The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

100,000 Square Foot Sports Complex Proposed For Oak Creek, WI. !

The roughly 100,000 square-foot sports complex would be located at 7869 S. 13th St. near I-94 in Oak Creek.

Under the proposal, the Milwaukee Yard would be similar to the Naperville Yard and Westmont Yard in Illinois.
Under the proposal, the Milwaukee Yard would be similar to the Naperville Yard and Westmont Yard in Illinois. (Oak Creek Plan Commission Document)


OAK CREEK, WI — The Milwaukee Yard, a multi-purpose sports complex, is being proposed for Oak Creek near I-94.On Tuesday night, Feb. 25, members of the Oak Creek Plan Commission will be reviewing plans for a proposed 100,000 square-foot, two-story indoor sports facility with day care and commercial tenant spaces on a portion of the property at 7869 S. 13th St.

According to Oak Creek city documents, developer Bill Gust of HB Investments has submitted plans for the facility, which would be called The Milwaukee Yard.

Under the proposal, the Milwaukee Yard — similar to the Naperville Yard and Westmont Yard in Illinois — would provide indoor sporting and training facilities catering to soccer, baseball, football, lacrosse, and cheer leading.

City documents state that Milwaukee Yard would host for before-school and after-school activities, which is in addition to a full-service state licensed daycare facility provided on-site. The facility will also be available for various parties, leagues, tournaments, and similar events, records show.

Per the submitted floor plan, up to eight commercial tenants could be accommodated on the first floor of the building. No tenants or uses have been identified as of yet, city records show; however, uses could range from small-scale food/beverage operators to retailers and services catering to sporting needs.

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We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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www.sadlersports.com/soda

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“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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Panama City Beach Sports Complex hires new general manager NEWS !

Jamie Cox

“Cox is an experienced sports tourism industry leader, coming from the high-performing and award-winning Hoover Metropolitan Complex,” officials wrote.

“I am thrilled to join the talented team at Visit Panama City Beach and the Sports Complex. I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to building on the incredible momentum generated by the complex in pre-opening and in this first year of operation,” Cox said. “I am honored to work within the SFM Network and I look forward to building on the success and adding new events to the ‘World’s Best Beaches’.”

Cox joins the Panama City Beach team with 15 years of experience in the sports industry. Cox spent the last three years in Hoover, Alabama opening and making the Hoover Metropolitan Complex one of the highest performing sports venues in the country. Cox was instrumental in leading the business development efforts culminating in $50 million dollars in visitor spending to the region in 2019. He has also served as a Sports and Wellness Director for both the Atlanta and Birmingham YMCA associations.

“Jamie is an excellent addition to the team at the Sports Complex. We were impressed with his knowledge of the industry and successful booking statistics exhibited at Hoover Metropolitan Complex,” said President and CEO of Visit Panama City Beach, Dan Rowe. “We are confident in his ability to bring the same success to our complex and the Panama City Beach community at large.”

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

We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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

www.sadlersports.com/soda

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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How to Bind Up Your Mound & Plate Area Wear !

The mound and plate areas see the most action in a baseball or softball game and that is why they sustain the highest wear on a ballfield. To hold that wear to a minimum, many turn to the binding power of clay. The success of that strategy depends on three things:

  1. The quality of mound clay you use.
  2. How well it is installed.
  3. How well it is maintained.

DuraEdge ProLocFirst, let’s look at the selection of clay products Beacon offers to help you achieve your goal. We have 3 shredded bagged clay products and one unfired clay brick product. The unfired clay brick is used primarily in mound construction and renovation. It is normally not convenient to use for everyday repairs at the mound and plate. The advantage of the brick in construction and renovation is that the brick is already fully compacted so there is much less tamping and rolling involved vs using shredded bagged clay. Beacon offers the new and revolutionary DuraEdge ProLoc Mound Blocks. These unfired clay bricks are the standard 4″ x 8″ x 2-1/2″ size but the bricks have 10° wedge angles on the long sides of the brick. When placed snuggly against each other and tamped, the bricks meld together more easily because the seams overlap each other instead of butting up vertically against each other. The bricks quickly form a solid mass of clay with little or no seams or gaps once compacted in. The ProLoc bricks come in bags of 8 bricks with 38 bags on a pallet for a total of 304 bricks/pallet. The bags help to keep the unfired bricks properly hydrated before use.

