News from the American Sports Builders Association                                                        July 2019

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Memberline: News from ASBA Members

Nolan Ryan and Premier Baseball Field Builder RS3 Begin a New Era in Synthetic Turf with ACT Global

Act Global and Nolan Ryan led RS3 have teamed up in a new partnership to forward the future of baseball turf technology and player safety. With RS3’s strong expertise in natural grass construction and Act Global’s leadership in synthetic turf research and development, this partnership will provide a unique opportunity for baseball facilities.

A new, state of the art baseball system will be created and manufactured by Act Global in response to this new partnership. Known as “NR34 Turf,” the materials are similar to what is being used for Act Global stadiums and community fields around the world, optimized specifically for baseball. Performance benefits range from shock absorption, impact, ground interaction, traction, stability, bounce, lower infill splash, durability and UV testing, and more.

Act Global CEO John Baize is looking forward to this new partnership with RS3 and Nolan Ryan. “As a fan of baseball who grew up watching Mr. Ryan from the stands, there is a lot of respect for him and his organization. In addition to their ability to develop world-class baseball projects, RS3 is highly admired by their community values and in everything they represent.”

For Nolan Ryan, RS3 and Act Global, it is important to work alongside a leading technical organization that has a sense of social responsibility and dedication to player safety. This partnership will further the future of baseball turf, improve communities, and positively impact children’s lives while ensuring their security.

Ryan Sanders Baseball was founded in 1998 by Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan and Houston businessman Don Sanders, and their sons, along with several other former MLB All-Stars. In 2013, an expansion of the company created Ryan Sanders Sports Services, or RS3. RS3 was created on the drive, passion, and pursuit of excellence that earned Nolan that coveted spot in the Hall of Fame. His discipline has impacted his business practices both on and off the field, and the result is a brand that stands for quality and distinction with class and integrity at its core. In addition to the award winning RS3 Turf and Strategic Hospitality divisions, Ryan Sanders Baseball is also the holding company for the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, the Round Rock Express.

“We’re excited about this partnership with Act Global,” said Ryan Sanders Baseball CEO Reese Ryan. “Our mission has always been to promote the game of baseball to as many people as possible, and this partnership allows us to do that not only nationally, but internationally as well, with player safety at the forefront.”


Beacon Athletics Announces New Employee and On-Field Participation at the MLB All-Star Game

Beacon Athletics, The Ultimate Ballfield Resource, is pleased to announce that Mike Tolsma has joined our team as our Field Sales Representative in the Northeast Region. Mike is a former D1 baseball player, a seasoned sales executive and has a BS degree in Sports Management.

Mike clearly knows his way around baseball and is an ideal representative for Beacon Athletics as we help schools, universities, municipalities and youth leagues with facility planning and renovations and provide advice and supplies for professional on-field maintenance.

Beacon is also pleased to announce our own Brent Schroeder, a former professional groundskeeper and one of our sales representatives, will be on the groundskeeping crew at the 2019 MLB All Star Game at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. Brent will be using familiar equipment, as the Progressive Field staff, like most MLB organizations, rely on Beacon Athletics field maintenance equipment for their groundskeeping. Congratulations to Brent for being selected to the crew!
Whether building a new ball field, or renovating or maintaining an existing field, our experienced designers, engineers and groundskeepers can help you make your project run more smoothly and result in a ballfield that you’ll be proud of. Our on-field expertise combined with superior products have us uniquely positioned to help you design, build and maintain your facility.

For more information about Beacon Athletics, contact Mike Tolsma in the Northeast at 716-803-4245 or MikeT@beaconathletics.com or National Sales Manager, Collin West, at 608-824-1553 or CollinW@beaconathletics.com


Talking FieldTurf Genius with Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools is the first organization in North America to connect their field, Grady Stadium, to FieldTurf Genius. Dubbed the world’s first smart sports field, Genius is designed to help maximize the longevity, playability and safety of a FieldTurf surface. Through advanced computer vision and deep learning algorithms, live field participation is translated into tangible data. When the field reaches certain milestones, a maintenance alert is issued indicating the needed service: brushing, aerating, raking or sweeping. After the maintenance is completed, an updated heatmap allows owners to track the efficiency of the session. A calendar and tracker helps plan and ensure the field receives the proper care based on its true usage. It’s pretty futuristic technology.

