There is so much to learn when it comes to finding the perfect sports turf solution for your venue and the athletes in which it serves. With over four decades in the field, The Motz Group has seen a lot, learned a lot, and been asked many questions along the way. As a result, we wanted to create a resourceful, centralized place for you to seek the answers you require.
Can’t find what you need? Contact us online or give us a call at 513-533-6452 and we will get the answers you need in order to make the right decision for your field.
At the most basic level, every synthetic turf system is comprised of a stone base (which typically consists of coarse stone and fine gravel), drainage materials, synthetic turf, and infill. Each owner can choose whether or not to add a shock pad, what infill they prefer, and the synthetic turf that suits their needs.
The standard warranty of a field is approximately eight years. With updates in technology, many fields are seeing a lifespan of 10-12 years.
For more detailed information, check out our longer post here.
When you hire a company or individual to complete work on your home or car, you conduct research to find the best and someone who is considered to be an expert in their designation. The same practice applies when you are purchasing a synthetic turf field, you want to ensure you have a professional doing the work and completing the project with the highest possible quality.
The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is a “national organization for builders, designers, and suppliers of materials for tennis courts, running tracks, and synthetic turf fields, indoor and outdoor synthetic sports surfaces.” One of their purposes is to ensure that owners receive the highest quality of work and experience from those building their facilities. They saw a need in the industry to have better established professional standards and enhancement of the field construction process, specifically with regards to the individuals building the fields. This led to the creation of the Certified Field Builders (CFB) program. A CFB is exactly as it sounds: an individual that has been validated as qualified and proficient in the construction of a sports field, per accepted standards.
To become a CFB, there is a comprehensive exam, centered around the established benchmarks of quality for field construction and maintenance. By passing this exam, the builder has been certified to have “demonstrated a high level of expertise” in the construction of a field. As a field owner, by hiring a company that employs a CFB, you can have the peace of mind to know that your facility and your synthetic turf are in good hands.
You can find a CFB near you by visiting the searchable section of ASBA’s website. The Motz Group is a member organization of ASBA and is also proud to have three CFB’s on staff. You can learn more about these individuals and our other dedicated team members in Our People.
Your synthetic turf field should be groomed once per 40 hours of activity. During peak seasons, for example, the field would typically need to be groomed about every two weeks.
Want more information on grooming? Read our post here.
Athletic fields at every level, especially high school and college, see a substantial amount of activity in a given year. Practices, games, tournaments, graduations, fundraisers, you name it and your nearby field or stadium probably hosts it. With that amount of activity, the surface needs to be able to withstand the hustle and bustle. Synthetic turf is often a solution that is up to the task of taking on this flurry of activity. An active field needs some regular TLC, including checking and refilling areas with infill that experience the most frequent and repetitive actions.
These high-traffic areas are usually the sweet spots for baseball and lacrosse, but other sports are not immune. Below is a list of some locations that we typically see on fields that need additional infill.
- Center of the field
- 15 yard line
- Goal lines
- Extra point line
- Team sideline areas
- Entrance from field house
- Between the hash marks
- Kick “X”s
Soccer and Lacrosse
- Penalty spot
- Corner kick
- Goal mouth
- Center circle
- Face-off location
- Linesman paths
- Entrance from field house
Baseball and Softball
- Batter’s box
- Catcher’s box
- Umpire’s box
- First base area
- Second base area
- Pitcher’s mound
- On-deck circles
- Dugout entrance
- Coach’s box
Our recommendation for these areas is to add infill during your regular grooming every two weeks during peak seasons. Keeping a bucket of infill on your maintenance vehicle can allow you to add infill as you make your passes around the field. If these spots get too low on infill and continue to experience heavy activity, the turf at those locations can be prematurely worn down to the backing and may need to be patched and replaced. More importantly, low infill can be a safety concern, raising your GMAX and exposing your athletes to potentially risky situations – and we don’t want that!
Our dedicated in-house maintenance staff is happy to answer any questions or even conduct maintenance training with you so you can properly care for your synthetic turf field. Call us today at 513-533-6452!
After your synthetic turf field is installed, what’s next? You probably need to know how to take care of it, like you would any other purchase, right? Much like your yard or another home improvement project, your turf field will need some TLC to ensure that it is looking and performing its best. Your synthetic turf provider should schedule a maintenance training session immediately following the completion of the field with the members of your staff that will be caring for it throughout life.
Many people think that a synthetic turf field is maintenance-free. While it is substantially less upkeep, there are still some regular maintenance practices that you and your team will have to administer. These include things like brushing or grooming, cleaning off debris, and refilling high-traffic areas with infill. Your maintenance training will cover those topics and more. Your staff will also be able to do a few test runs to be properly trained on the maintenance equipment, with a hands-on ‘how to.’ Many turf providers will also supply your staff with maintenance manuals that they will be able to refer to during their regular practices.
Additionally, this is a great time for your team to ask any questions they might have about the field or any part of the maintenance process. The key to this meeting is to not only familiarize yourself with your main point of contact for service or maintenance with your turf provider but for them to know who the primary maintenance contact will be within your organization moving forward.
Make the most of your maintenance training and confirm that all key players are present for the huddle and that your team prepares any questions they may have regarding the field and its care. This is also a good time to ask about an annual clean and refresh service visit, like our synthetic maintenance program.
Have some turnover in your athletic or facilities department, and need new team members to be retrained on caring for your synthetic turf field? Contact us today to receive a copy of our Maintenance Manual, schedule a synthetic turf Maintenance Training with our team, or learn more about The Motz Group.
Synthetic turf is engineered to be UV-resistant. Over the lifespan of your field, you may see some slight fade to the color. The change will be minor, you shouldn’t expect your red endzone to suddenly be pink.
A benefit of purchasing a synthetic turf field is the ability to install inlaid lines and eliminate painting or striping before each game. However, some facilities still have a need to include temporary lines or logos on their surface. If your synthetic turf field has a such a need, we have some suggestions and tips for how to approach the application of paint on your surface.
