NCEF Resource List: School Athletic Fields
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Information on the design, construction, and maintenance of school and university sports fields, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.

References to Books and Other Media

Developing Great Schoolyards - A Handbook for Elementary Schools. Adobe PDF
(The 21st Century School Fund, Washington, D.C. and the Prince Charitable Trusts, Oct 2011)
Handbook explores outdoor spaces such as small athletic fields, vegetable gardens, and playgrounds that provide opportunities for physical challenges, exercise, sensory and fantasy play, organized sports and upsupervised free play. Features the District of Columbia public elementary schoolyards. Explains the qualities communities and parents should look for in schoolyards. Includes an assessment tool to rate your elementary schoolyard, and advice on how to plan and develop a quality schoolyard. 31p

The School Site Planner. Adobe PDF
(North Carolina Dept. of Public Instruction, Raleigh , Feb 2010)
Addresses many factors that need consideration during the process of school site selection, planning, development, and use. The guide examines not only the site selection and planning processes, but also playground planning, recreation and athletic fields planning. Specific considerations include analyses of the surrounding community or territory; building access and security; the surrounding natural environment and available support services; landscaping, utilities, and vehicular traffic; and playground equipment and safety. Final sections provide athletic field layouts for track and field events; football, soccer, and baseball fields; and basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts. Fourteen references are included. 67p.

Sports Fields: Design, Construction, and Maintenance.
Puhalla, James; Krans, Jeffrey; Goatley, J. Michael
(John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ , 2010)
Provides technical information to those responsible for the design, construction, renovation, or maintenance of sports fields. Chapters address turfgrass, soil science, fertilization, mowing, irrigation, drainage, thatch, aeration, turfgrass stress and remedies, chemical use, and organic field management. Field specifics for the various turf sports are addressed individually, as is synthetic turf. Sand fields, turf paints, field quality and, evaluation, and environmental stewardship are also discussed. 528p.

A Scoping-Level Field Monitoring Study of Synthetic Turf Fields and Playgrounds.
(United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , Nov 2009)
Reports on a study of the toxicity of the tire crumbs typically found in artificial turf. The study found that the concentrations of particulate matter, metals, and volatile organic compounds that make up tire crumb were below levels considered harmful. However, given the limited nature of the study (limited number of constituents monitored, sample sites, and samples taken at each site) and the wide diversity of tire crumb material, it is not possible, without additional data, to extend the results beyond the four study sites to reach more comprehensive conclusions. 123p.
Report NO: EPA/600/R-09/135

Campus Recreational Sports Facilities: Planning, Design and Construction Guidelines.
National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA)
(Human Kinetics , 2009)
Covers the planning process from the perspective of the campus master planner and the recreational sport director; the feasibility study process, how to determine whether to build new or renovate existing facilities, and how to raise capital to fund design and construction costs; the design and general planning standards for indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, aquatic centers, and climbing walls; the integration of furniture, fixtures, and equipment in the architectural design and construction processes; an overview of the architectural design and construction processes; and moving in and opening a new or newly renovated facility. 296p.

Potential Exposure to Lead in Artificial Turf: Public Health Issues, Actions, and Recommendations.
(U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta , Jun 18, 2008)
Discusses concerns over potentially high lead levels in artificial sports turf, as indicated by tests on fields in New Jersey. Information on the presence of lead in various types of fibers, recommendations for use of artificial fields in order to minimize lead exposure, and testing of artificial fields is provided. 3p.

Blood Lead and Turf Field Q and A. Adobe PDF
(New Jersey Dept.of Health and Social Services, Trenton , Apr 2008)
Presents a brief list of six questions and answers addressing concerns of those who might have played at artificial turf fields in New Jersey that have been found to contain lead. 2p.

Additional Artificial Turf Issues. Adobe PDF
(New Jersey Dept.of Health and Social Services, Trenton , 2008)
Addresses concerns over chemical and other hazards of artificial turf fields. Ingredients in the crumb rubber filling, abrasions, higher surface temperatures, and potential for lead in the fibers are discussed. 3p.

NFHS Court and Field Diagram Guide.
(National Federation of State High School Associations, Indianapolis, IN , 2008)
Provides a comprehensive collection of diagrams and specifications of playing fields and courts used in interscholastic and recreational sports, along with information on how to set up various formats of tournament drawings, how to compute golf handicaps, and how to convert metric-to-English distances. Lists are provided of national sports governing bodies for Olympic/Pan American sport organizations, affiliated sport organizations, armed forces sport organizations, community-based multisport organizations, and disabled and education-based multisport organizations. 129p.

Toxic Playgrounds: Arsenic Treated Wood and Artificial Turf.
(Healthy School Network, Albany, NY , 2008)
Advises on the potential presence of the pesticide/fungicide Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) in wood used to construct playgrounds. The chemical can leach from the wood and be absorbed through the skin. Potential threats from artificial turf are also discussed, as are general tips for safer playgrounds. Nine additional resources concerning safety and alternative products are provided. 5p.

Water Conservation Tips and Information, Relating to the Construction and Maintenance of Public Schools in North Carolina. Adobe PDF
(Public Schools of North Carolina, School Planning Section, Raleigh , Jan 2008)
Offers water conservation tips for school kitchens, athletic fields, and restrooms. 4p.

