FIELD LAYOUTS: most common mistakes on every ball field
TURF CARE: choosing the best sod for your infield
DIRT CARE: on using turface on your infield skin
IN THIS ISSUE:
only time to drag it or water it. What do I do?
Did You Know... visitors do judge you by your ballfield
Limited Opportunity... lessons from a championship pitcher
Field Layout Mistakes on Just About Every Ballfield
are several common mistakes made with field layout.
base is not in the right spot. The center of the bag
should be at the apex of the measurements from first and third.
For example on a 60 foot little league field, the center of
second base (the base peg) should be 60 feet from first and
infield mound is not the right height. Well,
I'm sure you've seen plenty of infield mounds that just don't
quite look right. They are often too high. The last
one I surveyed was 14 inches instead of 10 inches above homeplate.
pitcher rubber is out of line with home plate and it
probably is not level either. Stand on the pitching rubber
and look at homeplate. Does it look crooked? If so, measure
from the back point of the plate to each side of the pitching
rubber. I've found these to be off by as much as 2 inches.
That creates a big angle off line. This is common on fastpitch
softball fields due to the pressure the pitcher puts on the
about two more mistakes and see pictures here.
and Installing The Best Sod for Your Infield
year I've seen several sod installations go bad.
There are several reasons for this.
- Not doing
any planning or preparation BEFORE the sod is delivered.
the sod out in the sun for half a day before attempting to use
it - it dried up and died.
- Not soaking
it after laying it - the roots had little water; the grass died.
- And the
worst of all - not watering it regularly after installation to
ensure it takes - again, no water equals dead grass.
I've also seen two installations that went very well and
were ready for competitive play within three weeks.
[Note: If you are
considering sod for your field, then you need to be aware of decisions
you need to make and tips
and hints for successful sod installation.]
You Start Using Turface Today?
are several soil conditioners available for your infield skin.
Turface is one of the products
What is Turface?- It is a calcined clay product
used by the pros. These are designed specifically for sports fields
to improve drainage, reduce compaction, and absorb excess water.
As good as it is, you need to use and maintain it right for it
to be effective. A college field in Santa Cruz - gets about
40 inches of rain a year - used this to keep their field more
playable during the wet spring.
Want to learn more about using Turface and see
examples? Then try this:
Turface for Your Ballfield
I only have time to drag the field or water it. Which should
I continue to
hear interesting comments from coaches and players about prepping
the field before practice or games.
Some don't even think about this as a concern. But, ask a
player and you'll hear a different story. Any infielder, especially
third or short, will tell you they want a smooth field for consistent
bounces. They get the hottest smashes and want safe and true
But just about
any infield or runner will also tell you they want good footing.
This is only possible if you water the skin. And I
mean soak it, not just spray it to keep the dust down.
want good footing also. A batter box with holes full of flour
dust dirt is lousy to bat from. They want good, firm footing.
So, what do I do? I don't much time before some practices
and games and have learned to compromise.
I start by soaking (it might even look like I left a puddle) the
mound and homeplate. I let is set untouched for at least 10
minutes and soak in. While this happens, I soak the basepaths, and
the fielder's areas at first, second, short, and third. Don't
forget the dirt area in foul ground where runners at third take
their lead. I spray the rest of the field fast or skip it.
Then I circle
back with a field rake and rough up the mound and homeplate, level
it out, and pack it in. I'll try to run the rake around the
area in front of the infielders also if possible.
Is all this work worth it? Does it really matter? What
do you think?
Good to Know:
quality field helps your program be 'legit'.
A college team I know plays their games at a city park complex.
It is a multi use ballparks shared by several leagues and teams.
The visiting teams ridiculed the field as well as the home college
team. I'll agree - most everything about the field was bad.
Then one September all this changed. The field was totally
renovated. In the spring when the usual opposing college teams
came to play, they were astonished. The home team went 13-3
on their new field in the spring of 2005. The improved field
helped make their program 'legit.'
If you want
to see what these guys did to transform their ballfield, then check
out this project - completely rebuild the entire infield on a college
to Be A Championship Pitcher
single professional pitcher started with a dream. While
playing in youth leagues they dreamed of someday making to the big
seems to occur as these young boys grow up and don’t get the
most important parts of their dream – best instruction for
mechanics, fitness, and mental focus.
instruction, you are not keeping up with the competition, relegating
your pitcher to arm injuries, and you are closing the doors to the
A very sad day…
that can be avoided.
instruction for your pitcher is critical. And a championship pitcher
is made 3 ways.
For the complete
report click the link below. But, be aware that the pitching
instruction opportunity is limited to
the area where this pitcher
lives and plays.