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New Sports Equipment and Facilities Standard Provides Guidance on Construction and Maintenance of Warning Tracks

A safe and functioning warning track can prevent serious injury to baseball and softball players, as well as participants in other sports. A new guide created by Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities addresses the issues involved in building and maintaining warning track areas.

Subcommittee F08.64 on Natural Playing Surfaces created F 2270, Guide for Construction and Maintenance of Warning Track Areas on Sports Fields, to provide guidance in selecting the materials with which to build a new warning track or to recondition an older track and to advise on management practices to best maintain a warning track.

Warning tracks are particularly important in baseball and softball because players frequently run with their eyes focused high in the air on a fly ball. In order to avoid slamming into a fence or wall, players depend on being aware of the approaching hazard by sensing the difference in surface texture as they run from the field onto the warning track. However, the warning track needs to be built and maintained in such a way that neither the warning track nor the transition from field to track pose a risk of injury to players.
Guide F 2270 deals with construction issues such as physical and chemical properties of materials used in the area, freedom from stones, sticks and other debris, and surface and internal drainage, among other considerations. The standard also focuses on maintenance issues such as edging, dragging, rolling, watering, vegetation control and removal of stones and debris.

For further technical information, contact Michael DePew (phone: 517/ 767-4833). Committee F08 meets May 18-20 during the May Committee in Salt Lake City, Utah. For membership or meeting details, contact Jim Olshefsky, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9714). //

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