Note: ASBA videotaped several sessions identified by
membership division presidents and board representatives as being of
particular importance to members. These presentations can be found
posted on the ASBA website,
Indoor Division Presentation: Concrete
by Lisa Szczupaj, Sika Corp.
Synopsis: Concrete mix design is a commonly misunderstood topic.
However, the most problematic ingredient in the mix is the most
inexpensive: water. An imbalance of water to other ingredients can
create far-reaching problems which ultimately affect the viability of
the project as a whole.
Some of the issues discussed in this presentation included joint types,
including expansion joints, isolation joints, construction joints and
control joints. According to Szczupaj, joints are often an afterthought
in indoor flooring, but they are absolutely essential to the success of
a project. Fillers and sealants were discussed, as was the proper use
and placement of these materials. Substrate and surface preparation both
The importance of priming was stressed in the session, since proper
priming of a surface helps achieve a better bond. Backing materials,
both open-cell and closed-cell, were discussed as well.
Concrete surface preparation, in particular, was an essential subject
that brought up a number of questions. Szczupaj presented materials from
the Concrete Repair Institute, and passed them out to illustrate her
points during the presentation.
Failure of a surface, said Szczupaj, is almost always due to
insufficient floor preparation at some level. It is up to the flooring
contractor to prepare the subsurface and surface, and to install the
flooring correctly. If any step is left out or rushed over, the floor
will not hold up in years to come, and will come back to haunt the
project -- and the contractor -- over and over.
Fields Division: – Deciphering Your Soils
by Beth Guertal, Auburn University
Synopsis: A soils test is absolutely necessary, and essential before
moving forward with any project; however, many individuals lack the
knowledge necessary to understand the report. Understanding the basics
of the report is not difficult and in large part, involves an
understanding of the forces affecting your regional soils.
One essential piece of advice is to stay within your region for
analysis. A local lab, noted Guertal, will do the correct extrantants
given your geographic region. Sending the soil to a faraway lab will get
a reading, but it may not be as accurate as one that understands what
contractors, farmers and more are looking for in a given area.
A soil test report may contain information on contents that include some
or all of the following: nitrate, sodium, sulfur, iron, magnesium,
potassium, ammonium and salt. Other results that may be reported may
deal with cations, which have a positive charge in the soil; this will
be expressed as the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) of the soil.
Guertal noted that the soils report would also contain information on
CEC vs. ECEC (Estimated Cation Exchange Capacity) values of the soil. It
becomes essential to fertilize to manage the balance between these two
values. Sandy-textured soils will have the lowest ECEC values, while
clay soils will be in the middle, with loamy soils at the higher end of
the scale. In general, ECEC increases as the soil clay and/or organic
matter content increase.
Beyond the simple understanding of the values expressed on the test
results, however, is the importance of the test itself. It is essential,
noted Guertal, to code a soil sample correctly before sending it out for
testing. For example, the lab representative doing the testing must
understand that this sample represents a land for a sports field, rather
than for a pasture, as a misunderstanding can skew the values. In
addition, Guertal stated, a 3” sampling depth is the preferred unit for
a soils test. Multiple tests can be drawn from a single plot of land,
but all need to be correctly coded.
Track Division: Track and Field
by Duffy Mahoney, USA Track & Field
Synopsis: Occasionally, it becomes essential to challenge the old
notions and ideals in examining track layouts. Not all long-held beliefs
will be applicable to every situation.
Mahoney brought forth several case studies of projects on which he had
been brought in to consult. In the first project, he discussed the
importance of taking into consideration the prevailing winds that would
be in effect at the time the most important competitions would be taking
place on the facility. In the case of the facility in question, strong
winds in May, June and July would affect athletes competing in short
sprints and hurdles.
In another project, for example, winds were presenting a problem for
pole vaulters. (“Don’t worry so much about the sun,” said Mahoney, “no
matter what you’ve heard. You won’t hear complaints about the sun, but
the pole vaulters really will complain about the wind so keep that in
mind when you’re designing and building.”)
Next, Mahoney discussed track design, and the pros and cons of various
track configurations. A standard track can encircle a standard football
field, but a soccer field will creep into the D zones, as does lacrosse
(but to a lesser extent). Other fields that will need to be considered
when designing a track might be field hockey, rugby (which becomes a
summer Olympics sport in 2016) and cricket (which is gaining in
popularity as populations diversify in ethnicity).
Throwing events must be considered, and must be located safely. The
integrity of artificial turf must be taken into consideration with some
events, including the javelin and hammer throw, which need to be moved
to a natural grass surface.
Mahoney, who had a well-attended session, entertained multiple questions
near the end of his talk, and eventually gave out his e-mail address of
invited all those who had not yet had a chance to discuss their issues,
to contact him directly.
Tennis Division: How Club Committees are
Driving Trends in Design, New Construction, Renovation & Rebuilds
by moderators Ed Montecalvo, Har-Tru Sports and Richard Zaino, Zaino
Tennis Courts, with Dave Richardson, Pelican Landing Tennis Club, and
Paula Scheb, Bonita Bay Tennis Club
Synopsis: Clubs are in competition for scarce resources. It
becomes essential for contractors to provide not just those resources
for tennis, but for infrastructure that can help the club itself,
including personnel, management and more.
There are trends in club management and structure. Clubs are becoming
more centralized, and relationships are more important than ever. When
it comes time to add, rehab or improve a tennis facility, committees can
help by providing expertise, involvement, questions, any answers a
builder needs regarding player preferences, and more. They are generally
involved for the short term, with most committee members’ terms lasting
about two years.
Committee members are generally frequent players, advocates for tennis
in the community and in the club, and are key influencers when it comes
to decision-making. The committee is charged with justifying the need
for tennis (and tennis facilities) in the club, development of a primary
plan (or at least a wish list), providing support for the builder,
championing the project and construction, and keeping other club members
Builders, on the other hand, are expected to educate clients, provide
information on options available, and to stay in touch with the club and
the committee throughout the design and/or design/build process.
Within the clubs themselves, pros and/or directors of tennis can play
key roles, wearing many hats including financial (being in charge of
budgeting), programming (directing and giving tennis instruction) and
being the ‘go-to’ people for the committee and the builder.
Richardson and Scheb provided an outline of the duties and roles of each
individual (or group of individuals) and discussed the importance of
creating an open, transparent process. At the same time, however, there
must be a distinct chain of command for concerns; a builder should not
be taking calls from multiple committee members, and a director of
tennis should not have the same responsibilities as a committee member.
Each segment should be aware of its own responsibilities, and should
have a clear understanding of the way to report concerns and ideas.
Richardson and Scheb discussed the bidding process they used when
considering club improvements, and Richard Zaino provided a project
recap, showing exactly how he had communicated with, and coordinated
with, various parties on a large tennis facility project for a private
The conclusion all presenters came to was this: nurture the
relationships between pro, director of tennis, committee and builder.
Keep all sides educated and aware of developments. Provide feedback and
support to all sides. This applies to new construction, rehab or simple
improvements upon facilities.