SportsTurf March 2011

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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From the Sidelines Eric Schroder Editor 717-805-4197 SportsTurfTu 1030 W. Higgins Road Suite 230 Park Ridge, IL 60068 Phone 847-720-5600 Fax 847-720-5601 The Official Publication Of The Sports Turf Man- agers Association Averting another tragedy L ATE IN JANUARY a 9-year-old boy died in Missouri after a soccer goal fell on him. At least eight other youngsters have perished the same way in the past 10 years, a fact I learned from a Google search—and those were found on just the first page. Here is an open letter written by Jody Gill, CSFM, CPSI, Grounds Coordinator for Blue Valley Schools in Missouri, being circulated by the STMA: Many of us are dealing with high school, college and professional athletes who are gener- ally going to use equipment, such as soccer goals, as they are intended to be used. Those of us who are responsible for elementary school facilities and equipment need to be especially aware that elementary age children are unpredictable and have not yet developed common sense that would cause them to stop and think before climbing onto or hanging from a structure such as a portable soccer goal. Most of us were taught the concept of defensive driving as a way to anticipate the actions of other drivers and hopefully prevent the collision from ever happening. As Professional Sports Turf Managers, especially at the elementary school level, we must adapt the defensive driving concept to our field safety programs. We must anticipate the unpredictable actions of children. They are not always going to follow the rules and we cannot expect them to use common sense. It is our job to anticipate their actions and provide them a safe environment whether at recess on the playground or during football practice after school. Whether on multi-purpose fields or soccer specific fields, it makes sense to use portable soccer goals so we can move the goals around the field to spread the wear and tear on the grass. Preventing tipping of the goals should be a top priority. There are many tools and methods commercially available to anchor goals. We have addressed this by using four earth auger anchors per goal to keep the goals secured to the ground. We also use chain and a pad- lock on each anchor so the goals cannot be removed from the anchors and to prevent goal relocation by anyone other than my staff. Occasionally the anchors can work loose especially after freeze/thaw cycles. As the snow melts, we will be relocating the goals again and re-an- choring them to get ready for early spring use. You should make sure that school staff such as teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians, etc. are aware of the anchoring procedures and en- courage them to inspect them daily and report missing or loose anchors. Additionally, we use only 12-foot wide, all-aluminum goals at all of our elementary fields. These goals are very lightweight so if these goals tipped the chances of a serious injury is greatly reduced. There are many different soccer goal manufacturers who provide very lightweight, high quality goals. Remember though, even the lightest goal must be anchored. I know that school budgets have been squeezed to the breaking point. There are many other ways to seek funding for safer goals and for field maintenance needs including school PTA/PTO, local businesses, neighborhood associations, neighborhood garage sales, advertis- ing on school fences, etc. The point is we must use our skills, knowledge and every other available resource to make sure accidents like the one the killed little Jonathan never happen again. 6 SportsTurf | March 2011 PRESIDENT: Troy Smith, CSFM IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: Chris Calcaterra, M.Ed., CSFM, CPRP PRESIDENT-ELECT: James Michael Goatley, Jr., PhD SECRETARY/TREASURER: Martin Kaufman, CSFM VICE PRESIDENT-COMMERCIAL: Chad Price, CSFM PROFESSIONAL FACILITIES: Allen Johnson, CSFM HIGHER EDUCATION: Ron Hostick, CSFM K-12: Mike Tarantino PARKS & RECREATION: David Pinsonneault, CSFM, CPRP ACADEMIC: Pamela Sherratt COMMERCIAL: Rene Asprion AT LARGE: Jeff Fowler, AT LARGE: Jeff Salmond, CSFM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Kim Heck STMA Office 805 New Hampshire Suite E Lawrence, Ks 66044 Phone 800-323-3875 Fax 800-366-0391 Email Editorial EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Charles Forman EDITOR Eric Schroder TECHNICAL EDITOR Dr. James Brosnan ART DIRECTOR Brian Snook PRODUCTION MANAGER Karen Kalinyak EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Richard Brandes STMA Editorial Communications Committee Jim Cornelius, Chad Follis, Dale Getz, CSFM, CSE, Jody Gill, CSFM, Brad Park, Greg Sacco SportsTurf (ISSN 1061-687X) (USPS 000-292) (Reg. U.S. Pat. & T.M. Off.) is published monthly by m2media360, a Bev-Al Communications company at 1030 W. Higgins Road, Suite 230, Park Ridge, IL 60068. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Sportsturf, P.O. Box 2120, Skokie IL 60076-7820. For subscription information and requests, call Subscription Services at (847) 763-9565. Subscription rates: 1 year, $40 US & Poss.; 2 years, $65 US & Poss.; 1 year, $65 Canada/Foreign Surface, 1 year, $130 Airmail. All sub- scriptions are payable in advance in US funds. Send payments to Sportsturf, P.O. Box 2120, Skokie, IL 60076-7820. Phone: (847) 763-9565. Fax: (847) 763-9569. Single copies or back issues, $8 each US/Canada; $12 Foreign. Periodicals postage paid at Park Ridge, IL and additional mailing offices. COPYRIGHT 2011, SportsTurf. Material may not be re- produced or photocopied in any form without the written permission of the publisher. Member of BPA Worldwide.

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