A Complete Guide to Sports and Recreation Surfaces.
(CAB Communications, Recreation Management Magazine, Palatine, IL , Jul 2007)
Advises on selection and care of synthetic turf, track and tennis court surfaces, and fitness room and gymnasium floors. 28p.

Evaluation of Health Effects of Recycled Waste Tires in Playground and Track Products.
(State of California, Integrated Waste Management Board, Sacramento , Jan 2007)
Reports on a studies of health risks to children using outdoor playground and track surfaces constructed from recycled waste tires. Three routes of child exposure to chemicals in the rubber were considered: 1) ingestion of loose rubber tire shreds, 2) ingestion via hand-to-surface contact followed by hand-to-mouth contact, and 3) skin sensitization via dermal contact. The risks from ingestion and absorption by all means was considered low. Playground surfaces constructed from recycled tires were tested for their ability to attenuate fall-related impacts, and in this category it was discovered the only 31 percent of the rubberized surfaces met the Head Impact Criterion (HIC) standard. 147p.

Facility Specifications.
(Athletic Business, Madison, WI , 2007)
Provides regulation court and field diagrams for badminton, baseball, basketball, field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, racquetball, squash, handball, team handball, rugby, soccer, softball, wheelchair softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling. 26p.

Running Tracks: A Construction and Maintenance Manual, 6th ed.
(American Sports Builders Assn., Ellicott City, MD , 2007)
Discusses running track budgeting, planning and design; project delivery methods; the construction process; surface selection; field events, equipment, and amenities; marking; indoor tracks; and care and maintenance. Appendices include a glossary. Numerous drawings are included. 180p.

Synthetic Turf Chemicals.
(RAMP, Rochester, NY , 2007)
Presents a chemical analysis of synthetic turf "crumb rubber" fill, revealing the parts per billion of 23 metals and volatiles found in how many samples, taken from five synthetic turf suppliers. 6p.

Artificial Turf: Exposures to Ground-Up Rubber Tires Adobe PDF
Brown, David
(Environment and Human Health, Inc., North Haven, CT , 2007)
Presents research revealing that tire crumbs used in athletic fields typically contain volatile organic compounds (VOC's) with carcinogenic potential that are released into the air and groundwater. Based on uncertainty as to what these exposures mean for children s health, as well as the environmental leaching of the materials into the ground water, a moratorium on use of tire crumbs was recommended, as well as caution in the use of existing fields with tire crumbs. This includes not using the fields on very warm days, avoidance by people with respiratory conditions, and further study. Includes 14 references. 30p.

Standard Design for Wyoming Schools: Track and Field, Football and Soccer Facilities. Adobe PDF
(Wyoming School Facilities Commission, Cheyenne , May 2006)
Provides a standard guideline narrative, specifications, and design plans for these athletic facilities in Wyoming schools. General design guidance is provided for tracks, site drainage, and fencing, as well as for specific field event areas. Technical specifications for demolition, sitework, asphalt, concrete, running surfaces, vaulting boxes, and jump boards are included. 91p.

The Greenburgh, Valhalla and Eastchester School Districts and the Town of Eastchester Acquisition of Athletic Fields.
(New York Office of the State Comptroller, Albany , Sep 2005)
Presents the audit results of an arrangement in which the three Districts and the Town, in an attempt to acquire athletic fields at no cost, allowed dirt haulers to dump construction and demolition debris on their properties in exchange for the dirt haulers renovating their athletic fields. The report claims that the only parties to profit from this scheme were the dirt haulers who received cost savings of between $7.4 million and $19.4 million for dumping debris on District and Town properties. Also claimed is that by accepting debris in exchange for athletic fields, the Districts and the Town operated solid-waste disposal facilities without obtaining appropriate permits, and without adhering to environmental requirements. Because the debris was found to be contaminated, the school districts and town were left with mounds of dirt and debris that cannot be used as athletic fields until the Districts and the Town receive environmental approval, which the report estimates will reach $2 million. The local authorities' responses are included as appendices. 80p.
Report NO: 2005-MR-8

Athletic Field Use and Feasibility Study: Bellefonte Area High School. Adobe PDF
(ELA Group, Inc.; State College, PA , Jul 28, 2005)
Assesses the existing and planned athletic fields at this high school, in advance of a campus redesign that will convert some existing fields to parking. Details regarding the condition of the fields, as well as a recommendation that additional land be acquired to accommodate the displace fields are included. 33p.

Sports Turf and Amenity Grassland Management.
Brown, Stewart
(Crowood Press, Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK , 2005)
Provides detailed advice on the care and maintenance of sports turfs, covering grass types, mowing, irrigation, fertilizing, aeration, pest control, turf establishment, and renovation. 192p.
TO ORDER: The Crowood Press, Ltd., Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wilshire, SN82HR, United Kingdom

Facility Design and Management for Health, Fitness, Physical Activity, Recreation, and Sports Facility Development.
Sawyer, Thomas, ed.
(Sagamore Publishing, Champaign, IL , 2005)
Offers extensive advice on athletic facility and event management, common facility components and their design, field and court specifications, recreational spaces, specialty areas, and trends. The book incorporates the knowledge of over 30 experts in the facilities planning and development field and may be used as a text for use in sport management and physical education administration courses. On-line resources are listed including a glossary, author biographies, 34 additional appendices, instructor's guide, Power Point presentations, and a VersaChad software design program with custom exercises 523p.
TO ORDER: 804 N. Neil St., Champaign, IL, 61820

Lighting Guidelines. Adobe PDF
(Amateur Softball Association of America, Oklahoma City, OK , 2004)
Presents this organization's recommendations for softball field lighting, including electrical and pole specifications, lamp selection, perimeter lighting, and environmental considerations. Schematic drawings and a glossary are included. 14p.