Remove excess paint existing on the field. Test the application procedure before going on the field (use a scrap of turf fastened to asphalt, plywood, or use a corner of the field.) Use no more paint than absolutely necessary. Keep water on hand and readily available to rinse any spills or mistakes before they dry.
The paint should be applied lightly to the tips of the turf fibers–not the entire length of every fiber. Applying the paint too heavily makes for a very rough, abrasive surface and will make the removal job very difficult. An airless system is recommended as it provides a superior look while using less paint. Follow the paint supplier’s guidelines for paint application. Sprayers that do not atomize the paint are not recommended as paint will flow into the infill and negatively impact removal and field performance.
When applying paint, use large templates and cardboard or wood windshields to minimize paint over-spray.
For logos and other markings, always use a guide such as templates or straight edges. Applying more than one coat of paint may make removal significantly more difficult. Therefore, we recommend a single coat be used where possible.
Painting turf systems with brushes or rollers is not recommended. Spraying equipment is recommended for the following four reasons:
- Spraying can make a more uniform paint application
- A more intricate template can be used if the paint is sprayed
- Paint can be applied more rapidly with spray techniques
- Paint can be removed more easily from areas that have been correctly sprayed than from areas on which the paint has been rolled
If you have questions about striping or painting synthetic turf, receive a copy of our maintenance manual, schedule a synthetic turf maintenance training with our team, or would just like more information about The Motz Group, please contact us today.
If you own or maintain an athletic field, at any level of play, you know that it is a coveted piece of property and there is no shortage of people who need to utilize it. From a scheduling standpoint, a synthetic turf field can provide you and your organization some added benefits, and reduce a few headaches!
Avoid the Mud Pit
There is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into a sporting event – and there aren’t many things worse than having the sky open up right before kick-off or the first pitch. If you’re lucky enough to have the weather cooperate and end in a timely manner so the game can go on, the last thing you need is to have the field a muddy mess and unplayable, resulting in a canceled match and re-scheduling chaos. Synthetic turf can’t keep the thunder and lightning away, unfortunately, but it can aid in providing a playing surface that is ready for activity even after a downpour, with no mud in sight!
Synthetic turf is designed to handle a great deal of activity and is prepared to look and perform consistently from game to game, with reduced maintenance needed in between. Your synthetic turf field is well-equipped to handle a Friday night football game (complete with a band performance), followed by an all-day soccer tournament on Saturday, and could still be rented out to the community on Sunday. It is a workhorse that, not only looks good after all of that activity but will also give participants an even playing surface from early morning practices to late night drills (just be sure you are conducting infill checks and grooming per your warranty requirements – keep reading for more info). The ability to rent out your synthetic turf field to the community, or even host large tournaments, gives your organization additional funds that might not have been possible before.
Less Time on Maintenance
Some organizations are able to have full-time staff members that are dedicated to maintaining their facilities, and some do not. One asset of a synthetic turf field is that it will need reduced maintenance compared to a natural field. This can save your team ample time in conducting regular upkeep, and can also give your athletes more time on the field. The surface will still need some TLC, including brushing and infill refills, but the long hours of mowing, seeding, and filling in divots are over! For our recommended tips on the maintenance that is needed for a synthetic turf field, check out our FAQ on it here.
We’re here to help! Our team would be happy to talk through all of the many benefits of a synthetic turf field. Reach out to us today at 513-533-6452.
One of the best ways to ensure your synthetic turf field lasts eight years (or more) is to properly groom and maintain it – especially during busy activity seasons. Best practices for regular field grooming consist of brushing the fibers, keeping infill levels adequate in high-traffic areas (think: corner kicks, penalty kick spots, pitcher’s mounds, batter’s boxes, etc.), removing trash and other debris, alerting your turf provider to any repairs needed, and ensuring that harmful activities stay off of the surface.
Grooming and maintenance frequency can depend on a number of variables from weather conditions, the age of field, how often the field has been used, and what the field has been used for. Because of all these factors playing a part in the maintenance of your field, it’s recommended that your field is groomed approximately every two (2) weeks during peak seasons because of the increase in use. End of summer and fall seasons for multi-use fields would fit into the peak season, as would spring for baseball and softball fields.
When conducting the grooming, it can also serve as a great time to check up on your infill levels and refill as needed, as well as take a closer look for any repairs that may have popped up during practices or games. Removing debris or trash can (and should) occur more frequently and can be a true team effort. Some teams take a few moments at the end of a practice to walk the field and remove any foreign objects from the surface.
We would also highly recommend scheduling an annual field service visit by a professional synthetic turf maintenance provider to ensure your field is always at peak performance levels and clean for your athletes. Think of this visit as getting your carpet cleaned by a qualified carpet cleaner. You might run your vacuum frequently, and remove debris or other objects from it, but a deep clean by an experienced technician will take it one step further.
Have questions or not sure if you’re grooming properly? Contact your turf provider or give us a call 513-533-6452 to talk with or even set up training with a maintenance professional.
This is a common sports field FAQ. For most synthetic turf field owners and their communities, one of the most exciting parts of their project is finally seeing the green rolled out on their field. But a lot of people don’t know what happens between the start of a synthetic turf construction and the roll out of the green. Based on the turf provider and owner preference, the process of how your field is constructed can look a little different. However, a basic knowledge of what each layer looks like can assist you in planning and understanding what is happening on your field every step of the way.
If your field is made of natural grass and you are converting it to synthetic turf, your grass field will need to be excavated (or dug up) to make room for your base (we’ll get to that a little later). The existing grass field and a layer of soil are removed, and then the soil is compacted. You might hear this compacted soil referred to as the subgrade of your field. This stage requires a lot of oversight as it sets the stage for a successful system from day one through one, two or even three synthetic turf cycles.
It’s also recommended that an additional layer of protection be included, which can be a geotextile fabric or another type of liner to protect the subgrade from the clean stone base above it.
