Guidelines to Field MaintenanceUpdated Wednesday March 20, 2019 by Beth Jones.
Field Work Guidelines from Arlington County
As you know the Athletic Field Maintenance works incredible hard to keep diamond fields playable and in the best shape possible. However with the number of diamonds (and other fields they are responsible for) they appreciate and are grateful for the help of your volunteers throughout the course of the season. This partnership helps to keep as many fields open and in the best shape possible.
One of the greatest challengers to this process is weather. Wet weather can impact fields in a manner that can affect them both short and long term. Rain can close a field for a few hours or at times a few days. This can be frustrating to all parties involved.
The partnership between Athletic Field Maintenance, DPR, and user group volunteers has been very successful and has helped to limit the long term field closures due to wet weather. However there have been times where the desire to get a field playable loses site of the long term viability of a field and more harm is done than good. In an effort to eliminate these instances while attempting to limit closures and protect the long term viability of diamond fields, Athletic Field Maintenance has created a Turface Use Policy and a Post- Practice and Post-Game maintenance guide. These practices, when used in tandem, will be extremely beneficial to both the long and short term health of diamond fields.
When a field is given some quick, easy maintenance following practices and games it can help keep the field in top shape and will help prepare it for wet weather. By taking a short amount of time to perform the suggested maintenance tasks in the attached guidelines after a practice or game- users can help to fill holes, and reduce low spots created by play. This will help to reduce areas where water can pool and form puddles as well as improve drainage in the event of rain. Also by cleaning up trash and the dugouts, it will save the fields maintenance crews the time they usually spend on these tasks and allow them to turn their attention to the fields themselves.
Following wet weather, turface drying agent can be a useful tool to help dry a field and make it playable. However overuse of turface can hurt the long term viability of a field and can create numerous issues down the road. By limiting the amount of turface used it will help prevent future field issues and the time and resources often spent to correct these issue can be used to help improve other areas or fields. The overuse of turface to prepare a field in the short term is detrimental to the overall health of the field. We need users to understand and cooperate with this policy to help protect our fields and keep them in top shape for the long term.
I ask that in continuing and growing the partnership between affiliated diamond users, DPR, and Athletic Field Maintenance that you share these documents with all of your coaches, parents, and volunteers. I ask that you strictly enforce the turface use policy and work with all of your teams to institute a plan to have the post-practice/game maintenance performed each night. I understand this may take some time to implement, as it may be a change in culture, but it is a change we feel is vital to the health of these fields and our partnership. We want to make sure we are able to say “Play Ball” on as many high quality fields we can as often as we can.
If you have any questions about these items or field maintenance in general please feel free to contact either myself or Jeff Winkle, Athletic Fields Manager, at 703-228-1819 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to work with you and your volunteers in any way we can within our guidelines and structure. As we move forward and continue to build and develop this partnership we welcome your thoughts and feedback in addition to your cooperation.