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Quick Notes...

Parks are everyone's sports facilities:

With all the attention being paid to sports clubs and high-end high school and college athletic facilities, we occasionally forget that some other great opportunities for recreation are right in our own back yard.

The National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) is capitalizing on opportunities for kids and adults to get a taste of sports by hanging out in their local parks. Particularly at a time when people are still being cautious with their money and perhaps not taking a long or expensive vacation, park and rec programs are looking better than ever.

The Rock Your Park initiative is being held now, in July, which since 1985 has been celebrated as Parks and Recreation Month. This year, July will have five weekends, and NRPA is encouraging families, singles and everyone in between to pledge to “Take the Five,” and spend each weekend exploring various aspects of their local parks: tennis courts, walking trails, sports fields, playgrounds, swimming pools and more.

Just to prove they’re dialed in with the younger generation, NRPA has also instituted the 2011 Rock Your Park Flash Mob Contest. Contestants can use YouTube to capture a flash mob performance that demonstrates the power of parks and rec. One municipal agency and one citizens’ group will be chosen as winners.

The website for the initiative,, has information on the contest, pledge and more. A marketing tool kit is also available for download, and NRPA is even including an official “Rock Your Park” social media poster. The message being sent is clear: Parks are more than places to sit on benches and feed pigeons; they’re outdoor fitness facilities with endless possibilities.

Another wild new sports floor:

First it was Boise State's "Smurf Turf." Then it was University of Oregon's floor, designed to give the impression of looking up through a forest of towering pines (a tribute to the 1939 basketball champions, nicknamed "The Tall Firs."
The newest entry into the wild-and-crazy sports facility world is Towson University's floor which, like its teams, the Tigers, will feature -- yep, stripes. The new floor, which will feature orange 'watermark' tiger stripes , is expected to be ready for the 2011-2012 academic year. The team is hoping the new floor will bring it luck. (The team went 4-26 last year and lost every game in its athletic association).

Join the conversation:

You've already heard ASBA has a LinkedIn profile (listed under "Groups" as American Sports Builders Association), but did you know you could post information and start discussions? Just as with ASBA's Facebook page, ASBA is seeking members' input on topics of discussion. Sometimes, they're announcements of upcoming meetings; sometimes, they're discussions on articles in the news. (A recent entry, "The jury is still out on recycled turf," elicited some great responses from our members.) And we're looking for your input too. Seen an interesting article on the Internet or in a magazine or newspaper? Post a link to it and start your own discussion! We're looking forward to hearing from you.

Shipshape new surface for basketball

It's been played on wood, asphalt and a lot more, but on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier? The NCAA will stage its first college basketball game on the deck of the U.S.S. Carl Vinson. The game, between North Carolina and Michigan State, will be played on Veterans Day .

According to an article by the Associated Press, officials from the Navy, ESPN and the Morale Entertainment Foundation spent a few hours last month inspecting the flat top. The inspection is a big step toward securing the final approval from the U.S. Navy.

Among the issues that have to be considered are security, weather, lighting and getting an estimated 7,000 fans from shore to ship, and back again.

For those who want a few other facts to toss around to impress their friends, the ship is 1,092 feet in length, and was last in the news as the place from which Osama bin Laden was buried at sea.

© 2011 American Sports Builders Association 

8480 Baltimore National Pike #307 • Ellicott City, MD 21043 • 410-730-9595 •

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