Beacon AthleticsBeacon Athletics
We also carry all three of the bagged shredded mound clays offered by DuraEdge, starting with the DuraPitch Premium Mound Clay. This product typically has clay content in the mid 30 % range and is good for recreational and some High School fields. With the lower clay content in this premium product, it is best used where all rubber and plastic cleats are being used. Those types of cleats are typically blunt ended and can act like small tamps further compacting the clay areas. Subsequently these areas can get very hard and slippery, especially with real high clay content mound clay, so stick with the lower clay content mound clays for these situations.

Beacon AthleticsThe other two shredded and bagged mound clays are the DuraPitch Professional Mound Clay with clay content in the range of about 55-65% and the Blackstick black gumbo claythat has the highest level of bonding power of all mound clays on the market. Beacon AthleticsBlackstick is highly coveted by those who work at the professional level. Both of these clays do an outstanding job of limiting wear in the mound and at the plate from metal cleats. The better the moisture content, the less wear you will encounter. These two high-end clays are meant for college and professional levels, or any facility that has the manpower, knowledge and resources to manage these high-end materials. All of the shredded, bagged clays come premoistened and ready to use right out of the bag.

Beacon AthleticsNow, lets address proper use of these materials because if they are not being installed or maintained properly, any of these clays can fail in their performance. There are specific things you MUST do to ensure successful performance. Clay requires moisture as water is the glue that holds this soil together. For that reason, clay areas should always be covered when not in use. This means either a tarp over the entire mound and plate areas or, at the very minimum, hitting and pitching mats covering just the actual clay areas of the mound and plate. These are used to stop evaporation of water out of the clay while not being used. Whenever the clay areas are open, mother nature is sucking the moisture out of it. Depending on the weather, some days it’ll dry much faster than others. After the mound or plate areas have been open for games or practices, repair should occur at some point before the next use.

The basic steps for repairing clay are as follows:

  • Pull back loose topdressing and soils from the wear areas.
  • Cut down any visibly high areas and then finish by sweeping the holes clean.
  • Wet the sides and bottom of all holes and low areas enough to make the existing clay good and tacky.
  • Add new shredded clay to the low holes and low areas that you previously wetted.
  • Tamp down new clay, add additional if low. If new clay is too high, cut down with a sharpened iron rake.
  • Retamp after shaving down high spots, then proceed to rehydrate the entire clay area and allow to soak in.
  • Finish by recovering the area with existing or new topdressing and finish grooming.
  • Apply one final coat of water to the entire mound or plate area and cover with tarp or mats.

Beacon Athletics

Check your mound slope several times during the seasonwith a mound slope gauge to make sure you are filling all of the large shallow low spots and that you are not creating high areas where you have been regularly patching the worn clay.

By using top quality DuraEdge clay materials and routinely applying proper care of your mound and plate areas, you can provide your teams the best possible surfaces to hit and pitch from. For more tips on managing mound and plate areas, check out Beacon’s Groundskeeper University to further your crew’s knowledge of field maintenance.

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.

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We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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

www.sadlersports.com/soda

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“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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With new sports complex, Lincoln hopes to get into the game for big youth tournaments !

Progress Sports Complexes, 1.26

Basketball teams fill courts at Speedway Village during the No Zone Midwest Meltdown in January. The complex in southwest Lincoln has eight basketball or 12 volleyball courts.

Being smack dab in the middle of the country gives Lincoln an appeal like few other cities have, and that advantage, combined with the right facilities, could bring lots of youth sports teams into town.

“What we know is that sports organizers have wanted into the Nebraska market, the Midwest market, and are willing to create new tournaments to get into the market,” said Jeff Maul, executive director of the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau. “There are select- and club-level tournaments happening every day.”

In March, Lincoln will christen its third large sports performance facility when Kinetic Sports Complex joins the Lincoln Sports Foundation Sports Complex and Speedway Village as venues suited for tournaments.

“There are opportunities to collaborate with each other. Between LSF and Speedway, we could handle a pretty large soccer tournament,” said Dan Lesoing, president of LSF Sports Complex. “We have 15 fields, and with their outdoor fields, that would be 25 or 26 fields. It’s not that hard to get from here to there. People can stay downtown, and, from there, it’s 10 minutes to either site.”