We met with Jasper Jewell, Director of Athletics at Atlanta Public Schools to talk about how they’re using the system to Change The Game for their program:

Why did you decide to connect your field to FieldTurf Genius?

Well, first of all, let me say that FieldTurf is a great company that we have been blessed to be a part of as a district for a little over 10 years now. When I was approached with the idea of the Genius, I said, “hey, this is right up my alley, simply because I don’t have the capability as a district to have maintenance personnel on site.”

How do you use the Genius system?

It enables me to keep up with all usage of this field at all times. I can type in at any time to find out who’s been on the field, how long they’ve been on the field, if certain areas of the field have been used more than others, if it’s time for maintenance, anything that I need. It affords me the opportunity because safety is our number one priority here.

What do you like the most about the Genius System?

What I like most about it is the accuracy of the actual product itself. It enables me to tear down to the minute, who’s been on the field, what areas of the field have been used, if there are certain areas that need to be maintained before the next contest or the next big event. What it does ultimately, is going to ensure the life span of this field as well, it’s going to stretch the life span of the field because now you’re able to accurately measure what areas need maintenance and you are able to get that maintenance done. So, for me it has been phenomenal! I’m able to come in, I’m able to get alerts on my phone, on my tablet, to say, “hey, someone’s been someone on the field for 5 to 6 hours last night and he used the west end of the field more than he used the east.”, so I may be able to either notify those individuals, next time you have to spread it out evenly or I may be able to notify my maintenance people and say, “hey, we need to get this taken care of expeditiously because there have been an overuse of one end of the field.” It makes my life so much easier, because I don’t have a maintenance person that’s assigned to athletics here in Atlanta Public Schools. So, what I have to do is rely on the use of Genius now, which made my life so much easier compared to getting vendors to come out here and check the field periodically.

How often do you use the Genius system?

Well, basically what I do every morning when I come into the office, I will login to my system and I’d just check the usage the night before, just to get an update, and if there’s a need or concerns, then I will call my vendor and say hey, the field have been used here, there, everywhere, we may need to get maintenance on them. If there’s over usage, I’m able to pick up the phone and contact the team that is using, and I’d say, “Hey, we need the spread the usage evenly across the board.”

Would you recommend FieldTurf Genius?

I’d highly recommend FieldTurf Genius, you can’t beat it. The convenience, what it gives you and the amount of accuracy involved, you can’t beat it. It’s gonna definitely change your life and expand the life span of your field and it makes your life as an athletics director, that much easier.


NGI Sports Patent Pending Pickleball Surface

Many athletic playing surfaces are designed to be shock absorbing and cushioned where an inflated ball like a basketball, tennis ball, soccer ball is used which easily bounces to a comfortable height but not pickleball. Pickleball is played with a plastic ball with 40 air holes. The fast growing and quick paced game of pickleball requires a responsive firm playing surface to obtain the required ball bounce height. Many public tennis and basketball courts are being converted from existing infrastructure that is older to include pickleball. NGI Sports has developed and patented a playing surface designed for the sport of pickleball, TitanTrax PK. As part of NGI’s “Overlay Renovation Technology” TitanTrax PK provides the ball bounce and pace favored by players and as outlined in the International Federation of Pickleball tournament rules and meets USAPA and International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) requirements for surface performance.

Contact NGI Sports for more information.



Sportsfield Specialties Acquires Assets of First Down Football Products

Sportsfield Specialties, Inc. has acquired the assets of First Down Football Products (FDFP), a California-based company renowned for their uniquely hinged Football Goal Post. Part of the deal includes the rights to US Patent No. 8,496,547 for the collapsible design.

Prior to the acquisition, Sportsfield established a name with their patented AdjustRight® Football Goal Posts, which includes a collapsible model. The popular field goals are used in countless stadiums and athletic venues throughout the United States. While both AdjustRight® and FDFP models achieve the same goal of making it easier and safer for end users to lower and raise field goals, there are differences.

One difference is the location of the hinge and hydraulic cylinder. The AdjustRight® hinge and lowering mechanism is located below ground while the FDFP design’s hinge is several feet above ground, thereby allowing the uprights to lay flat when in the lowered position. Another difference is the FDFP design has a motorized raising mechanism that can be activated with a cordless drill, while the Sportsfield model is pumped manually.

