two sections with a couple pop quizzes along the way.

108. Rainfall Rescues

108a_overview“This would be the easiest job in the world… if it weren’t for that tarp.” That’s what Pat Santarone — Baltimore Orioles head groundskeeper from 1969 to 1991 — used to say. Luckily, most of you will never have to wrestle with a 175 foot tarp that can weigh up to a ton! That is definitely a job suited for fields with plenty of man power.

As a groundskeeper, rainfall can create some of your biggest challenges. Coaches, players, and league officials will lobby to get back on the field as soon as possible. Your job is to resurrect the fields after rains to bring them back to being safe and playable before allowing play on them. You’re faced with a balancing act. You need to work with the field and Mother Nature to get fields ready, while understanding people want to play as soon as they can.

In this lesson we’ll show you how to get ballfields back to a playable condition, and some preventative measures that will help lesson the effects of rain.

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* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

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Officials celebrate grand opening of The Bridge Sports Complex with ribbon-cutting ceremony !

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — The Bridge Sports Complex in Bridgeport kicked off its Grand Opening Weekend with a private event Friday evening, during which state officials, including Gov. Jim Justice, city officials and facility leadership were featured speakers.

Following a reception and VIP tours of the complex, City Councilman Dustin Vincent opened the evening’s ceremonies.

Justice said the community should be proud of all the phenomenal things happening in North Central West Virginia, including The Bridge Sports Complex.

“This facility is an accomplishment beyond belief,” he said. “I’ve been a coach for forever. I love kids beyond good sense, and what you’re doing right here will stimulate not only the growth and maturing of kids, not only will it give so much opportunity to kids, but it will drive your entire community.

“You will absolutely grow with this and prosper like you can’t imagine.”

Jason Clement, CEO of Sports Facilities Companies, said that in the firm’s 18-year history, he has worked with more than 2,000 communities that have had an idea to build a sports and event recreation center.

“Very few of those communities are able to pull something off. And even less of those, almost none, are able to pull something off as beautiful as this,” Clement said. “What makes Bridgeport different? Special? How did we arrive here today? We get to see a lot of communities, and, ultimately, I came up with two words: Leadership and wisdom.

“A lot of people think wisdom is just about being intelligent and smart, but it’s also really about knowing how to make the right decisions consistently. To arrive at this place today and in this facility, I am grateful for those that were in the room making those decisions — both the hard ones and unpopular. That leadership is what has gotten us here today.”

In a video presentation, Councilman Bob Greer said the sports complex was not only wanted, but needed.

“I think we are meeting some needs that have been in the community for a long time,” he said. “We have people from our community that travel every weekend to go and do something on a turf, play ball or swim. And we thought, ‘Well, why not turn that around and have them come here and fill our hotels and our restaurants on the weekends?’”

Mayor Andy Lang said the sports complex has been in the works for several years, noting the idea was born during a discussion about the need for an indoor walking track other than the mall.“We are very proud to have this facility,” he said. “This is for Bridgeport, for Harrison County and for North Central West Virginia. …This is for us, but it’s also for the next generation and the generation after that.

“We are a multi-use facility with room to grow, and this is really going to up the game for the way of life here in North Central West Virginia.”

Design work on the $60 million project began in 2017, according to officials.

State-of-the-art amenities for a variety of sports and fitness activities are among the facility’s offerings, including:

— A fitness center, elevated walking track, cardio and strength equipment, free weights and group fitness classes.

— A nearly 3,500-square-foot indoor turf field for year-round soccer, lacrosse and flag football, with retractable batting cages with pitching machines for baseball and softball.

— A 10-lane competition swimming pool and a recreation warm-up pool.

— Six hardwood courts suitable for basketball, volleyball and pickleball.

— An indoor “Clip n Climb” area, featuring over 30 indoor climbing walls and an auto-belay system.

— Meeting and event spaces, a cafe and concessions and an outdoor turf field.

   The Bridge is scheduled to hold an open house celebration from 9 a.m. to noon today, during which guests will have the opportunity to participate in competitions and try the Clip n’ Climb area and a free group fitness class.

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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” **

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The Bridge Sports Complex Announces Grand Opening !

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va,  — North Central West Virginia’s newest indoor sports and recreation center, The Bridge Sports Complex, will officially open its doors with a celebration later this month. The Grand Opening weekend will begin with a private event Friday June 25 and welcome the community to an open house celebration on Saturday, June 26th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

The evening of Friday, June 25th will feature a selection of speakers whose dedication to this six-year long project culminates with the ribbon cutting. Mayor Andy Lang and West Virginia state officials, as well as a representative from the complex operators, Sports Facilities Companies (SFC), will be among the distinguished speakers. Lang expressed his excitement last week. “We have been working toward this day for a long time. The Bridge is the result of collaboration within the entire community, and we are particularly grateful for the support of City Council over the past six years. We look forward to the continued support of the community as we extend our reach throughout all of North Central West Virginia and become a leader in sports tourism.”

The Saturday morning open house, which is open to the public, will take place from 9:00 AM12:00 PM. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in friendly competitions such as a 40-yard dash, Home Run Derby, and more. Attendees are welcome to try the Clip n’ Climb area as well as a free group fitness class. Lunch tickets will be provided to all attendees. Guests who complete all activities will be entered in a raffle to win a free membership.

About The Bridge Sports Complex

The Bridge, located in Bridgeport, WV, managed by Sports Facilities Companies (SFC), is the newest destination for all things sports, recreation, and wellness. With 156,000 square feet of courts, turf, aquatics, fitness, and more, The Bridge is the premium gathering space for sports, recreation, and wellness in North Central West Virginia. To learn more, visit thebridgewv.com.

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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 **

Bulldogs Sports Complex Nears Completion !

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The Binghamton, NY  Bulldogs joined our community in 2017 and since then team owner Jimmy Evans has worked to get the organization more involved with the community. The team’s latest project looks to continue that progress in a major way.

For the past 7 months, construction has been underway on the Bulldogs Sports Complex located at 1025 Robinson Hill Road in Johnson City. The facility will serve as the home court for the Binghamton Bulldogs. Out of the American Basketball Association’s 185 teams, this will make the Bulldogs the only one in the league with their own dedicated facility. Evans says this has been a dream of theirs since the Bulldogs started playing.

“We’ve been renting space in many different local schools and colleges and a lot of the venues can’t hold the fans that we get,” says Evans. “We really needed our own space to accommodate our growing fan base.”

The complex’s uses don’t stop there however. It will feature an NBA size court for the Bulldogs to play on, along with 2 high school size courts. These courts will be used for a variety of youth basketball programs from summer camps to clinics and training sessions. Evans says in the fall they will be launching 7 or 8 AAU teams and that they will be hosting tournaments often. He says it will be basketball around the clock.

“It really seemed like just the perfect option for me and what I enjoy doing,” says Evans. “I love giving back to the community, I love creating opportunities for people through sports. I think sports are a great way to channel energy as a kid and learn some values and responsibilities. And I think this complex will offer a lot of people that opportunity.”

Along with all the youth basketball Evans says they will be offering volleyball programs as well.

Evans says they already have basketball tournaments in the works for August and the Holiday season. The Bulldogs Sports Complex will be holding its first summer camp at the end of June, with the grand opening to the public planned for the end of July.

For more information you can visit their website, or their Facebook page.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

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 **