Stone and Drainage Pipes
The next layer involves a few key pieces. The first is a layer of base stone and a layer of finish stone. This piece is integral to your field draining properly. The stone will allow for water to flow freely while providing stability so that the surface will not settle over time.
This will also be the time to install a drainage pipe throughout the field. Different sizes, shapes, and materials of pipe are needed for different projects. We will guide you to the proper system for your facility to avoid standing water on your field. Your selected synthetic turf specialist will identify the best drainage solution for your site’s requirements.
Keep in mind, your field is a construction project and may require certain permits and governmental approvals. Always check with your local agencies to ensure the project is not unexpectedly delayed.
Shock Attenuation Pad (optional)
Many owners have found benefits in the inclusion of a shock absorption pad within their field system. If a pad is selected, it will live between the gravel base and the turf layer. There are varying options of pads with regard to price, warranty, installation process, and playability. Many shock pads can be used beyond one life cycle, and depending on the infill selected, may be required for your system.
Alternative Step: Removal
If you have an existing synthetic turf field, the first three steps won’t be applicable to your process. Your turf provider will do tests and evaluations to ensure that your base, drainage, pad (if selected), etc. are still in top shape and ready for another lifecycle of synthetic turf. The existing synthetic turf is removed, and the following steps will be relevant to your project.
Now it’s time for turf! Dependent upon your turf provider and the system, the turf installation process can look a little different from job to job. The following process is based on what our team has seen work best based on our synthetic turf experience.
Turf is typically delivered to the site in 15-foot wide rolls. The first roll is laid out facing up. The next piece is rolled out facing down on top of the first piece of turf. The two will then be attached together. Once the pieces of turf are secured, the second piece is then pulled facing up by the installation team, and laid flat on top of the stone base or the shock pad system. After the field is secure from goal line to goal line, the sideline and endzone panels are installed.
At this point, you have a full field! Next up is to install the selected items to personalize your new field to capture your team’s spirit. Those pieces referred to as ‘inlays’ can include numbers, hash marks, school or organization logos, endzone letters, or sideline logos.
Once the turf is laid out and secured, it’s time for infill. There are a lot of great options for infill on the market. The most popular options today are crumb rubber and sand. Using a tractor, with the recommended tires for synthetic turf, the infill is dispersed throughout the field then manually brushed into the turf fibers.
After a walk through and maintenance training with your turf provider, it’s time to play! Remember that to keep your field looking as good as it does on day 1, it will need regular grooming – especially during peak activity time. Looking into an annual maintenance program is always a good idea. You can see some examples of finished fields in the Project Showcase section of our website.
For more information on the construction and installation process for a synthetic turf field, or how to bring it to your facility, contact us or call us directly at 513-533-6452.
When people discuss the benefits of having a synthetic turf field, the ability to customize the design and look of the field isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind. In reality, it’s a great bonus for an organization to show off their team colors or mascot without spending time to paint before every game. Colored end zones with your team’s name and mascot, the center logo, turf colors – you have a range of options to exhibit your team pride in field design and customization.
Regardless of the sport that utilizes your field, a logo can be added to truly customize your field. Whether it’s at the 50-yard line, in the center circle, or behind home plate, The Motz Group can recreate your logo on the turf using any image you submit.
For a center logo on a multi-purpose field, for example, we will typically install a logo that is 35 feet tall and 45 feet wide. A good tip for sizing is to keep the logo inside of the hashmarks and center circle, as those items must be visible during a game. On a baseball field, if installed behind home plate, the entire circle at home must be visible.
Including a logo in the outfield of a synthetic baseball surface is a trend that has emerged in the last few years. The logo is placed much like you would see on a natural grass baseball field and is often a different shade of green turf. These additions can take an overhead shot of your field to a new high.
People tend to think that turf comes in only shades of green. That’s not the case! Turf can be a variety of colors, and usually, those colors are featured in the end zones of your field. Along with your chosen color, you can include the name of your organization or your mascot in nice, big letters. Standard letter height for our fields is 15 feet tall. The letters can be outlined, multi-colored, or even use a custom font.
If you’re planning for a high school field, keep in mind that there has to be a 2-foot border between the letters or logo and the end/sidelines per the National Federation of State High School Associations.
At a stadium, you’ll usually find banners hanging around the fence for advertisers or sponsors showcasing their brand. More impactful, and even more beneficial to both parties, is to sell advertising space on your field. Just like your team logo, a sponsor’s logo can be inlaid into the sideline or elsewhere on the field. Wherever the logos land on the field, remember that all lines must be visible. For example, if your soccer lines extend into the sidelines of your field, they will need to be visible over the logo.
Sometimes organizations want to customize their field even further with additional special touches. Alternating color panels, color borders around numbers or the field itself, shadow lines through logos, color coach’s boxes, are just a few examples of customization. We can show you all the ways you can make your field stand out these days.
Already have an idea of what you’d like to do to customize your new field design? Ask the expert (your Motz turf provider) and see what is possible! The Motz Group has an in-house CAD department that can mock-up a design for you to get the ball rolling on your turf project.
We’re happy to serve as a resource for questions. Call us at 513-533-6452 to speak with one of our field consultants for more information!
Synthetic turf systems have gone through quite an evolution from the initial installs in the 1970s until today. In that time, industry trends and consumer feedback have led to innovations in additional components within a turf system. Things like alternative infills and different fiber options, which are hot commodities today, were not top of mind for a field owner even 15 years ago.
One of the key pieces to emerge as an answer to a void in the industry is a shock pad, which is sometimes referred to as a shock absorption pad. Shock pads were launched as an option for a synthetic turf system after athlete injury concerns came to the forefront of the industry. They provide an added layer of impact absorption. Applicable under any turf system and with any type of infill, a shock pad provides many added benefits to the participants playing and running on the field.
