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: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/77829
Facility&Operations | ByMary Helen Sprecher Getting your field markings right TIMES WERE, the grounds crew re-lined the field as necessary. Translation? In warm weather, with sufficient rain and heavy play, someone might have to go out there every few days, if not more often, with a line marker and chalk powder. And if you were talking about a field that was used for multiple sports, frequent re-lining was a given. The development of line paint and equipment made it possible to do the job in less time, but as grass grew and received wear from a variety of sports, re-marking the fields remained a big part of the work. And as land for fields became increasingly scarce, school fields (as well as park fields, camp fields and more) began to get in- creased use. By the end of the season, crews often found themselves marking mostly dirt. The advent of synthetic fields has cre- ated ever-increasing efficiency, allowing fields to host more sports without resting, seeding or sodding, and save time by (a) being ready for play after a rain and (b) not needing re-lining. Or does it? As it becomes the norm for fields to host a variety of sports, it becomes necessary for them to have a variety of markings. After all, one facility may see ath- letes take the field for football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and more, each fea- turing its own dimensions and markings. Even within specific sports, there can be variations in size between men's and women's fields (or on the high school level, boys' and girls' fields). So how is it possible >> HIGH POINT UNIVERSITY; photo courtesy of Medallion Athletic Products, Mooresville, NC to mark the field without it taking on the "gymnasium floor" look? Part of the advantage of synthetic turf is the ability to have lines and markings inlaid when turf is installed. But how to balance the needs of multiple sports? Prioritize, say builders. It's as simple as: 1) deciding which sports will be played, and 2) deciding which sports will be played the most often. For the sports played the most often, choose lines that have the greatest contrast to the turf; in other words, if soccer is the dominant sport, choose white lines for de- lineation. If football is the second most popular, go with yellow there. Other sports should use more muted colors, such A field contractor can work with you to decide upon markings and colors that work for you. The ultimate goal is to allow players and officials to have a clear sense of boundaries at all times. 26 SportsTurf | August 2012 www.sportsturfonline.com