LSF, formerly the Abbott Sports Complex, is in northeast Lincoln just off the interstate. Speedway Village is in southwest Lincoln, just a few blocks off the West Bypass. The new Kinetic Sports Complex is going up along West O Street, with easy access to the interstate and downtown Lincoln.

Sam Manzitto Jr., president of Manzitto, one of the developers of the project, said he expects Lincoln’s newest facility to make a difference. 

Lincoln sports complex
Work is going on to finish the interior of the Kinetic Sports Complex on West O Street so it can be open in March

“I do know when you get to tournaments with 300 teams, you need a lot of venues,” he said. “Our facility is not competition to other facilities in town. It just helps support the continued growth of youth sports.”

Manzitto said local club coaches will have a hand in the growth. Matt Cumro, the director of Supreme Court Basketball, will have his teams training at Kinetic and Speedway. Maggie Griffin, director of Volleyball Club of Nebraska, will also have teams based at Kinetic.

“Matt is already hosting three or four tournaments in Lincoln. Instead of hosting at four or five high schools and small venues, now maybe it would be just two venues,” Manzitto said. “Maggie only hosted one tournament and now has a real opportunity to grow and host six or seven.”

That translates to families from Nebraska with children playing on youth sports teams spending a weekend or two at home instead of traveling out of state. And families from other states spending weekends at Lincoln hotels, eating at Lincoln restaurants and filling their cars and SUVs with gas as local stations.

Cumro said he thinks the opportunities with the indoor facilities in Lincoln are wide-open.

“I think collaboration is the way we need to go if we want to attract larger tournaments,” he said. “We have the facilities, and it’s an attractive destination for larger events.”

Manzitto said Kinetic will also be open to other opportunities.

“All eight of our courts are wide-open, so it could be a venue where the city can attract other uses of the facility, not just sports,” he said. “Like a lawn and garden show or a quilting convention. The sky is the limit.”

Williams said basketball tournaments would be a good start, especially those events that draw college coaches to evaluate young players.

“I used to coach college basketball, and I think we have a way better chance to get to the forefront by luring an existing tournament,” he said. “When you build from the ground up, you have to compete with so many others and fit it. College coaches know their schedules and their routines and they are used to going to the same spots every summer.”

All of that will require coordination, which Maul said the Convention and Visitors Bureau can facilitate.

“The last thing a sports organizer wants to do is come in to 80% of perfect,” he said. “They want 100%. Parking, concessions, facilities. All have to be willing to work together.

The attractions in Lincoln and the location, with easy access from Interstate 80, I-29 and U.S. 81, are a big draw.

“Families are looking for new destinations. A lot of these tournaments are the vacation for these families,” Maul said. “They maybe never had the opportunity to come to Lincoln, but we know people have wanted into our area.”

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We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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

www.sadlersports.com/soda

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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Float Drags: What Drags to Own and 7 Useful Tips !

 

 

Float Drags: What Drags to Own and

7 Useful Tips !

One of the groundskeeper’s most important responsibilities in maintaining a ballfield is to ensure that the infield skin is firm, yet resilient, and that the surface grade is maintained properly so there are no low spots on the skin that will hold water from rain. The infield skin should have a consistent and smooth slope away from the infield in order to quickly surface drain rainwater off the infield. The slope is managed through the daily nail dragging and float dragging of the infield skin surface.Float dragging is the finishing portion of maintaining the infield skin surface. There are several different tools to use to give you a finished feel and look to the skin area. The common ones include the ever-popular steel mat drag, the cocoa mat drag, and the broom drag.

I’m often asked, “Which drag should I get?” The answer is somewhat complicated. The steel mat drag works on any type of infield skin. The cocoa mat drags and the drag brooms work best on topdressed or very sandy infields. But ultimately, I like to have both a steel mat and a cocoa mat or drag broom in my shed.

Why?