There are different brands of pads, different price tags, and different built-in benefits. Regardless of the shock pad you choose for your field, they can be a great addition to your system. All pads, if installed correctly, can help give the synthetic turf field a consistent GMAX test rating throughout its life. A GMAX test measures the shock attenuation of body impact on the synthetic turf. Results from a GMAX test can be a helpful tool in the evaluation of how much time is left in the life of a synthetic turf field. Higher GMAX results indicate a potential need for a replacement to ensure player safety, which tends to occur later in the life of the field. Surfaces with a pad, however, are seeing much lower GMAX results from day 1 through day 3,000, and are able to experience an extended lifespan. Many are able to avoid replacement an additional 2-4 years beyond the base time frame of eight years, which is the standard for synthetic turf fields that do not have a pad.
Field owners who have a pad are also seeing a more uniform playing surface for their athletes. A new generation of pad systems has been engineered with material that allows the pad to provide the same stability under the synthetic turf, regardless of location on the field or weather/temperature. Shock pads enhance the surface drainage of the synthetic turf, allowing participants to get back to play seamlessly after a rainstorm.
Another benefit of a shock pad under a turf system is that many products can be reused beyond one lifecycle. Pads will come at a cost; however, the owner is typically able to get double the years out of the price paid for one field installation.
For more information on the different shock pads available on the market today or to determine the best application for your field, contact The Motz Group.
If you would like to learn more about shock pads, below are a few links to shock pad providers that our team typically works with.
Shock Pad Providers:
July and August are some of the busiest months for activity on sports fields – they are also the hottest months of the year. A concern of a lot of synthetic turf owners is that their field can be much hotter than the air temperature. Luckily in the Midwest, those extremely hot weeks are few. However, there are still ways to keep field users and athletes cooler.
According to the Synthetic Turf Council (STC), here are some of the best heat reduction tips:
- Try to schedule practices during cooler times of the day
- Have a misting station for the athletes
- Keep the athletes well hydrated throughout practices and games
- Water the field prior to practices and games on forecasted hotter days
You can also check out more of the STC’s tips on their website, HERE.
If heat on the artificial field further concerns you, your community, or your stakeholders, there are synthetic turf fiber or infill options that do promote cooler turf temperatures. Contact us at The Motz Group to get more information on those alternative options, or check out our blog post HERE.
One of the most important practices of regular maintenance for your synthetic turf field is keeping the infill levels consistent and properly filled at all high-traffic areas. These particular spots are where repetitive action takes place during a practice or game. For example, a football kicker practicing field goals during an hour-long practice. The kicking motion of his/her foot is happening typically in the same spot on the field during that time period.
When the infill gets displaced from those areas during repetitive motions and becomes too low, the activity on the turf can lead to the fibers prematurely wearing down over time, and can eventually expose the backing of the turf. Once the fibers are worn down too low, the only solution for remediation is to replace that area with a patch of turf.
Some of the areas to keep a particular eye on during your regular maintenance include:
- Football penalty kick spots
- Soccer penalty kick marks
- Soccer corner kicks
- Soccer and lacrosse goal areas
- Baseball and softball base areas (1st, 2nd, 3rd)
- Baseball and softball batter’s boxes
- Baseball and softball home plate area
- Baseball and softball pitcher’s mounds
The best course of action to consistently keep these areas at the proper levels is to add infill each time you perform your regular grooming maintenance. It is recommended that a round of grooming should be performed on your field once for every 40 hours of activity. During a busy fall, spring, or summer season, that is typically once every two weeks. That’s a good and frequent opportunity to refill the high-traffic areas. It’s also a good idea to keep a bucket of infill accessible for coaches and players in case extra is needed between maintenance procedures.
If you’re in need of additional infill for your synthetic turf surface or would like more training on proper regular maintenance, contact your turf provider or give The Motz Group a call at 513-533-6452.
As spring sports begin to ramp up and teams want to get outside, some synthetic turf owners may need to clear snow from their fields in order for activities to continue as scheduled. Questions about the procedures for removing snow from turf are common. It’s important to know what is allowed versus what could harm the surface or the future performance of the field.
With that in mind, we want to share some best practices for removing snow from your field.
- Before you move the snow on your field, contact your turf provider to ensure that your actions will not affect your warranty and ask them their preferred method of removal.
- Also keep in mind that any damage caused to the turf during the snow removal, such as a torn seam, may be subject to repair costs from your turf provider.
- Check the drains around your field. Make sure they are clear of debris to accommodate all of the melting snow or ice from the turf.
- The best way to remove snow is with a powered snow blower, mounted on a small tractor with turf tires (pneumatic tires only). Be aware that vehicular weight should be limited to 45 psi.
- A tractor-mounted snow plow is also acceptable as long as it has a rubber-edged blade. When lowering the blade, leave 1-2” between the bottom of the rubber and the turf, to avoid disruption of the infill.
- Always take extra care to assure that the depth of any mechanical device designed for snow removal is properly set to avoid gouging or ripping the field surface and never allow the tires to spin.
- You will notice some snow left on your turf, even after passing over it with the plow, due to the height of the blade – that’s okay! As the temperature increases or the sun makes an appearance, the leftover snow will melt.
- Chemical melting of snow/ice is also acceptable, but only the use of non-corrosive calcium chloride is recommended. If you’re unsure on the product, contact your turf provider.
- Once the field is clear of snow, take a walk across the field to look for low infill areas. Be sure to touch those areas up with a round of infill before activity occurs.
Our team is happy to answer any other questions or concerns you have about snow removal from your turf, or if you need our assistance in performing that work, feel free to give us a call at 513-533-6452.
It’s estimated that today’s synthetic turf fields on average will see a lifespan of 10 to 12 years, due to technological advancements and the development of annual maintenance programs. With that said, barring an act of nature, your field should be able to last eight years on its own. But, like any repeatedly used product, there will come a time where signs of aging will start to appear. In order to keep your field in optimal condition and be proactive in your replacement planning, you must be on the lookout for these potentially telling signs:
- Loose Seams: Loose seams can occur in any location where two synthetic turf panels come together. Since your field is made up of a series of many turf panels (generally 15ft in width), this could happen in different areas across your surface as it ages.