Managing Healthy Sports Fields.
Sachs, Paul
(John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ , 2004)
Using suggestions that can be adapted to specific field types, climatic zones and desired appearance, this text aims to liberate the modern turf manager from dependency on chemical treatments. The author advocates safety for people and animals, as well as longevity of the land, without sacrificing the quality of the turf itself. It is written for turf managers who need to reduce or eliminate chemical pesticides and fertilizers in their turfgrass management processes. It offers advice and practical steps to earth-conscious turf managers, and those who are responding to the growing chorus of concerns about fertilizers and pesticides, while covering the basics of soil fertility, composting, methods of soil analysis, cultural practices and pests. 244p.

Baseball and Softball Fields: Design, Construction, Renovation, and Maintenance.
Puhalla, Jim; Krans, Jeff; Goatley, Mike
(John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ , 2003)
Offers guidelines, specifications, and tips for the creation, reconstruction, maintenance, and management of baseball and softball facilities. Stadium and field design, fences, dugouts, bullpens, irrigation and drainage, soil selection, turf management, field aesthetics, renovation, and skinned-area maintenance are covered, along with material w ith material addressing growing zones and seasons in North America. 240p.

Sports Field Management Guide, Volume 2. Traction on Turf.
Ratcliff, Cindy, Ed.
(Intertec Publishing Co., Overland Park, KS , Sep 2000)
This guide presents three articles on athletic-field turf management. The articles explain how athletic-field managers can make a difference in playing surface quality, discusses the design and technical challenge behind athletic-field mowing patterns, and provides a form to help identify and document sports field problems. This issue is a supplement to the September, 2000 issue of American School & University magazine. 17p.
TO ORDER: Intertec Publishing, P.O. Box 12901, Overland Park, KS 66282-2901; Tel: 800-441-0294

Sports Field Management Guide. Volume 1.
Nelson, Eric K.; Stier, John C., Landry, Gil
(Intertec Publishing Co., Overland Park, KS , Sep 1999)
This journal presents three articles on athletic facility turf management practices. Articles are as follows: "Turfgrass Choices for Athletic Fields," (Eric K. Nelson); "Fertilization: Maximizing Performance of High-Traffic Turf," (John C. Stier); and "Tips for Sports Turf Managers," (Gil Landry). Supplement to American School & University magazine September, 1999 issue. 15 pp.
TO ORDER: Intertec Publishing, P.O. Box 12901, Overland Park, KS 66282-2901; Tel: 800-441-0294

Sports Fields: A Manual for Design Construction and Maintenance.
Puhalla, Jim; Krans, Jeff; Goatley, Mike
(John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY , 1999)
Comprehensive technical reference information is provided for those responsible for the design, construction, renovation, or maintenance of sports grounds. Chapters illustrate specific design elements of all popular sports facilities and explain how those elements are integrated in a successful project; explore commonly encountered sports field problems, and suggest appropriate solutions; follow the sequence of steps for construction or renovation of facilities; and provide practical guidance for continuing maintenance programs. The manual is divided into three general growing zones in North America to account for the different growing climates and characteristics of turfgrass needs. Also included are a review of procedures and equipment currently in use to evaluate the quality and safety of a sports field; and miscellaneous related topics that include stadium management, sand fields, turf paints and covers, and research that is likely to have a substantial impact on the future of sports fields. 480p.

The School Site Planner. Land for Learning. Site Selection, Site Planning, Playgrounds, Recreation, and Athletic Fields. Adobe PDF
(Public Schools of North Carolina, State Board of Education, Dept. of Public Instruction, Raleigh , Jun 1998)
The report examines not only the site selection and planning processes, but also playground planning, recreation and athletic fields planning, and the North Carolina agencies and statutes that are involved. Specific considerations include analyses of the surrounding community or territory; of building access and security; of the surrounding natural environment and available support services; of landscaping, utilities, and vehicular traffic; and of playground equipment and safety. Final sections provide athletic field layouts for track and field events; football, soccer, and baseball fields; and basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts. 75p.

USTC & TBA Guidelines for Tennis Court & Running Track Construction. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Tennis Court and Track Builders Assoc., Ellicott City, MD , 1998)
Guidelines are presented on tennis court and track field construction that reflect the latest developments in construction technology, methodology, and practice. Based on contributions from experienced certified tennis court and track builders, material suppliers and design professionals, this manual examines each of the critical areas of court and field design and construction issues to consider when building these facilities. Section One provides guidelines in the areas of general conditions for construction, site investigation and preparation, and vegetation control and drainage for recreational areas. Section Two focuses on tennis court guidelines that include court orientation and dimensions, court surfaces, lighting, surface painting, maintenance and repair of asphalt courts, conversion of hard to fast dry courts, and indoor tennis air structure construction. The third and final section addresses track guidelines and includes basic dimensions and site considerations, concrete construction, fencing, six types of track surfaces, field event construction, and layout and striping of running tracks. 215p.

