On a Firm Footing: New Methods for Sports Turf Managers to Ensure Good Field Conditions

By Beard, Elizabeth | Parks & Recreation, March 2011 | Go to article overview

On a Firm Footing: New Methods for Sports Turf Managers to Ensure Good Field Conditions


Beard, Elizabeth, Parks & Recreation


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

With 86 playing fields at 48 sites, not to mention 20 lawn areas and 6 clay tennis courts, Sports Turf Manager Vince Henderson with the Henrico County, Virginia, Division of Parks and Recreation would seem to have his hands full.

"If I had to, I could actually drive to every site that I have in the county in a day, but I couldn't get out of the truck and look at them all," Henderson chuckles. Yet for his most heavily used sports fields, Henderson can tell you exactly what their conditions are like, because he uses a tool called the "Playing Conditions Index" to track their usage and condition before each sports event.

"It's a way to assess your fields so that you could convey that message to the media and to your user groups to tell them the condition of the field," Henderson explains. "It's a good systematic approach to make sure that you're seeing everything that you should see and you're taking into consideration all of the different factors that may play a part in what kind of condition that field is in."

The Playing Conditions Index (PCI) was developed by the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) to assess the playability of athletic fields used for everything from youth soccer to professional football at any given moment in time, according to Certified Sports Field Manager Dave Pinsonneault, CPRP, operations manager for public works in the Town of Lexington, Massachusetts.

"You can look at a field that might look perfectly green but once you start playing on it, it doesn't have deep roots and the turf is ripping out," Pinsonneault says. "We really want to promote getting a sound, playable, well-maintained surface. That's really the goal and if it looks good after that, that's great. You want to make sure you're doing what you can to provide that firm footing when you need it and the give when you need it on a field."

The PCI is relatively new and still being tried out by experts in the field. It consists of a three-page worksheet, available to STMA members on their website, with questions about long-term issues such as what the field is used for and the extent of field turf manager's experience, as well as short-term questions such as when the field was last used and how much rain has fallen in the past 48 hours (see accompanying article, "Key Variables"). The field is then rated as "excellent," "above average," "average," "below average," or "unplayable." Although use in the field is still limited, Pinsonneault hopes that as use grows the index will be adapted and evolve to meet users' needs.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"You're able to convey to the people you work for that here's the condition of the field and here's why," says Henderson in Henrico County. "That might help you as far as getting additional funds to get the field back in the condition that it needs to be in, or, on the other side, maybe that will help you with scheduling of that field."

The PCI can also assist with three growing challenges in sports turf management: environmental stewardship, cost efficiency, and safety for both participants and maintenance staff. Henderson explains that the PCI can be used as justification for fertilizing--or not fertilizing--particular fields. His agency has been conscious of fertilizer usage for decades due to its location in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Investments in fields and maintenance structures can lead to future savings in the use of water, fertilizer, and pesticides, as well as to a higher PCI and more playing time for athletic fields, according to Pinsonneault. Rather than building the field on native soil (often filled in with construction debris from building schools or other projects), sports field managers are bringing in "manufactured" soil with a high sand content that allows for good drainage, deeper root zones, and quicker recovery after ram events. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

On a Firm Footing: New Methods for Sports Turf Managers to Ensure Good Field Conditions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.