- Torn Inlays: Torn inlays, depending on your synthetic turf provider’s installation methods, are traditionally seen any place on your field where letters, numbers, logos, field markings or hash marks are present.
- Reduction of Infill Levels: With hours of continuous play and exposure to the elements, your field is likely to see a reduction in its infill level over time. This is most common in high-use areas like lacrosse creases, penalty kicks, goalmouths and batter’s boxes. Low infill levels, if not addressed, can lead to fiber degradation.
- Fiber Degradation/Worn Turf: Fiber degradation or worn turf is frequently seen in areas where infill levels are low causing more of the fiber to be exposed and potentially compromised. As your field ages so do the fibers, and over time those fibers can begin to weaken and eventually, break down.
- GMAX Results: GMAX testing, perhaps the most revealing measurement, can determine your field’s impact attenuation. According to the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (UPSC), a GMAX rating greater than 200 can significantly increase the risk of serious injury. Suggesting that anything over 200 could yield injury and should be remediated or in some cases, replaced. Although the Synthetic Turf Council (STC), the leading industry voice, states that less than 165 is the ideal performance standard.
It’s important to note that not all of these signs listed above are definite indicators that your field is aging, or nearing its end-of-life. But, they are in fact a good reason to contact your provider and schedule a field assessment combined with a GMAX test (recommended as an annual best practice). During that assessment, your provider can help determine what items can be effectively repaired and those that may require a more invasive solution.
If you have questions regarding your aging synthetic turf field or would like to schedule a field assessment, feel free to contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every synthetic turf project is unique. Different projects have different needs. To meet those needs, you can choose the infill that is best suited for your synthetic turf field. Most people would probably recognize crumb rubber, others might be familiar with coated sand, like Envirofill, while some may be completely new to the game. During the research and installation process, your synthetic turf provider should help you analyze what infill is most appropriate for your application.
Crumb Rubber Infill: The most popular infill option, crumb rubber provides enhanced stability and cushioning on a synthetic turf field. It has also been shown to have a long lifespan and can even be reused. Economically, it is the most cost-effective infill option. You may be aware of the recent media coverage of the use of crumb rubber infill on synthetic fields. For more information, including various studies on the product, visit the Synthetic Turf Council’s website.
Coated Sand Infill: Envirofill has a benefit of consistency over the lifetime of a field. it’s the only infill warranted for 16 years. Reusability is another great benefit of an Envirofill field. Because Envirofill is a homogenous infill, it’s very easy to reclaim and reuse the infill for multiple lifecycles. Envirofill is free of odor, heavy metals, and VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), while also offering natural heat reduction for a cooler surface. To make sure the field performs at an optimum level from a shock absorbency standpoint, The Motz Group recommends installing a shock pad. To find out the best pad for your system, ask your turf provider. For more information on Envirofill, visit USGreentech.com.
Organic Infill: This infill option is created with the blending of coconut fiber and cork. The materials used are recyclable and, as the name implies, completely organic. This infill has been shown to keep turf temperatures cooler and is also permeable for proper drainage. For participant safety, it’s also highly recommended to install this infill option with a pad.
Virgin EPDM Rubber/ Thermoplastic Elastomers Infill: An option that is great for indoor facilities, this infill is non-flammable. Created from raw materials, this infill option is completely recyclable and reusable. The special shape of each granule allows for elevated shock absorption, although a pad would still be recommended, and provides the system to have greater stability.
For more information on synthetic turf infill options, please contact The Motz Group at 513-533-6452.
A synthetic turf field is a large investment for any organization, and you want to make sure that you are getting the best application for your uses. While a synthetic turf field, in general, presents many benefits for its users, the specific systems also provide benefits based on the use.
A slit-film fiber system is a true workhorse. The slit-film fibers are prepared to sustain significant activity, with great durability. A slit-film field is ideal for a multi-purpose field, to be used by multiple sports, especially football. For a field hockey/lacrosse application, a slit film fiber is preferred, assuming that the hockey athletes like a quicker ball speed. As the field gets broken in, slit film fibers will crosshatch (think a natural, high-performance Bermuda grass field) and create a C-cup shape. This condition makes for a quick surface and also has the benefit of encapsulating the infill, which reduces maintenance hours and cost for the field.
Traditionally, monofilament fiber systems have been recommended and preferred in soccer-specific applications, or lighter-use facilities. The main reason mono performs better for soccer is the fibers tend to stand vertically longer, which translates to a slower ball roll and a more natural feel when it comes to ball to surface interaction (think a natural, high-performance blue grass or rye grass field). A potential drawback that you may experience is more rubber splash. Monofilaments can be used in football/lacrosse applications when participants prefer the look and added aesthetic of the more grass-like fibers.
Your field consultant should be able to walk you through more specific details and benefits of one system versus another, and what would be best for your intended use. If you have any questions, feel free to contact The Motz Group at 513-533-6452.
Deciding to build or replace a synthetic turf field is a substantial investment. With this decision, you are devoting a large amount of time, money, and trust to your selected provider. When making a purchase of this nature, you must ensure you are asking potential vendors the critical questions necessary to make an educated decision. One of the most important topics that will be discussed during this vetting process is the field’s warranty coverage.
When discussing your future field’s warranty, you may want to ask your provider the following questions to ensure you fully understand inclusions, exclusions, and are adequately covered:
QUESTION: What components of the field are covered in the warranty?
REASON: It is important to understand what components of the field are covered under the warranty. In the event there are needed repairs or areas of concern, you will want to know that your provider will stand behind their work. Also, it’s possible critical components could be accidentally overlooked or intentionally left out and therefore not warranted, leaving you without resources for repair.
QUESTION: Are their opportunities for warranty extension?
REASON: When purchasing a synthetic turf field, there may be certain scenarios where an upgraded package with an extended warranty is desired. Asking your provider what options are available can allow you and your facility to make the best decision for your needs.