NFHS Court and Field Diagram Guide.
Gillis, John, Ed.
(National Federation of State High School Associations, Indianapolis, IN , 1998)
Collection of diagrams and specifications of playing fields and courts used in interscholastic and recreational sports, along with information on how to set up various formats of tournament drawings, how to compute golf handicaps, and how to convert metric-to-English distances. Lists are provided of national sports governing bodies for Olympic/Pan American sport organizations, affiliated sport organizations, armed forces sport organizations, community-based multisport organizations, and disabled and education-based multisport organizations. 126p.
TO ORDER: NFHS Order Department, P. O. Box 361246, Indianapolis, IN 46236-5324; Toll free: 800-776-3462

Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture.
Harris, Charles; Dines, Nicholas
(McGraw Hill, New York, NY, 1998)
This landscape architecture reference provides a range of design and construction data on: site layout, grading and drainage; pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular circulation; retaining walls and devices, dams, surfacing and paving, fences and screens, wood decks and boardwalks, and pedestrian bridges; site furniture and features, recreation and athletic facilities, pools and fountains, outdoor lighting, plants and planting; roof, deck, interior and historic landscapes; water supply, sewage disposal, stormwater management and water resources protection, recreational waterbodies and irrigation; soils and aggregates, asphalt, concrete, masonry, wood, metals, glass, plastics, fabrics and geotextiles; paving and more. 928p.
TO ORDER: McGraw Hill Professional

Turf Management Handbook. Good Turf for Lawns, Playing Fields, and Parks.
Schroeder, Charles B.; Sprague, Howard B.
(Interstate Publishers, Inc., Danville, IL , 1996)
Practical guidelines for turf management are provided that explain the natural processes involved, specific materials and equipment, and procedures that have been found to produce desirable results with a minimum of effort and expense. The handbook starts with information on how grasses grow, then proceeds through various chapters on turfgrass characteristics for cooler and warmer regions, soil characteristics, practical use of fertilizers, new turf care, weed and insect control, irrigation, procedures on renovating poor turf, and seasonal schedules for management of turf areas. 206p.
TO ORDER: Interstate Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 50, Danville, IL 61834; Tel: 800-843-4774

Natural and Artificial Playing Fields: Characteristics and Safety Features.
Schmidt, Roger C., Ed.; Hoerner, Earl F., Ed.; Milner, Edward M., Ed.; Morehouse, C. A., Ed.
(ASTM International, Conshohocken, PA , 1990)
Papers are presented on the subjects of playing field standards, surface traction, testing and correlation to actual field experience, and state-of-the-art natural and artificial surfaces. The papers, presented at the Symposium on the Characteristics and Safety of Playing Surfaces (Artificial and Natural) for Field Sports in 1998, cover the interaction of a sport with the playing field by offering views of designers, administrators, athlete, and sport researchers. 196p.
Report NO: STP-1073

References to Journal Articles

Sustainable Turf Management. An Organic Systems-Based Approach
York, Tammy
Recreation Management; , p34-37 ; Mar 2012
Discusses the change from synthetic chemicals for natural turf management to organic. Describes selecting the right grass, mowing, fertilizing, and organic turf management.

Making the Grade
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; , p37-41 ; Feb 2012
Widespread adherence to exacting design standards has propelled a rise in quality of U.S.-built tracks. Describes the design and construction of running tracks.

Outsider Trading.
Nardone, David; Novak, Mark
Athletic Business; v35 n5 , p25,26,28,30 ; May 2011
Offers tips for making decision whether to maintain athletic fields with in-house staff and equipment or hiring outside professionals. Primary considerations include time, expertise, and equipment.

Standing Tall.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v35 n4 , p49,50,52,54,56,58,60 ; Apr 2011
Discusses current synthetic fibers for athletic fields, emphasizing curved filaments that resist flattening and have longer life. Details of how they are made and specifications that a buyer should look for are addressed.

Locker Rooms.
Ruebling, Al
School Planning and Management; v50 n2 , p38,39 ; Feb 2011
Addresses locker room planning, advising on flooring, lockers, layout, lavatories, and ceilings.

From Blueprint to Ballgame: The Ins and Outs of Sports Field Design.
Summerfield, Brian
Recreation Management; v12 n2 , p16-19 ; Feb 2011
Discusses savings available in playing field construction while the economy is in recession. Also, deciding which sports, how much use, the land conditions at the location, and the neighborhood are considered.

Toughen Up Your Turf.
Klingensmith, Dawn
Recreation Management; v12 n1 , p33-35 ; Jan 2011
Advises on athletic turf care by rotating use, restraint with chemicals, overseeding of worn areas, careful record-keeping, and frequent mowing. Grooming advice for synthetic fields is included, emphasizing brushing, replacing of infill, and hardness testing.

Cover Ups: Selecting the Right Shade Structure for Your Needs.
Anderson, Kelli
Recreation Management; v11 n10 , p20-27 ; Oct 2010
Discusses shade structures for athletic and recreational facilities, noting attention to climate, potential vandalism, aesthetics, self-installation, water resistance or porosity, and orientation toward the sun are discussed.

Greener All the Time.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v34 n10 , p39,40,42 ; Oct 2010
Describes the environmental advantages of artificial turf fields, highlighting one instance where an entire field that had reached the end of its useful life was recycled.

Physical Education Facilities/Recreation Centers.
American School and University; v82 n13 , p108-110 ; Aug 2010
Profiles three physical education facilities that were recognized in the 2010 American School and University Magazine Education Interiors Showcase. Photographs and project statistics accompany a brief description of each project.

