SportsTurf

June 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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IRRIGATION & DRAINAGE 16 SportsTurf | June 2017 www.sportsturfonline.com FIELD SCIENCE and deeper I simply just take the tractor out there and with the front bucket move the high areas into the lower areas and then try to touch it up with the leveling bars. Most of our fields are so flat it's fairly easy for me to eyeball, so I don't really ever rely on laser grading. David Presnell, CSFM, Gainesville (GA) City Schools: You should never sweep out a puddle. We try and just let them sit until they'll soak in. If you don't have that time then take a sponge or pump and remove the water. I like to mark the puddle and then come back and fill it in with clay. You can smooth and level it with a long board. I strongly believe in laser grading the skin every year to avoid this. Dave Anderson, Hempfield (PA) SD: One thing that baseball fields at all levels must deal with is wet weather. While professional fields are tarped and cared for by trained grounds people, the local community field rarely receives that kind of protection. If that's the case that field may be unplayable following a moderate to heavy rain. Since the game must go on, no matter what, volunteer coaches, parents, and sometimes players come out to attempt to dry the field. And while there efforts are commendable, the practices they use to dry the field can sometimes do more harm than good. One of the most common practices is to take a broom or rake and push away the water that has accumulated in low Editor's note: Many volunteers around the country manage infield conditions at local fields, often without much if any professional oversight. We asked some STMA members for advice for those less experienced in keeping baseball and softball skins safe throughout a summer. W e know sweeping out water from low spots can create a larger puddle the next rain. How do you repair low spots in infield dirt areas? Andrew Siegel, University of Texas-Arlington: The past few years we've run between 95-115 summer games in June/July. We don't sweep or squeegee wet spots. We may suck water with a shop vac or work in calcined conditioner. Joe Barr, Milton Hershey School, PA: The most effective practice to low spot repair is to be constant and persistent in maintaining the infield skin. During the season requires routine efforts of the high-traffic areas. I also know firsthand this is something that is a very difficult task for many of us managing multiple fields. In my situation there are just two of us. We prep 15 different playing fields for seven different sports. Patrick Jonas, CSFM, Charleston, SC: First, we avoid sweeping water from low spots, and instead use hand pumps to remove the excess water, then use absorbent puddle pillows to get the rest of the water. To repair the low spots I have a pair of leveling bars that I drag behind the tractor as often as I can. This technique works well for small low spots. If low areas get larger ALL PHOTOS BY PATRICK JONAS, CSFM KEEPING INFIELD SKINS SAFE THROUGH THE SUMMER Continued on page 18

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