“Our company prides itself on innovation and we have great respect for the inventorship and product development of George Wiley and First Down Football Products. We’re excited to add this product to our industry-leading line of football goal posts,” said Sean Clark, President at Sportsfield Specialties.

For more information about Sportsfields new collapsible football goal posts, customers can contact their regional sales managers by visiting www.sportsfieldspecialties.com/contact/sports-construction-sales or by calling 888-975-3343.


Tennis Planning Consultants Celebrates 50 Years

Tennis Planning Consultants, Inc., (www.tennisplanningconsultants.com) the world’s oldest and most experienced independent tennis facility consulting firm based in Houston, Texas is entering its 50th year of continuous operations with new projects under way. TPC president, Jack Kamrath, noted current projects at Dallas Country Club, Ohio Northern University, The City of Houston, Sugar Creek Country Club, Lone Star College, The University of Arkansas and The University of Texas Stadium redesign. TPC also completed proposed indoor project feasibility studies in West Seattle, Washington and Katy, Texas.

In addition to consulting with architects worldwide on new or upgraded tennis projects, TPC also originates tennis project designs. Numerous of its projects have won Outstanding Tennis Facility Awards including the Ashland Tennis Center (Kentucky), Shipyard Racquet Club (S. Carolina), Bayard Friedman Tennis Center at TCU (Texas) Memorial Park Tennis Center (Texas), Southeast Tennis and Learning Center (Washington D.C.), The Culver Academies Tennis Center (Indiana) and many others.

Its highly attractive Hurd Tennis Center at Baylor University won recognition in 2015 as the nation’s top college tennis facility.

In the early 1970’s TPC worked closely with Sylvania Corporation to pioneer the use of metal halide lighting sources for large tennis projects. During the mid-1970’s, it also developed the first large scale post-tensioned tennis project at Texas Christian University with twenty-seven post tensioned tennis courts that continue to perform perfectly after forty-three years.

TPC was founded in 1970 in Houston, Texas by Karl Kamrath, Sr. FAIA, Alfred S. Alschuler, Jr. FAIA and Jack Kamrath. The elder Kamrath, Houston architect and former NCAA doubles winner in 1931, was getting calls from fellow architects around the country with tennis facility questions after the beginning of Open tennis in 1968. Karl had a national reputation as a tennis playing architect and had designed the famed River Oaks Country Club Tennis stadium in 1940, now home to the USTA’s National Clay Courts Championships. He asked son, Jack, a nationally ranked tennis player and Texas high school champ to help him with the traveling to give clients personal service and contact. Jack had just returned from four years as a civilian in the Viet Nam war construction buildup and wanted to do something on his own. It turned out to be a perfect idea at a perfect time.

Then with Karl and Jack having no indoor tennis facility experience, Jack’s mother was close high school friends in Chicago with Helene Alschuler, Al Alschuler, Jr.’s wife. Knowing that Al had designed nearly all the Chicago area indoor clubs, Karl and Jack called Al to see if he wanted to work with them---his answer was “only if I’m a full partner!” He was ‘in’ and TPC was formed originally as Tennis Facilities Consultants which then became TPC in short order to better define the broad planning capability of the firm.
Al and Karl wrote nearly all the original USLTA Tennis Court Handbook publication in the 1970’s and became two of the original professional members of the then U. S. Tennis Court and Track Builders Association, now the American Sports Builders Association. In 1988 Al was awarded the ASBA’s first-ever Industry Merit Award for his service to tennis and the ASBA.

Karl and Al, now both in ‘tennis heaven’ trained Jack in all aspects of tennis facility site analysis, land planning, court orientation, clubhouse planning, tennis aesthetics, specifications, bidding, court selection, lighting design, construction observation, and literally all aspects of tennis facilities including tennis feasibility studies for new or upgraded facilities.

The firm’s key operational philosophy has been to provide only as little or as much service as each project and client requires as totally independent professionals whose only loyalty is to each client. Only in this manner does the client have absolute confidence in the skill, experience and integrity of TPC.


© 2019 American Sports Builders Association 

9 Newport Drive, Suite 200 • Forest Hill, MD 21050 • 410-730-9595 • info@sportsbuilders.org

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Important Links

ACT Global

Beacon Athletics

FieldTurf

NGI Sports

Sportsfield Specialties

Tennis Planning Consultants