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New ASTM Guide Covers Repair of Sports Fields

A new ASTM standard advises on the intricate repair of worn athletic fields.

ASTM F 2107, Standard Guide for Construction and Maintenance of Skinned Areas on Sports Fields, covers ruts, holes, and worn areas of natural fields pummeled by sport and weather. It covers repair of natural turfgrass, sand, gravel, crushed stone or brick, soil, and clay.

“If this standard is applied, both the playability and safety of the field should be improved,” said subcommittee chairman Donald V. Waddington, Ph.D., professor emeritus of Soil Science at Pennsylvania State University.

Better maintenance of skinned areas can decrease game delays and risks to players and organizations. “When fields are properly built and maintained, they will have sufficient internal and/or surface drainage to eliminate standing water after rain storms,” said Waddington, who conducted research in Penn State’s turfgrass program. “Standing water is a cause of game delays and cancellations. Should the teams choose to play on fields with standing water (puddles), they should expect poorer playing conditions and a greater risk of injury.”

Even on professional fields where problems are minimal, worn areas require ongoing maintenance, he said: “Skinned areas are problems on playing fields because many are improperly constructed and/or maintained. The problems occur primarily on fields with low budgets and untrained grounds managers.”

Stakeholders in ASTM Subcommittee F08.64 on Natural Playing Surfaces wrote the standard to benefit community and school field managers, sports field architects, contractors, consultants, and educators. Stakeholders included field maintenance managers, manufacturers of infield mixtures, manufacturers and distributors of soil amendments, field designers and builders, extension personnel, managers of sports fields, university faculty with research or extension responsibilities related to sports turf, and lab personnel involved with testing of physical properties of soils for sports fields.

The subcommittee recommends renovation, inspection, weed control and other considerations for repairs in pitchers’ mounds, catchers’ and batters’ boxes, etc. Sections of the guide specific to baseball and softball fields can be applied to any natural playing surface where ball movement and/or player footing are factors. Standard F 2107 was published in September, under the scope of Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities.

Direct technical questions to Donald V. Waddington, Ph.D., Boalsburg, Pa. (phone: 814/466-6587). Committee F08 meets May 7-10 in Pittsburgh, Pa. For meeting or membership details, contact Jim Olshefsky, manager, ASTM Technical Committee Operations (phone: 610/832-9714). //

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