Solid Footing.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v34 n7 , p35,36,38,40 ; Jul 2010
Discusses maintenance of sport surfaces to prevent injuries and their accompanying litigation. A variety of situations that can degrade playing surfaces are addressed, as are regular inspections and preventive maintenance. Examples of injuries and the lawsuits that followed are included, and improperly designed locker rooms are cited as well.

Breaking Ground: Making the Most of Your Sports Fields.
Anderson, Kelli
Recreation Management; v11 n2 , p18-21 ; Feb 2010
Advises on athletic field maintenance, addressing aeration, water savings, mowing, weed control, and allowing the field to go unused during maintenance regrowth.

Surface Impact.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v33 n7 , p38-40,42,44,46,48,40,42 ; Jul 2009
Discusses the environmental impact of natural grass, synthetic turf, synthetic tracks, hardwood courts, and ice sheets.

Which Grass is Greener?
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v48 n3 , p78 ; Mar 2009
Discusses advantages of and reactions against artificial athletic turfs, which provide necessary year-round availability, but are sometimes regarded with suspicion due to the possible presence of toxins in turf, and the mistaken impression that they are not as environmentally friendly as natural turf fields.

Field Goals: Maintaining Sports Fields and Grounds.
Tipping, Emily
Recreation Management; v10 n2 , p18-23 ; Feb 2009
Discusses the respective virtues of artificial and natural athletic turf, including descriptions of highly regarded fields of both types in municipal, collegiate, and professional venues. Advice on the care of both types of turf is included.

Unnatural Selection.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v32 n11 , p68-70,72,74,76,78 ; Nov 2008
Proposes questions and answers to consider when selecting a synthetic turf field. These cover the sports that will be played on the field, the length and density of the fibers, type of infill, necessity of a shock pad, and selection of a contractor.

You've Come a Long Way, Baby: The Evolution of Athletic Playing Surfaces.
Zowie, Richard
Recreation Management; v9 n9 , suppl. 6-8,10-13 ; Sep 2008
Discusses the differences between natural and synthetic athletic turf, using examples of institutions who are dedicated to one or the other, or are switching. Advantages and disadvantages of both surfaces are discussed, as are recent developments in running track surfacing.

Facility Focus: Stadiums/Track and Field.
College Planning and Management; v11 n8 , p50-52 ; Aug 2008
Profiles recent athletic facility renovations and additions at the University of Iowa, Virginia Tech, and University of California. The first two projects are major stadium renovations, and third is a parking facility with a playing field on the top.

Lead Astray.
Cohen, Andrew
Athletic Business; v32 n8 , p32-34,36,38 ; Aug 2008
Elaborates on a recent discovery of lead in artificial playing turf fibers. The evolution of the discovery and warnings that were issued, the responses from the artificial turf industry, the ingestibility of lead-contaminated dust from the fields, controversies concerning the sampling and actual risk, and other issues surrounding lead content in products to which children might be exposed are covered.

Field Notes.
Parrone, Edward; Montalto, Michael
American School and University; v80 n12 , p30-32 ; Jul 2008
Outlines considerations for upgrading athletic fields, including evaluation of many issues that impact the function of the athletic program, the site, and participant safety and convenience. Six steps for selecting design professionals, engaging stakeholders, and implementing the program are discussed.

Turf Wars.
Mobley, Larry
School Planning and Management; v47 n5 , pA16,A18-A20 ; May 2008
Details the materials, construction, and maintenance of artificial turf fields at Los Angeles' Miguel Contreras Learning Center, along with its playing advantages. Standard procedures for maintaining natural grass fields are included.

Roof Positive.
Cohen, Andrew
Athletic Business; v32 n4 , p52-54,56,58 ; Apr 2008
Discusses the use of campus building and parking rooftops as athletic courts and fields, using successful and unsuccessful projects as examples. Challenges of playing surface drainage, roof leaks, and the creation of a field partially on grade and partially over a structure are included.

Green Fields.
Maguire, Patrick
School Planning and Management; v47 n4 , p80-83 ; Apr 2008
Discusses environmental considerations for athletic fields, including artificial turf the requires no watering, fertilizer, or pesticides. Also considered are the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly procedures for fertilization, irrigation, overseeding, and mowing of natural grass fields.

Solid Ground: Ensuring Turf Is Tough Enough.
Poremba, Sue
Recreation Management; v9 n2 , p20-25 ; Feb 2008
Reviews the advantages and care for artificial playing turf, care of natural grass baseball fields and the dirt portions of the infield, protection of fields from weather, and typical equipment needs for athletic field care.

Making Tracks.
Jordan, Janet; Blaisdell, Howard
Athletic Business; v31 n12 , p118-120,122,124-126 ; Dec 2007
Advises on the design and equipping of sports tracks, including storage of the many varieties of track equipment, traffic flow, track configurations, surface specifications, finish line accuracy, infields, and special considerations for throwing areas.

Building Blueprints: Outdoor Athletic Facilities.
Neff, Thomas; Miller, Kyle
School Planning and Management; v46 n8 , p48,49 ; Aug 2007
Reviews master planning, drainage, turf, soils, irrigation, support buildings, and seating for outdoor athletic facilities.

Green Strategies.
Popke, Michael
Athletic Business; v31 n7 , p58-60,62,64,66,68 ; Jul 2007
Discusses installation of synthetic turf playing fields at several high schools, focusing on how funding was obtained for the high installation costs. Private donations with naming rights, fund-raising campaigns, and creative borrowing are described.

