March 2015

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.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 19 of 51

Field Science 20 SportsTurf | March 2015 P reparing fields for the spring each year is a challenge in a lot of regions within the United States. Several things can affect preparation for many teams in the northern regions as well as southern regions. Each year, baseball season comes around and is upon us before we realize it. Several things should be inspected and prepared at all facili- ties for all ages before conducting practices and games. The following is a checklist that has been used with much success in the past that covers all aspects of the facility: Field tarps: Infield tarps are made to protect the field from rain and excessive moisture lying directly on the infield skin. Sometimes, a tarp with a hole is worse than not tarp at all. Large holes can be repaired, but small, pinholes take time to locate in the lightweight tarps. In early spring, you can almost bet that you will be rolling out the tube and placing the tarp on the field. Inspect your tarp weeks before the season begins so there are no surprises of a large puddle on the skin before opening day. Field drainage: Standing water or saturated soils will most certainly delay practice and play. It is important that the field has sufficient internal drainage or surface runoff so the field can be made playable in a reasonable amount of time for spring and summer play. Internal drainage issues take careful consideration to what corrective action can be taken and still be ready to play in spring. Therefore, opening the area and applying drying agent with deep tine aeration and topdressing will relieve the problem to some degree, but must be addressed immediately following the season so recuperative time is allowed for a safe playing field. Perimeter conditions: Beautification of your facility is usu- ally one of the first impressions that will be made by spectators, coaches, players, and your own team. Having the surrounding areas groomed, maintained, and appealing will go a long way for the home team and give yourself and supporters pride in your job and facility. Irrigation systems and water supply lines: Many facilities throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and the upper Northwest drain the irrigation system lines due to the cold temperatures. Charging the irrigation system must be done slowly over a period of time so there is not so much force on the joints of the main line and lateral lines. A sudden increase of water volume and pressure can rupture water lines. In addition, any water that was remaining within the heads throughout the winter can some- times freeze and crack the irrigation head bodies. Each zone PreParing your baseball fields for Play this sPring ■ By Steve Peeler, CSFM laser grading can save money later on materials and maintenance. Corrugated pipe that has been used as a fence cap can crack, break, and display highly visible wear. Standing water or saturated soils will most certainly delay practice and play.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SportsTurf - March 2015