Because the steel mat drag I will use whenever I need to manipulate my infield material by moving soil from high spots to low spots. Then, on a topdressed field, I would also have the cocoa mat or drag broom in my shed for when I just want to hover over the infield skin to just smooth everything out without transporting any material around. It’s a small price to pay to have all your options available for maintaining your infield skin.

floatdrag1

    • Steel Mat Drag: This drag can be used in any type of soil. It is the only finish drag that will break up small soil clumps. Because of the way this drag is constructed, it transports infield material around because the steel mat drag must load up before it will drop off material. This can be used to a groundskeepers advantage to help cut down high spots and fill low spots.

floatdrag2

    • Cocoa Mat Drag: The cocoa mat should be used only on topdressed or very sandy infields. These drags are made using a dense stand of cocoa fibers embedded in a vinyl backing. Because these fibers are so dense, there is little if any transporting of infield materials. If you are towing one of these behind a vehicle, I highly recommend a leveling bar being attached in front of the cocoa drag to disperse any large piles of loose infield material or topdressing since the cocoa drag can’t grab it.

floatdrag3

    • Drag Broom: Just like the cocoa mat drag, the drag broom works best on topdressed infields and very sandy infield soils. They will not break up the soil chunks seen on heavier soil infields. Drag brooms hover over the surface, smoothing them out without transporting excess material.

7 Tips for Float Dragging

When actually float dragging the infield skin, keep these 7 tips in mind:

  1. If pulling your drag with a vehicle proceed slowly, especially when cornering, to avoid “bowling out” the skin area.
  2. Keep the vehicle towed drag at least 6 inches away from the infield skin edges. Use a hand drag to go along the edges. You will have more accurate control of the hand drag.
  3. Just like when nail dragging, float drag your skinned areas in patterns perpendicular to each other to insure a smooth playing surface.
  4. Start your float dragging in high areas (along the back arc edge of the infield or the 1st & 3rd base corners of a baseball infield) and finish in low spots (around bases and players positions) to help reduce low spots which lead to water ponding in rain situations.
  5. Use a leveling bar in front of a towed drag mat to grab piles of loose material and spread them out ahead of the drag mat.
  6. If hand dragging, walk a steady pace and don’t bounce your arm that you are pulling the drag with in order to avoid the drag bouncing and leaving ripples on the skin surface.
  7. When finished, use a sifting shovel to screen any contaminants (rocks, pebbles, sticks, grass clippings, etc.) from the spoils left at the end of the drag and follow up using a level board to evenly distribute the remaining spoils around the area.

By properly maintaining the surface grade of your infield you will reduce, if not eliminate, any problems you will face during rainy weather. Additionally, the infield skin will play more true for the players who scamper around your infield.

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”

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Plummer Family Sports Park set to open in March !

  •  Photo: Charles Bolinger|The Intelligencer

EDWARDSVILLE, IL.Plummer Family Sports Park will be ready for play next month.

After a year of construction, the grand opening of the nearly $13 million sports park is set at 4 p.m. Friday, March 27 and was announced at the end of Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The park was originally due to open in December but inclement weather pushed the date back to this spring.

Located at 7757 Goshen Road, between Ridge View Road and Interstate 55 on the city’s eastern edge, the 83-acre park’s first phase has six soccer/lacrosse/flag football fields, 12 pickleball courts and four junior (age 12 and under) baseball/softball diamonds. All of the diamonds and three of the fields feature synthetic turf. The other three fields will be seeded grass and will not be ready for play until this fall at the earliest; those fields will not have lights.

Other park features include centralized concession stands/restrooms for the ball diamonds, a pavilion with more concessions and restrooms for those using the fields and plenty of parking. As of last fall, city park staff said the park fields had been reserved for most of the 2020 season and groups had even inquired about 2021 but the city has been focused on this year.

Alderman Art Risavy asked about advertising opportunities at the park, particularly for Edwardsville’s restaurants and shops, to help prevent visitors from driving to Troy or other areas to dine and shop. Alderman Craig Louer asked about partnering with Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau on an advertising and tourism campaign.

Tingley said a park component will inform visitors of nearby places to eat and visit. Mayor Hal Patton mentioned possibly using space on park scoreboards for discount-rate ads featuring local small businesses.

Future park features include four additional junior baseball/softball diamonds, four adult baseball/softball diamonds in the rear of the park, a fieldhouse, a second Goshen entrance and exit plus more parking. There will also be a 3.5-acre area designated as community park space. When or if the second phase is constructed depends on usage and demand for the first phase.