QUESTION: How long is the warranty valid?
REASON: When making an investment this significant, it’s necessary to understand how long that investment will be covered under warranty. It can also help justify the initial cost of installation and ensure a guarantee of satisfaction after purchase. An eight-year warranty is the industry standard. It’s also important to note that there is no third party warranty longer than eight years available in the industry. Warranties extending beyond eight years are generally offered through the synthetic turf provider. Should something occur to the health of that provider’s business, your warranty validity could be in jeopardy.
QUESTION: Are their ways the warranty can become void?
REASON: As a first-time synthetic turf field owner, you may not be aware of what is acceptable and not acceptable usage. Certain harmful activities or field neglect can lead to irreversible damage. To properly protect your field’s warranty, be aware of what could cause a warranty to void. Upon the completion of your field, your provider should provide you with a fully detailed manual and adequate training on how to properly care for your field’s warranty.
QUESTION: What would be considered a warranty claim?
REASON: Traditionally, most warranty repair calls are minor like a hash mark or inlay. There are occasions where more serious issues could arise, but every field is unique in its usage and environment. Regardless, it’s inevitable that with varying climates, partnered with the extreme use these fields receive, things will happen on the field. Having a partner you can trust that will be there immediately to take care of it is very important.
QUESTION: Should your business cease will we still have a warranty?
REASON: Companies come and go in any business, who will protect your field should your provider go out of business or get bought out by another company? How long has your provider been in business under its current ownership/name? Concerns of this nature give credit to the benefits of a third party warranty contractor. Providers who offer third-party warranties assure you won’t be without coverage should something happen to the health of their own business.
QUESTION: What is the warranty’s guaranteed response and repair time?
REASON: As a synthetic turf field owner, your field will likely see a significant amount of usage, sometimes back to back, and you won’t be able to predict when a repair arises. So, having a provider that can provide you a guaranteed response and repair time will be crucial to the safety and performance of your field. Most “critical play”, or repairs required to play on the field, should be addressed within 24 hours.
QUESTION: Am I responsible for handling my own repairs?
REASON: One of the many benefits of having a warranty is the assurance of knowing your field will be cared for should issues arise. While your field is under warranty, your provider should handle needed repairs as long as they fall within the parameters of the coverage. In addition, attempting to handle repairs on your own or with the help of a third party contractor could result in further damage and/or void your field’s warranty. As a matter of fact, some synthetic turf providers require they clear and approve all repairs before any action is taken to avoid irreversible results.
QUESTION: Is the warranty built into the cost of my field?
REASON: Synthetic turf fields are large investments so ensuring the warranty cost is built in will help ensure adequate coverage and ease of financing.
QUESTION: How does my warranty address “Act of God” related damages?
REASON: Mother Nature has her way of interfering at times, and in some cases, the result can be devastating. Understanding what types of “Act of God” scenarios are or are not covered by your warranty will provide you insight on what to expect should something of this sort occur.
QUESTION: What incidents are not covered under warranty?
REASON: You don’t know what you don’t know. As a new synthetic turf field owner, you may not be aware of what would be considered a warranty worthy repair. Your provider should be able to provide you examples of what types of incidents they will cover and those that might fall outside of your coverage policy. Again, your provider should educate you on these types of things during your selection process and again upon the completion of your field.
QUESTION: Will you warrant another vendor’s work?
REASON: There are many moving parts that go into installing a synthetic turf field. Often there are additional vendors onsite outside of your synthetic turf provider. Understanding who is responsible for the various components will best help you protect yourself and ensure all needed entities are warranted appropriately.
For more information on critical questions to ask your provider about warranty coverage, please contact The Motz Group at 513-533-6452.
A GMAX test measures impact attenuation – the ability of the playing surface to absorb the “shock”, or kinetic energy – from a collision, such as a player falling to the surface. The lower the GMAX rating, the more energy is absorbed by the surface. Alternatively, the higher the GMAX rating, the less energy is absorbed by the surface, meaning more energy is returned to the player.
According to the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (UPSC), a GMAX rating greater than 200 can significantly increase the risk of serious injury. Suggesting that anything over 200 could yield injury and should be remediated or in some cases, replaced. Although the Synthetic Turf Council (STC), the leading industry voice, states that less than 165 is the ideal performance standard.
The ASTM F-1936 states that the test method ASTM F-355-01 has been used to test the impact attenuation of athletic fields for over 30 years. The development of the test can be traced back to the Ford and GM crash-dummy tests of the 1960s, medical research papers from the 1960s and ’70s, and a Northwestern University study in which an accelerometer was fixed to the football helmet of a middle linebacker to measure impacts received during actual play. This study found the typical head-impact to be 40 feet-pound, which is equivalent to the impact generated by dropping a 20-pound missile from a height of 2 feet.
The ASTM F-355-01 and ASTM F-1936 GMAX test guidelines state that eight locations on the synthetic turf field are to be tested. The test method includes three drops of a flat-bottomed, 20-pound steel missile, to which an accelerometer is attached. The missile is dropped from 2’ above the surface through a vented guide tube. The first drop is to “condition” the field and the next two drops are averaged to yield the GMAX reading for that location. Prior to testing, the infill depth is measured at each drop location.
If you have a synthetic turf field, the STC recommends that you schedule a GMAX test annually to monitor your field’s rating. The Motz Group, as well as other manufacturers such as FieldTurf, AstroTurf, and Shaw Sports Turf offer GMAX testing. Visit STC Buyers’ Guide for additional information on vendors who offer GMAX testing. Having this test performed will provide you insight on your field’s impact attenuation and should results indicate, take action to address the matter. If you are thinking about converting to synthetic turf, ensure your provider will warrant that your field will not become too hard over time.
For more information on GMAX testing and/or how to decipher the rating, please contact The Motz Group at 513-533-6452.
One of the most important factors when planning for a synthetic turf field installation is determining how you and your organization will pay for the project. Some are fortunate enough to have private donations that will foot the bill, but others utilize participation from the entire community through a fundraising campaign to fund their field.
