The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Fan safety and player safety !

Lift & Tension Barrier Netting !

Founded in 1850, this small, well-regarded liberal arts college made a major investment in their facilities with the renovation of Tucci Stadium, home to their football, lacrosse and track teams. Among the larger aspects of the renovation project was the installation of new field turf as well as a new barrier netting system that would provide protection to the area around the field.Their primary goal was to contain stray lacrosse balls from every shot angle, so a 15-foot high inline lift & tension barrier system with 1-3/16″ square lacrosse mesh netting would give them the protection they needed, but also afford them the flexibility to easily take down and remove. The ability to easily adjust tension from the ground would also ensure very little sag between poles, while maintaining clean lines and the professional aesthetic they valued.

Maintaining Player Safety

University officials knew they needed an easy-up, easy-down system so the lift & tension method of raising and lowering would give them a trouble-free process for taking the nets down to enable off-season storage. However, another request involving take down needed to be addressed. They not only needed to be able to easily remove the netting panels, for player safety they also needed to have the option to completely remove the poles as well. The space is fairly tight between the corners and sides of the end zone and the surrounding track, so university officials wanted to be sure football players would not have any accidental collisions with the poles.

At Beacon, we routinely stress player safety as well, so we agreed this was an area that absolutely needed to be addressed. A customized solution included a hardware package that allowed the sides of the U-shaped design to raise and lower independently from areas behind the end zone. Employing aluminum poles set in ground sleeves would mean only two people would be needed to lift and remove the lightweight poles entirely, ensuring players would not be at risk when running through the end zone.

Seeing It Through

Helping and guiding our customers throughout the entire process is something we take great pride in. An investment like this is something we do not take lightly, and the size of the project alone can cause a lot of anxiety for our customers. From the designing phase to coordinating installation, we make sure the customer is empowered with everything they need to know throughout every step, including the option for onsite assistance.

Our focus on client education and making sure they understand every aspect of their netting system and best practices for using and maintaining it left a very positive impression on the athletic department at Illinois Wesleyan. Associate Athletic Director Tony Bankston explains: “Beacon walked us through every important detail that we needed consider and was very responsive whenever we had any questions. Our facility managers, coaches and student-athletes are all very excited about the results from the Beacon netting system.”

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