City officials also plan to extend Sports Park Drive north until it meets Route 143 near Blackburn Road. That extension would become the park’s main entrance and the backbone of what it hopes will be developments that cater to park visitors and their families — restaurants, hotels, gas stations, etc. One of the park’s goals is to attract leagues and championships so that teams are in town for consecutive days.

Patton said Devin Gray, the city’s information technology director, has been working on getting security cameras for the park and determining where additional fencing is needed.

“We really want to see this facility functional and used for the benefit of the entire community,” Patton said.

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We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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

www.sadlersports.com/soda

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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Choosing Float Drags for Your Infield Skin !

Choosing the right float drag for your infield can be confusing. Actually, it’s smart to have different types of float drags on hand so you are properly equipped for your dragging duties no matter what the conditions are. All of the float options below will leave a nice professional finish on your infield skin. To help you understand what combination of float drags may be best for you, we have assembled the following summary listing the benefits and uses of each drag.


Steel Mat Drag

Beacon Steel Mat Drag

  • Excellent for any type of infield skin surface
  • Able to pulverize soil chunks
  • Helps to “screen out” small rocks and pebbles on infield surface
  • Can help to cut down high spots and fill low spots
  • If using one large enough to tow, it is suggested to add a drag bar ahead of the drag to help redistribute any soil or topdressing piles on the infield surface

    Rigid Steel Mat Drag

    Beacon Rigid Steel Mat Hand Drag

    • Terrific for in-game dragging
    • Works well with any type of infield skin surface
    • Will pulverize soil chunks
    • Helps to “screen out” small rocks and pebbles on infield surface
    • Can help to cut down high spots and fill low spots

      Beacon Pro Rigid Steel Mat Hand Drag

      • Only for use with infield skins that have a topdressing layer on the surface
      • Reduces the amount of material transported within the drag mesh
      • Great option for in-game dragging

        Beacon Cocoa Mat Drags

        • These are the best drags to use in a damp or somewhat wet infield skin situation
        • Should only be used on topdressed infield surfaces
        • Does not transport infield soil, so there’s no big pile left at the end of the drag
        • If using one large enough to tow, it is suggested to add a drag bar ahead of the drag to help redistribute any soil or topdressing piles on the infield surface
        • Smaller cocoa mats/mops are excellent for in-game dragging

          Drag Broom

          • Works best on infields that have a topdressing layer on the surface as this tool will not pulverize soil chunks
          • A good option when infield conditions are damp or somewhat wet
          • Lightweight tool makes it a great choice for in-game dragging

            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.

Bradley’s New Vergeâ Soap Dispenser and Faucet Sets Harmonize and Elevate Washroom Aesthetics !

Bradley’s New Vergeâ Soap Dispenser and Faucet Sets Harmonize and Elevate Washroom Aesthetics !

MENOMONEE FALLS, WIS., (February 14, 2020) — Bradley Corp., the industry leader in providing state-of-the-art hand washing solutions, introduces a new line of matching Vergeâsoap dispensers and faucets. These complete sets offer cohesive and striking designs that further enhance the sophisticated look of Verge washbasins and work seamlessly with any other basin.

With advanced sensing technology for reliability and durability, the Verge soap and faucet pairs come in an industry-leading collection of four styles and six popular finishes that help achieve every designer’s vision. With the most models, finishes and advanced features available, these versatile sets provide the perfect finishing touch to every commercial washroom

“Specifying the Verge family of soap dispensers and faucets harmonizes designers’ looks and adds a beautiful and unified design element to washbasins,” says Laura Stang, senior product and portfolio manager, Bradley Corp. “Whether the sets are mounted on Verge washbasins or other models, because they are universally designed, the pairing of these fixtures makes an elegant and coordinated design statement.”

Verge Soap Dispenser and Faucet Designs Go Hand in Hand

Notable features for both the Verge soap dispensers and faucets include hidden sensors to deter tampering, optimized sensing to eliminate false activations, longer spouts for increased hand washing space, and cast brass spout construction with popular and environmentally friendly PVD finishes.