Lessons from the Summer Olympics: How Schools Can Maximize the Performance of Athletic Fields.
Cook, Murray
School Planning and Management; v46 n5 , pA3,A4,A6,A8,A9 ; May 2007
Discusses creation of athletic fields with materials that are suitable to the local environment, the value of remembering "lessons learned" from previous athletic field installations, and scaling maintenance to the amount of use.

Stadium and Field Management.
Larson, Carl
School Planning and Management; v46 n5 , pA16-A18 ; May 2007
Discusses the desirability and care of sand-based playing fields, including proper irrigation, fertilizing, mowing and clipping removal, overseeding, and aeration. A turf condition rating system to help determine whether to overseed or re-sod is provided. Also included is advice on maintaining baseball infields, assessments of equipment and personnel needed, proper use and recovery time for fields, and budgeting for preventive maintenance the precludes expensive repairs.

The Pressure's On.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v31 n3 , p 68-72,74,76 ; Mar 2007
Discusses efficient athletic turf irrigation, including system design, water pressurization, potential sources of system damage, correct mowing, and root growth promotion.

Turf Wars.
Ryan, Kyle
Recreation Management; v8 n2 , p22-27 ; Feb 2007
Reviews the advantages and disadvantages of natural and artificial sports turf, with suggestions for care of natural turf that include details on irrigation, aeration, and pest control.

Planning & Design - Basketball and Football Practice Facility Design
Bynum, Marvin
Athletic Business; v31 n1 , p30-32,34,36,38,40 ; Jan 2007
Discusses trends for design and amenities of athletic training facilities, the expansion of which typically finds its origin in professional venues, with gradual adoption at the collegiate level as well. Extensive facilities are typically more useful at the training facility that at the playing facility, because the training facility is used so much more. Examples of innovative design and multi-use in recently built collegiate training facilities are included.

Isolate Your Track.
Wofford, Ray
Recreation Management; v8 n1 , p14,15 ; Jan 2007
Advises on drainage system design and installation to prevent water buildup on outdoor running tracks.

Grass Gets Uprooted.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v30 n11 , p64-66,68,70,72-74,76,78 ; Nov 2006
Describes a migration to synthetic turf playing fields at higher education institutions, with more than 50 percent of Division I-A schools now using synthetics. However, of the 65 schools competing in championship bowls, 40 still favor grass. The number of lower division school preferring synthetics is even wider, at 70 percent. The advantages and disadvantages of both types of surfaces are discussed.

Age of Enlightenment.
Spak, Kara
Recreation Management; v7 n8 , p34-39 ; Oct 2006
Advises on how to make athletic facility lighting more eye-catching, practical, and environmentally sensitive. Examples of upgrades and the money saved are provided, as is advice on controlling spill, ease of maintenance, and quietness of the fixtures.

Greener Grass.
Clarkson, T. A.
American School and University; v78 n12 , p26,29,30 ; Jul 2006
Describes the difficulties and expense of maintaining natural turf athletic fields, and then lists significant advantages of synthetic turf options. Current technology provides synthetic fields that are durable, properly cushioned, quick-draining, and easily maintained. Initial installation is significantly more expensive than that of natural turf, and advice on evaluating the athletic program and space requirements in light of this cost is offered.

A Complete Guide to Sports Surfaces and Flooring.
Spak, Kara
Recreation Management; v7 n6 , suppl. 4-26 passim ; Jul-Aug 2006
Discusses athletic surfaces for tennis, field sports, and track, including a lengthy case study of surfaces used in the 184,772-square-foot Centre of Elgin (Illinois). The surfaces of the Centre's entrance, gymns, courts, halls, locker rooms, climbing wall area, dance studios, and kitchen are described. Options for recycling and sustainability in material selection are included.

Light Reading.
Bynum, Marvin
Athletic Business; v30 n5 , p66-68,70,71 ; May 2006
Describes newer energy-efficient sports field lighting that has minimal spill, is challenging industry illumination standards, and whose quality of light over the life of the lamp under debate.

Maximize Your Water Use, Minimize Your Chemical Applications.
School Planning and Management; v45 n4 , pG14,G16,G18,G20 ; Apr 2006
Outlines components and scheduling for a turf irrigation system and program, emphasizing precision irrigation to safe water and reduce chemical use.

The Ground Up.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v30 n4 , p88-90,92,94-96,98,99 ; Apr 2006
Presents an overview of considerations for building a new athletic field, including site selection, soil testing, drainage, irrigation, grading, and turf implementation.

Pesticides and Playing Fields.
Gunn, Eileen; Osborne, Chip
Pesticides and You; v26 n2 , p12-14 ; Jan 2006
Desribes typical chemical treatments of athletic fields, physical disorders that might be linked to or exacerbated by residues from these compounds, options for organic field management, and advice for further action.

Sideline Supplies.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v30 n1 , p58-60,62-65 ; Jan 2006
Describes a variety of sideline equipment and furnishings designed to improve players safety, health, and comfort. These include special benches, hydrating supplies, body temperature regulating devices, stretching equipment, and storage.

Timing is Everything.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v72 n1 , p66-68 ; Jan 2006
Provides a scheduled athletic turf maintenance overview, covering mowing, fertilization, irrigation, aeration, topdressing, overseeding, and chemical application.

