Striping For Several Sports

With the identity crisis they face, multi-sport fields could spend the entire playing season on a therapist’s couch. At the very least, they could wind up in a sports-medicine clinic from over-use injuries.

These days, many athletic fields are used for multiple sports. Photo Courtesy of Paragon Sports Constructors, Ft. Worth, TX

One day, they’re hosting lacrosse. Later that same day, it might be soccer or field hockey. The next time, maybe the field is used for rugby, flag football, Ultimate football, or some other sport. These fields are the multi-tasking marvels of the park system, and as such, they get plenty of use.

In past decades, most of these fields were natural grass, so within a few weeks of the season opening, the fields were skinned bare from all of the foot traffic. These days, the combination of more demands on fields, the shortage of open space, and a limited budget for regular maintenance has resulted in a gradual increase in the number of park districts choosing to install at least one synthetic field.

“Multi-purpose fields are becoming a standard fixture in many schools and public settings,” says Darby McCamy of Synthetic Turf International in Dalton, Ga.

“The technological advances associated with the use of synthetic turf have allowed these fields to be used all year for multiple activities without the downtime associated with natural grass. Environmentally friendly aspects, cost efficiency, low maintenance, and the looks of these fields are also added benefits.”

Make no mistake–there are plenty of natural fields out there. In fact, they still outnumber synthetic facilities. In no way is grass an endangered species, and plenty of people still prefer the natural surface. (We’re not even going to get into that argument today; each type of field has its fans and its foes, and each side has plenty of compelling reasons.)

But a spike in the number of synthetic facilities is difficult to ignore, and it has created two main questions in the minds of park managers: how to mark facilities for the many sports they host, and how to do upkeep so the park district’s substantial investment pays off.

On Your Mark(s)

The natural grass of the past could simply be marked with temporary lines or paint, and changed for various sports. Synthetic fields require more planning. The challenge facing the field owner is first to decide which sport or sports the field will be hosting, and second to determine which sport will be the most popular. This may vary according to the region or player demographics.

It may also depend on whether a municipal field is being used by local schools for recreational and sports purposes, as this will increase the demands on it. Input from all users should be considered.

“In the scholastic market (high school and college) we are seeing demand for football fields that can also be used for lacrosse and soccer, as well as intramural activity and even band practice,” says Chris Cote of XGrass in Dalton, Ga.

Multisport fields need to be marked for all uses. Photo Courtesy of Synthetic Turf International, Division of Controlled

Products LLC, Dalton, GA

Page 1 of 2 | Next page

Related posts:

  1. Synthetic Turf Performance Guidelines
  2. Field Of Dreams Contest
  3. WSU Selects Brock International
  4. Bounce Back
  5. Field & Turf
  • Columns
  • Departments