Verge soap dispensers are designed with the industry’s widest range of top-fill options and feature a smart sense system with LED light indicators that display low soap and battery. An audible and visual alert system guides refilling to avoid soap overfilling or spilling. The dispensers use universal bulk soap in foam and liquid options.

For high-traffic applications that use multiple hand washing stations, a top fill multi-feed soap system supplies soap up to six dispensers at once. The system includes a translucent ring that illuminates when the tank begins to run low on soap or power.

Verge faucets have a patented dual sensor technology that provides the most accurate activation while optimizing battery life. With a selection of four new touch-free styles, Verge faucets have multiple low-flow options to match water savings preferences and multiple run time options to fit the application.

To minimize germ build-up, the faucets’ auto-flush feature flushes the water line every 24 hours. A manual valve override feature is available for longer water flushing.

Finish options for Verge soap dispensers and faucets include Polished Chrome, Brushed Black Stainless, Brushed Nickel, Brushed Stainless, Brushed Brass and Brushed Bronze. Style selections include Crestt, Linea, Metro and Zen, with universal designs that range from elegant to sleek to organic to complement any restroom design.

For more information, visit www.bradleycorp.com/verge-soap-and-faucet.

For almost 100 years, Bradley has created the most complete and advanced commercial washrooms and comprehensive solutions that make industrial environments safe. Bradley is the industry’s leading source for multi-function hand washing and drying fixtures, accessories, partitions, solid plastic lockers, as well as emergency safety fixtures and electric tankless heaters for industrial applications. Headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wis., USA, Bradley serves commercial, institutional and industrial building markets worldwide. For more information visit https://www.bradleycorp.com.

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We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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

www.sadlersports.com/soda

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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

How to Avoid Problems with your Chalk Flow !

How to Avoid Problems with Chalk Flow. !

Field marking dusts, or chalks, are generally created using ground calcium products. These limestone-based materials are located in deposits all over the continent but were formed differently depending on location. In the mountainous regions along the east and west coasts, the limestone deposits were subjected to tremendous heat and pressure during formation. The result is a metamorphosed limestone commonly known as marble. Limestone deposits formed between the two mountainous regions, in the central part of the continent, usually will be softer material formed by a sedimentary process.Differences in particle size, shape and hardness of these two different materials dictates the brightness and flow properties of these ground materials. One common denominator with these products is when they are ground, the particles all have fairly angular surfaces.

It is this angularity that causes the materials to interlock and bind up in your chalker’s hopper. The result is bridging and that means a reduced flow through the dry line marker. When the chalking material is poured into the hopper, air is also introduced and that fluffs the material a bit so it flows better. As the marking machine is moved along, the vibration slowly settles and out goes the air the fluff… and that’s when the particles begin their interlocking. The particles become tighter and tighter and that compaction in the hopper is why bridging occurs. This can explain why your lines are inconsistent and there are noticeable gaps or thin spots. That’s not good.

The best way to reduce this problem is to only pour enough material into the hopper that is needed to line that field. Filling your hopper next to the field you will be lining is also a smart strategy. This reduces the bumpy travel across grass and fields that can exaggerate the vibrations of your chalker. The Streamliner itself is also on your side when it comes to better chalk flow. Its flexible brush agitator in the poly hopper helps improve chalk flow to deliver steady chalk distribution.

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”

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

10 Tools Ballfield Groundskeepers Should Be Using !

With more than 30 years as a groundskeeper, including 15 years serving as the head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, a lot of people ask me, “what are your favorite day-to-day tools?”

There are many tools one uses often many times in a single day, but there is no one single answer. To give you an idea of what other groundskeepers use, I am proud to present Luke Yoder, former head groundskeeper for two different MLB teams (the Pirates and the Padres). Luke is now the Senior Vice President of Business Development for DuraEdge, the leading manufacturer of engineered infield soils for all levels of maintenance and play along with mound clays and blocks, infield topdressings and conditioners.

Luke recently took some time to explain some of his favorite hand tools to use when grooming ballfields in this video:


Most of these tools are available through Beacon Athletics.

