October 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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Page 48 of 51

www.spor 49 October 2017 // infill depth and surface hardness, it's imper- ative that the infill depth be measured regu- larly. An infill depth gauge costs about $30. Infill depth should ideally be at least 1 ΒΌ to 1 5/8 inches deep. Definitely no less than one inch in depth. Both ASTM and the Synthetic Turf Council recommend testing infill depth on the field in several locations, as well as inlays, painted lines, seams and high traffic areas like lacrosse creases. If the infill depth is less than 1 inch in depth, it can increase surface hardness. A second problem arises if the field is old and the turf fibers are worn down. If fibers are not long enough to top- dress, it's impossible to add more infill. This may have been the case in California. A third scenario I have encountered first hand, mostly in the urban environment, is that the fields get clogged with silt blown in from the local environment, particularly if there is construction nearby. The silt and other fine mineral particles can settle down in the fibers and create a hard compacted layer. This brings me to my last suggestion. About half way through the field's life, if Gmax readings are indicating a field hard- ness issue, it's possible to have a full depth renovation. This involves removing most of the infill, deep grooming and replacing with new infill. One company who does full depth renovation uses high-pressure air to blast the infill out, which is then vacuumed up. This procedure can generally lower the Gmax value by 30-40%. One example given was a Gmax of 176 lowered to 144. Given the age of the field in California, I don't be- lieve this would have been the most eco- nomical option, even if the turf fibers were in good enough shape and deep enough to accept infill, which I doubt. In summary, monitoring Gmax and infill depths and carrying out regular maintenance will prolong the life of the field and keep it safe for the athletes. At some point though, the field will still come to the end of its life, either by being worn out or by exceeding the Gmax limit. The goal then is to plan for that happening and to have a budget and a strat- egy in place so that it doesn't catch anyone by surprise. /ST/ Thanks to Don Follett, Senior Director of Field and Grounds at The Baltimore Ravens, and to Allen Verdin from The Motz Group for their insights. Photo of Brian Gimbel taking in- fill depth measurement taken by Pam Sherratt. Continued from page 50 Sports Turf Managers Association of Arizona: Colorado Sports Turf Managers Association: Florida #1 Chapter (South): 305-235-5101 (Bruce Bates) or Tom Curran Florida #2 Chapter (North): 850-580-4026, John Mascaro, Florida #3 Chapter (Central): 407-518-2347, Dale Croft, Gateway Chapter Sports Turf Managers Association: Georgia Sports Turf Managers Association: Greater L.A. Basin Chapter of the Sports Turf Managers Association: Illinois Chapter STMA: Intermountain Chapter of the Sports Turf Managers Association: Indiana: Contact Clayton Dame, or Brian Bornino, or Contact Joey Steven- son, Iowa Sports Turf Managers Association: Kentucky Sports Turf Managers Association: Keystone Athletic Field Managers Org. (KAFMO/STMA): Mid-Atlantic STMA: Michigan Sports Turf Managers Association (MiSTMA): Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association: MO-KAN Sports Turf Managers Association: New England STMA (NESTMA): Sports Field Managers Associationof New Jersey: Sports Turf Managers of New York: North Carolina Chapter of STMA: Northern California STMA: Ohio Sports Turf Managers Association (OSTMA): Oklahoma Chapter STMA: 405-744-5729; Contact: Dr. Justin Moss Oregon STMA Chapter: Ozarks STMA: Pacific Northwest Sports Turf Managers Association: Southern California Chapter: South Carolina Chapter of STMA: Tennessee Valley Sports Turf Managers Association (TVSTMA): Texas Sports Turf Managers Association: Virginia Sports Turf Managers Association: Wisconsin Sports Turf Managers Association: STMA Affiliated Chapters Contact Information Chapter Sponsors

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