High Fiber Diet.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v29 n11 , p84-86,88,90,92,96,98,99 ; Nov 2005
Discusses maintenance of synthetic turf, including control of footwear, food prohibition, trash pickup, cleaning of spills, sweeping, brushing, controlling static, snow removal, and even watering. Hardness of synthetic turf can be adjusted by various grooming and watering techniques.

Artificial Turf vs. Natural Turf.
Apallas, Alexa
School Construction News; v8 n5 , p22,23 ; Jul-Aug 2005
Describes recent innovations in artificial turf that make it safer and often cheaper overall than high-end, demanding natural turf systems. Artificial turf is especially recommended as a reliable playing surface in areas where winters are long and cold.

Sowing Seeds.
Bynum, Marvin
Athletic Business; v29 n7 , p89,90,92,94,96 ; Jul 2005
Describes various higher education sports turf management training programs, the popular Ohio State University sports turf website (, the types of jobs and credentials in turf management, and the ongoing trend toward professionalism in the discipline.

Damage Control.
Cohen, Andrew
Athletic Business; v29 n4 , p61,62,64,66,68 ; Apr 2005
Discusses varieties of athletic field vandalism and their remedies.

Balanced Beams.
Fote, Christopher
Athletic Business; v29 n3 , p87,88,90,92,93 ; Mar 2005
Advises on avoiding light pollution when illuminating sports fields. Computer modeling of light spill, dark-sky advocacy, glare, types of light fixtures and reflectors, pole configuration, and computerized programming for various activities on the field are covered.

Field Research.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v28 n12 , p54-56,58,60 ; Dec 2004
Discusses up-front, life-cycle, and replacement costs for synthetic turf, which frequently cost less than maintaining heavily-used fields.

Which Grass is Greener?
Boehland, Jessica
Landscape Architecture; v94 n10 , p122,124,126-140 ; Oct 2004
Presents a detailed history and description of artificial turf, explaining how modern artificial turfs might be a more environmentally sensitive choice over natural grass, which requires fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, watering, and mowing...all of which have negative environmental implications.

The Field Master.
De Patta, Joe
School Construction News; v7 n7 , p26,27 ; Oct 2004
Presents an interview with Amy J. Fouty, sports turf manager for Michigan State University. She answers questions concerning her job duties, grass selection, and turf safety issues.

Stress Management.
Trusty, Steve; Trusty, Suz
Athletic Business; v28 n1 , p63,64,66,68,70 ; Jan 2004
Describes proper maintenance techniques for ensuring healthy athletic fields. These include correct watering, fertilizing, mowing, integrated pest management, overseeding, and field rotation.

Cushioning the Fall.
Jones, Morgan
School Construction News; v6 n8 , p23-24 ; Nov-Dec 2003
Describes criteria to be used in creating artificial turf athletic fields. The primary considerations are proper drainage and appropriate cushioning for the sports played on them. Fields intended for several sports are more difficult to design.

Maintenance Sourcebook: Landscaping and Grounds.
Macht, Carol; Gomulka, Ken; Harper, Wayne; Conry, Terry
College Planning and Management; v6 n8 , p14-18 ; Aug 2003
Asserts that facility managers need continual education in many subjects to keep their campuses in excellent condition, highlighting four areas related to landscaping and maintenance: landscaping care; athletic field care; grounds care; and equipment care. Lists of relevant professional organizations are included.

Field of Dreams.
Webb, Richard
School Planning and Management; v42 n7 , p24-26 ; Jul 2003
When planning summer work, school athletic facility managers must address the maintenance and renovation of natural grass and synthetic fields, tennis courts, and running tracks. This article presents a guide to the simple, effective, and relatively inexpensive summer maintenance of athletic facilities in order to help extend the life of a schools athletic facilities.

Building a Safer Athletic Playing Field.
Seaton, Reed
School Construction News; v5 n7 , p34-35 ; Nov-Dec 2002
Discusses issues involved in planning an athletic playing field, including player safety and the selection of artificial turf or grass.

Shock Value.
Popke, Michael
Athletic Business; v26 n9 , p54-66 ; Sep 2002
Offers a detailed discussion of the multitude of variables involved in determining the shock absorbancy/forgiveness factor of both natural and synthetic athletic fields.

Great Planes.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v26 n7 , p82-86 ; Jul 2002
Details advances over the past 25 years in the technology involved in athletic surfaces, including natural turf, synthetic turf, hardwood floors, tracks, tennis courts, and ice sheets.

Is the Grass Always Greener on the Other Side?
Pica, V. Joseph
School Planning and Management; v41 n6 , p50-52 ; Jun 2002
Describes how Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California opted for artificial turf for its athletic field to avoid the complications associated with maintaining live turf in a low-water environment.

Turf Wars: A New Synthetic-Grass Product Takes the Field.
Gehring, John
Education Week; v21 n21 , p6 ; Feb 06, 2002
Article discusses educational facilites that have switched from traditional grass athletic fields to a synthetic-grass surface that requires much less maintenance and provides greater safety advantages. [Free subscriber registration is required.]

Playing the Infield.
Custis, S. Gary
Grounds Maintenance; Feb 2002
Sports fields are some of the most challenging areas in turfgrass management. New baseball and softball infields require different care and management than fields that have been established for a season or more. Discusses field demands, turf species, soil makeup, aeration, fertilization, and pesticides.