  1. Soil Probe: This handy tool is something every field manager should own. It’s inexpensive and is used for checking soil moisture levels in turf or in infield skins. It can also be used for monitoring turf thatch levels, turf root health, insect activity, and turf dry spots.
  2. Field Scout Hand-Held Digital Moisture Meter: This tool is a more quantitative way of checking your infield skin’s soil moisture. In-fact, Luke mentions the percentages you will want to monitor for to know when to apply more water to your infield skin for optimum surface performance on a DuraEdge engineered infield soil. It’s a pricey tool, but for those who really want to be dialed into their infield skin and its moisture content, the accuracy of the Field Scout will show how their infield skin surface responds to various weather conditions.
  3. Adjustable Weight Nail Drag: The video shows an older model of this Beacon workhorse nail drag. The newer, redesigned 2020 model now has 4 rows of hardened steel nails for an even finer textured scarification of your infield skin. It is much better balanced and now has the capacity to hold up to 9 Beacon Field Weights for adjusting equipment pressure for optimum infield skin penetration. Tip: Hook a float drag to it for an all-in-one infield skin groomer.
  4. The 24” & 36” Double Play Rake: The best of both worlds here with the standard long tooth rake on one side of the head and the shorter and sharper short tooth rake on the opposite side. The long tooth is good for the real “bull” work of rough grading and general raking and sifting of spoils out of the soil. The short teeth are great for fine grading and finish work.
  5. Flexible Steel Mat Drag with Leveling Bar: Flexible steel mat drags have been around almost for as long as baseball has been. These mats can pulverize small soil clods, smooth infield skins and even drag in aerification cores and topdressings into turfgrass. The Leveling Bar, when mounted ahead of a finish drag, will do the bulk of the dirty work, shaving down medium to large piles of infield soils and topdressings and helping to level and redistribute them ahead of the drag.
  6. The 4’ & 6’ Pro Rigid Steel Mat Drags: Although not the ones pictured in the video, Beacon manufactures a similar design that provides the same end results.  Beacon utilizes plastic lumber as a lead bar to stiffen the steel mat.  The mat is elevated off the ground on the lead side of the drag mat so that only the tail end of the mat makes contact with the skin.  This drag is especially beneficial when finish dragging topdressed infield skins as it displaces (transports) a minimal amount of material when in operation compared to standard steel mat drags.
  7. The 30″ & 48″ Lute Rake: There are lots of different lute rakes available on the market, but the key to this lute rake is the curve in the rake head. That simple improvement over the other flat lute heads improves its ability to pull larger amounts of soil on the flat edge side without excessive operator fatigue.  The curve also improves the performance of this tool for back raking wet infield skins on the serrated edge, especially those using infield topdressing.
  8. Level Board: The level board is the best fine hand grading and leveling tool available for groundskeepers. The stainless-steel reinforced edge ensures a strong cutting edge while the relief angle on the back of the level board head allows the tool to float on the surface more easily than the back of any metal rake.  The 54” wide head improves grading and leveling on large areas.  Operate it in much the same manner as a road grader operates its blade.
  9. Sweet Spot Tamp: There is no other tamp quite like the Sweet Spot. The articulating head on this tamp ensures that the full power of every thrust of this tool will be delivered onto the mound or home plate clay surface.  The interchangeable heads provide versatility to the groundskeeper allowing him/her to choose the tamp head plate of their choice that will most effectively complete the job.  The dampening system in the handle of the Sweet Spot eliminates the body jarring vibrations for a much-improved ergonomic experience for the operator.  It makes tamping fun!
  10. Scuffle Hoe (Hula Hoe): Frequently used during edging projects on the infield or warning track edges. This hoe is also a good non-chemical weed control tool if you catch them coming up in your warning track or infield when they are young. The scuffle hoe is also useful in shaving down high spots in the clay areas on mounds and batter’s boxes provided that the clay is soft or moist enough to penetrate.  If too dry, simply moisten deeply and let stand for a while before shaving the high spots.

A quick note to go with what Luke has to say about “Bolt” drags for infield scarification.  Bolts are a more aggressive scarification tool that leaves behind a coarser textured infield when used.  If these are used for day-to-day game day prep, you may have to deal with a “washboard” effect because of the coarse ridges and valleys left by the bolts. This is why daily nail dragging should be performed by a unit that uses nails to cut a finer textured furrow in the soil.  These will not affect ball roll.  Save the “Bolt” drag for renovation or warning track work.

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”

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