February 2017

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 EPG Media & Specialty Information 10405 6th Ave. N., Ste 210 Plymouth, MN 55441 The Official Publication Of The Sports Turf Managers Association SALES REPRESENTATIVES Chris Pelikan Senior Account Manager - East Phone: (763) 383-4408 Peggy Tupper Senior Account Manager - Midwest Phone: (763) 383-4429 Leslie Palmer Senior Account Manager - West Phone: (763) 383-4460 EDITORIAL Group Publisher: David Voll Editorial Director: Eric Schroder Technical Editor: Dr. Joey Young Art Director: Jean Blackmer Production Manager: Karen Kalinyak SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES Phone: (847) 513-6025 Fax: (763) 383-4497 REPRINTS Robin Cooper GROUP PUBLISHER David Voll DIRECT MAIL LIST SALES MeritDirect, Jim Scova Phone: (914) 368-1012 6 SportsTurf | February 2017 7 TRENDS FOR 2017 Eric Schroder Editorial Director 763-383-4458 B y the time you read this I will have experienced STMA's Annual Conference and so I reserve the right to change my mind but as of this writing, here are 7 topics that I think will be interesting to follow through 2017: Social media & networking. I rant and rave but there's no "peak screen" ceiling approaching any time soon—we are addicted to our devices. Most of our employers want a digital presence, so if you're not using social media now, chances you will be soon are rising fast. Professionalism. Directly relating to my first trend is promoting, protecting and strengthening "your brand." Remember that what's posted online is out there forever so choose wisely! Seeking to enhance their personal brands, more turf managers than ever before are becoming certified and attending field days, continuing ed programs and other learning opportunities. Fewer "Green" regulations—or not. Will federal and/or state government agencies change some rules, for example regarding pesticide use or water restrictions, reflecting the current anti-regulation mood, or is the Green movement too strong? Research on playing surface characteristics. Our data-driven world increasingly looks for demonstrable evidence before making decisions. Currently several major universities have turf surface research facilities and those, along with many excellent turf programs at schools large and small, usually need support to continue their work. I think it's worth noting if and how specific research is being funded, both to congratulate the sponsors and for the sake of transparency. I hope the work on injury prevention and other safety concerns continues, and that sponsors investigate how they might give wisely to the industry. $upport is needed! While we're on campus, let's check out the turf student population. The past few years have seen mixed results at least anecdotally; I've heard good news and bad news about the health of various programs around the country. Athletics in the USA, like taxes, aren't going away and I believe the job market will continue to be strong for turfgrass program graduates. But the fact that golf pays more, especially for younger folks, is an important issue that continues to affect job prospects. Replacing and maintaining synthetic turf. Even assuming the large majority of synthetic turf fields installed in the past decade have performed as advertised, the oldest among them are at or nearing their end of life and need to be replaced. How facilities manage these replacements is an emerging trend; lately a few high-profile venues are even going back to natural turf though not nearly enough to name it a trend. And effective maintenance of synthetic fields, especially hardness testing, will hopefully become normal. You can't install 'em and forget 'em. Unplugging. While we're still a minority I would guess, those among us who choose purposefully to shut off our devices in favor of real face time with family and friends is a something I'd like to see become a big trend. If even for short durations daily, not checking in on social media, emails, etc., can be a beneficial break for your sanity not to mention your health. Put it away and enjoy the peace!

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