Ground Control.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v25 n4 , p89-92,94-97 ; Apr 2001
Discusses how use of the right equipment can provide the best maintenance for athletic fields. Mowing, fertilizing, and irrigating equipment for turf management are discussed.

Taking Root?
Popke, Michael
Athletic Business; v24 n9 , p53-59 ; Sep 2000
Shows how advances in field-surface technology have resulted in natural grasses and synthetic turf systems that deliver durability and extended use.

Managing Athletic Fields on a Tight Budget.
Smith, Troy
Grounds Maintenance; Sep 01, 2000
Ten tips to help create the safest field possible under the constraints of minimal maintenance funds. Today's small-budgeted athletic-field manager must be dedicated, organized, educated and innovative to provide an acceptable field for the end users.

Feet First.
Cohen, Andrew
Athletic Business; v24 n7 , p47-48,50,52,54-55 ; Jul 2000
Discusses the high priority nature and maintenance needs of keeping playing surfaces to sports and recreation facilities. Grass and synthetic field and track surface maintenance are discussed as are gym floors, hard-surface tennis courts, and ice surfaces.

On Your Marks.
Steinbach, Paul
Athletic Business; v24 n5 , p76-80,82-83,88 ; May 2000
Examines the application of field, rink, track, and court markings and explains why the use of proper materials and some knowledge of science is important. Specific issues when using marking paints and dyes are addressed.

Fowl Play.
Dahlgren, Sally
Athletic Business; v24 n1 , p63-64,66,72-73 ; Jan 2000
Discusses ways some universities have dealt with eliminating insects and wildlife from their athletic fields. The types problems to look for, the damage pests can cause, the safety issues involved, and tips on remedies are examined.

Compaction and Wear Concerns on Sports Fields.
Gillan, John
Facilities Manager; v15 n5 , p43-45 ; Sep-Oct 1999
Describes relatively simple measures athletic facility managers can use to alleviate the turf destruction and compaction of athletic fields including seed and soil amendments and modifications on team practice. Ways of enhancing surface traction and lessen surface hardness are explored.

Save Money on Site Design.
Galbraith, Roger
School Planning and Management; v38 n8 , p32-33 ; Aug 1999
Examples are provided on ways of saving money during school athletic site design, including plastic alternatives to concrete for site water drainage and cost efficient considerations when earth moving and grading. Concluding comments address the importance of designers making timely decisions and monitoring progress to avoid unnecessary costs.

Dreams of Fields.
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; v37 n11 , p45-46,48-49 ; Nov 1998
Presents an example of one school's solution to space needs for handling play and practice times for its multiple sports teams. It explains the school's planning efforts towards agreeing to, then gaining public support for a major renovation project.

Light 'Em Up.
Wiese, Paul J.; Lindstrom, Chuck
Athletic Business; v22 n10 , p59-60,64-66 ; Oct 1998
Provides advice on designing sports field lighting that can help balance design with cost and lighting system performance. Areas addressed include system installation, pole placement, light spillage control, and maintenance.

Watson, James R.
Athletic Business; v22 n1 , p59-61, 64 ; Jan 1998
Discusses how proper irrigation and drainage design can enhance athletic field maintenance operations. It explores the factors influencing irrigation and drainage design decisions and offers design tips for various athletic fields that respond to efficient water management and cost control.

Keeping School Grounds Green.
Davitt, Keith
The Construction Specifier; v50 n9 , p50-51, 53-54 ; Sep 1997
Discusses how athletic field school irrigation systems are being transformed by shrinking budgets, environmental concerns, and industry-inspired advances. The costs involved, the new devices that contribute to system efficiency, and the need for user education are examined.

Cohen, Andrew
Athletic Busines; v21 n3 , p16-18 ; Mar 1997
Discusses parental involvement in a Title IX case that forced the Tempe, Arizona school district to provide equal funding for a girl's softball field when the district, for reasons of cost containment, had originally wanted the girls to use an adjacent church's field. Observations from both sides and the case's resolution are discussed.

Smooth Operators.
Perry, Floyd, Jr.
Athletic Business; v21 n1 , p59-62, 64 ; Jan 1997
Examines specific steps in athletic field maintenance to assure a high-quality baseball playing field. Areas examined are the pitcher's mound, hitting areas, baselines and base areas, the skinned areas or bad-hop zones, edging techniques, and infield turf repair.

Light Duty.
Rogers, Jeff
Athletic Business; v20 n5 , p51-54 ; May 1996
Discusses multipurpose athletic field lighting specifications to enhance lighting quality and reduce costs. Topics discussed include lamp choice, lighting spill over and glare prevention, luminary assemblies and poles, and the electrical dimming and switching systems.

Bright Prospects.
Rogers, Jeff
Athletic Business; v18 n12 , p52-56 ; Dec 1994
Explains lighting quality, techniques, and structural considerations that will properly support football field illumination needs. Luminary assembly, pole strength and burial requirements, and the electrical support system are discussed. Thoughts on manufacturer warranties conclude the article.



Due to lack of funding, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities is currently available only as an archived site. As of September 1, 2012 no new content will be added or updates made. We regret the need to take such steps, but should funding become available, we look forward to reinvigorating NCEF and providing this valuable resource to the educational facilities community.

If you have questions or are an organization or company wishing to support the continued operation of this industry recognized resource please contact Institute President Henry Green (, 202-289-7800).