A great example of fundraising success is the 2013 project at Watkins Memorial High School where we installed our signature SportGrass Synthetic Turf System in Pataskala, Ohio. Tom Lee, Chairman of the Watkins Turf Committee, has a few tips to anyone interested in beginning a fundraising campaign.
In your opinion, what is the best practice for setting up a fundraising plan?
Establish a trusted, motivated committee with diverse areas of expertise. Then, form a plan for the entire process from start to finish, including the fundraising plan. This plan must include a fundraising goal, marketing information to distribute, and “paint the picture” for the potential donor, and how you will manage the money (including taking a loan if applicable). Be transparent on financial management by using more than one person to oversee donations as they come in. If you’re a not-for-profit organization, such as a booster group, sell the tax benefits to the potential donors.
Potential donors have to trust you and see what they are donating for, and what the benefits are for the community. Have facts to use when selling the plan and use social media such as Facebook and a website to your advantage. Sometimes, big donors want the field built ASAP before they commit. Have a loan in place prior to starting fundraising is key to making this happen.
What did you learn from your fundraising experience? What worked well and what didn’t work?
Trust is essential. The potential donor must trust your committee and the cause. Our recent success was due to effort, motivation, and trust. Our previous committee failed because of the lack of those key components. Find a big donor…once it happens the rest is easy. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you need instead of asking what they can give. If you have the ability to take a loan, allow donors to spread out the donation over time. We used a 3-year plan for $1,000 to $5,000 and a 5-year plan for $5,000 and up.
When preparing for fundraising for synthetic turf, what do you feel people within your community or organization responded to the best? What were some of the key arguments you utilized for why the field was necessary to your group?
We argued that our field was in desperate need of replacement and it was something the community could take pride in. And we sold marketing exposure to all donors that gave over $1,000, but don’t be afraid barter on marketing (with school approval). If they want more exposure for a larger donation then bend over backward to make it happen. It’s very inexpensive to have an extra banner or sign made for them to put somewhere in the stadium. But make sure if you offer one donor something you are consistent with others willing to donate the same. We also argued potentially hosting playoffs for revenues, fewer maintenance costs, and so on but those had minimal impact in our community.
If you have any questions regarding fundraising for your project or would like more information on how to plan to bring turf to your facility, give us a call at 513-533-6452.
One question that we answer often for prospective clients and field owners is, how long will our synthetic turf field last? Purchasing a synthetic field is a large investment for your organization and your main goal is to get the most out of it. Why wouldn’t you want to know how long it’s going to be around? The question seems like it should be simple to answer, just throw out a number! But the reality is that there are quite a few factors that can play into the longevity of your synthetic turf field.
So let’s begin with the easy answer: the standard lifespan of a field is approximately eight years.
Projections are showing that the fields installed now could see lives up to 10 or 12 years, thanks to technological advancements and the establishment of annual maintenance programs that have occurred since the first generation fields were installed. Barring an act of nature, your field should last eight years on its own. But the best way to give your field a long and healthy life is comparable to what you would do to extend your own life: take care of it and perform regular maintenance.
Regular grooming of your field is one of the easiest ways you can keep your field performing at high levels and keep your athletes safe. Grooming your field will help keep infill levels even, which is key in maintaining the health of your synthetic fibers and avoiding the appearance of bare spots. Low areas can become a tripping hazard and cause extra or unnecessary wear to occur on the fibers thus shortening the life of your field.
Conversely, there is such an issue as over-grooming. This could include high frequency, over-aggressive grooming, or using improper equipment. Your synthetic turf provider should educate you on these items when they train your staff on basic maintenance of the field.
Participating in an annual maintenance program, conducted by an industry professional, is an excellent way to ensure that your field is performing at its highest standard and is safe for your athletes. Much like an annual appointment with your doctor, you will find out how your field is operating and how well it’s protecting your athletes. Through the maintenance program, the professional will be also able to determine a few things:
- Locate and fix areas of high wear or heavy use
- Inspect seam and inlay integrity
- Condition and quality of the fiber
- Safety concerns and hazards
To learn more about the detailed process of annual maintenance, feel free to take a look at what our dedicated maintenance crew does during our visits.
Regardless of the age of your field, there are always things you can be doing to extend the life of it. Take care of your field and it will take care of you!
With thousands of synthetic turf fields currently installed across the United States, it is clear that their popularity is growing. More and more young athletes are growing up playing on synthetic turf fields, and quickly the surface preference is shifting. But, all statistics aside, what are the major benefits of a synthetic turf field? And is a synthetic turf field truly the best choice for your facility? Here are some benefits to consider:
Synthetic turf systems are made with resilient materials, which creates a uniform playing surface that can assist with addressing safety concerns. Synthetic systems can enhance athlete safety and reduce the number of injuries. And, since the force of impact is decreased, surfaces of this nature can reduce head injuries. Cleats do not get locked into the turf, which prevents a common source of ankle and knee injuries in more traditional natural systems. Lastly, synthetic turf eliminates dangerous holes and slippery playing fields sometimes seen on a natural surface from weather or heavy play.
Durability & Continuous Play
No more canceled practices and games due to a muddy field because synthetic turf systems vertically drain excess water from the field. There will be an increase in opportunities for community events to take place on the field, as the synthetic turf system has the ability to withstand three times more activity in a year than a standard grass surface (approximately 3,000 hours).
Athletes will be playing on a state-of-the-art, highly engineered field, built to maintain a consistent standard of play. Most field markings are permanently placed on the field and will allow athletes to execute with increased accuracy and give them consistency in their performance.
Maintenance Cost Reduction
Field maintenance costs will be reduced with the elimination of expenses for mowing, watering, fertilization, seeding, irrigation, and labor fees.
Water Conservation & Pesticide Savings
When it comes to conservation, synthetic fields are a great way to go. They are environmentally friendly as there is no need for the use of chemicals to assist in growth, saving on water usage, and in addition, you are making use of recycled materials.
Since synthetic turf can withstand a significant amount of wear and continuous usage, many facilities choose to rent their surfaces to local sports associations or regional teams to help pay for the facility or simply increase revenue to their bottom line.
No Weather Worry
Synthetic turf fields are made for play, rain or shine. With a detailed drainage system, designed specifically for your site, rainwater can quickly and easily filter through ensuring the field will not be muddy or waterlogged.
Permanent Game Face
Lastly, a synthetic field always has its game face on. The field’s rugged good looks never fade, with its limited maintenance and permanent markings, it’s sure to make a lasting impression.
For more information on the benefits a synthetic turf field can bring your facility, please contact 513-533-6452.
If synthetic turf is not something that’s a part of your daily life, then finding the right place to go for more information about it can be a challenge. Especially if you don’t know what you should be looking for. For all your turf questions and concerns, the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) is available to help.
STC is a non-profit association that is dedicated to being an educational platform to promote, develop and grow the synthetic turf industry around the globe.
With the internet expanding every single day with new websites, videos, and articles, it can be difficult to separate the facts from fiction on any topic imaginable. Getting the most up to date and accurate information about synthetic turf is no different.
STC is dedicated to providing quality and accurate information for anyone trying to learn about synthetic turf and the industry behind it. With top industry leaders serving as trusted and knowledgeable resources for news articles and latest independent research findings, STC is the most trusted source of information by synthetic turf industry professionals.
More athletic facilities are installing synthetic surfaces every year, and the safety and testing of these surfaces are of the utmost importance. To ensure athletes and their families are aware of every field assessment possible, STC provides the most recently updated information regarding safety testing, regulations, and research in the industry.
So whether it’s looking up definitions of terms commonly used in discussing synthetic turf or reading the latest research available to the industry, STC has all the latest and greatest information to date. But, most importantly, they also have most accurate. For more information about The Motz Group’s involvement and partnership with STC, click here.
Speaking of Motz and resources, with over four decades in the industry, we’ve seen a lot, learned a lot, and been asked many questions along the way. As a result, we wanted to create a helpful, centralize place for you to seek answers. Therefore, we developed a series designed to “field” many of the common frequently asked questions, as seen here.
As we transition between seasons, the change in the weather is something to always be on the lookout for. However, sometimes Mother Nature throws us a curve ball, and there is no amount of preparation or awareness that can prevent damage caused by drastic or unforeseeable weather conditions. For example, if a large amount of rain is accrued in a short period of time it can cause severe flooding, yielding devastation in the affected areas.
In times like these, it is imperative that we prioritize what’s most important – focusing on the safety of the community’s people and their personal property. As the water recedes and neighborhoods begin to chip away at cleanup, it might be discovered that flooding has caused destruction to extensions of the community like schools and recreational areas. Some of the directly impacted may include athletic facilities equipped with a synthetic turf field. Like the property around them, these fields are spared no exception and are often severely damaged in the midst.
Synthetic fields are designed and built to have reliable drainage capabilities to ensure standing water doesn’t stand in the way of game-time. In the case of a natural disaster like a flood, surrounding storm sewers may be inundated with water, causing it to back up into the system, and potentially flooding a perfectly designed synthetic turf system. While this sort of issue can be initially devastating to your athletic surface and the community around it, there are resources and professionals available to help guide your facility through the process of getting your artificial field back up and running.
If flooding affects your field, the best course of action is to contact your synthetic turf provider immediately and request an evaluation. They should be willing to visit your site to assess the damage and determine the best course of action for remediation post-flood recession. It is also recommended that you take photos throughout the stages of flooding, as well as its respective damage, for comprehensive documentation of the incident.
Facilities that are faced with an unexpected disaster of this magnitude, like Roger Bacon High School, for example, need an experienced professional they can count on. As disappointing, messy, and challenging handling a flooded synthetic turf field can be, there are trusted experts to turn to for guidance and support. For more information on The Motz Group’s capabilities in helping weather-related synthetic turf damage, please visit our Weather Remediation page or contact us for an assessment and recommendation for proper remediation.
America’s pastime has been a beloved spectator sport for decades. Baseball has developed and changed over the years to become one of the most watched and played games in the US. In addition, softball has rapidly grown in popularity, at both a competitive and leisure level. One development that has taken these sports by storm, particularly at the high school and collegiate level, is the transition from using natural grass to synthetic turf fields.
Facilities that have switched to using artificial turf surfaces for baseball or softball are able to enjoy many benefits. These include reduced scheduling changes, savings on annual maintenance costs, ability to execute back-to-back games, and some even leverage their surfaces as an income source.
During this time of year baseball and softball games are in full swing – along with the potential for unexpected downpours. Though some general maintenance is required to ensure longevity and safety, synthetic turf fields are built with a drainage system and permeable backing layer, which prevents standing water from causing game delays or rain-outs. This reduces hours and money spent focusing on pre-game preparation, which typically includes field dragging, raking, rebuilding of the pitcher’s mound, and application of drying products.
Though these fields are designed to mimic the playability of natural grass, they also offer the surface consistency that players desire. Synthetic turf fields are built to be smooth and flat so athletes can maneuver freely, without concern for divots, ruts, or lumps.
As we all know, practice makes perfect. Synthetic turf fields allow players the benefit of spending more quality time on the field. With limited cancellations, delays, and no need for weather remediation, athletes can keep doing what they do best: playing ball.
No artificial turf field is one size fits all. Each system is custom designed to fit the needs of each facility and the needs of the programs using it. Our qualified and seasoned Field Consultants will guide owners through the process of determining the needs of the facility and how those will be executed in the design and installation process.
To check out some facilities that have benefited from switching to a synthetic baseball or softball field, visit our recent projects. If you’re interested in learning more about Motz’s comprehensive, synthetic turf system designed specifically for baseball or softball, swing by our TriplePlay page.
If you have questions about synthetic turf or would like more information about The Motz Group, please contact us today.