As I write this, President is in Germany for the G-8 Summit. He appears to be a lone fish swimming upriver with regards to one of the critical agenda items - global warming. The world looks to the U.S. to take a leadership position in addressing this issue, an opportunity we have yet to seize. But on the local and national levels, “green” design and construction methods are gaining momentum. These ideas and techniques strive to make better use of our natural resources and reduce the amount of waste introduced to the environment. It is becoming clear that this not only makes good sense, but good business too. Read more...
In case you haven’t guessed yet, it’s the American Sports Builders Association’s Technical Meeting, to be held December 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas. The meeting includes the elements that you’ve come to know and love, including state-of-the-art technical sessions, a trade show full of products and services to help you work better and smarter, awards honoring the industry’s best and brightest, and tennis and golf tournaments to help make the most of friendly competition. Read more...
Safety – Part One
Surely it’s no coincidence that trade magazines are full of articles on safety. From SportsField Management to Grading and Excavation; from American Track & Field to Turf, publications are focusing on this important topic. Read more...
Tennis Court Mix Designs
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Your High Performers Ready to Quit?
Football Players Still Prefer Grass
Track & Field Offers Service to ASBA Members
As I write this, President is in Germany for the G-8 Summit. He appears to be a lone fish swimming upriver with regards to one of the critical agenda items - global warming. The world looks to the U.S. to take a leadership position in addressing this issue, an opportunity we have yet to seize. But on the local and national levels, “green” design and construction methods are gaining momentum. These ideas and techniques strive to make better use of our natural resources and reduce the amount of waste introduced to the environment. It is becoming clear that this not only makes good sense, but good business too.
Recently, Marvin Malecha, the Dean of the N.C. State University School of Design (one of the land’s finer institutions, I may say), was elected President of the American Institute of Architects. His mission is to lead the charge for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% through smarter, greener design.
One of my favorite shows over the years has been “This Old House.” I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of preserving the architectural character of older buildings, while blending in modern design techniques and improved construction methods and materials. An offshoot of this program, the This Old House Magazine has taken a major step by espousing “green” construction in its publication.
Does the sports surfacing industry practice, or even preach, about green construction? Does the ASBA? I am happy to say that our Professionals Division has begun to preach these concepts through sessions at our Technical Meetings and presentations to other organizations, such as the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).
Do we, as builders, practice green construction techniques? For example, do we recycle old drums, steel and nets that are still useable? Do we minimize waste and properly dispose of leftover surfacing materials, etc.? Do we encourage the construction of facilities that utilize green design concepts? Our next Technical Meeting in Austin will have a session on the proper disposal of sports surfaces.
Our challenge is to talk louder, talk more often, and listen better.
If recent history is any guide, we may not be able to count on national
leadership in this arena.
It’s all-new and still has the best of everything.
It allows for renewing old friendships and making new contacts, for keeping up with new technology and finding out what still works best.
It’s held in a city that has history and tradition – and a strong commitment to the future.
It’s held near the end of one construction season (and near the end of one year) and the beginning of a new one.
In case you haven’t guessed yet, it’s the American Sports Builders Association’s Technical Meeting, to be held December 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas. The meeting includes the elements that you’ve come to know and love, including state-of-the-art technical sessions, a trade show full of products and services to help you work better and smarter, awards honoring the industry’s best and brightest, and tennis and golf tournaments to help make the most of friendly competition.
It also includes some great new elements like a special sit-down breakfast with intros and limitless opportunities for networking. The awards dinner is reformatted to honor the Facilities of the Year.
This year’s program will include a range of elements, covering tennis, track, fields and indoor sports surfaces, as well as design and business topics. Some samples of what is to come?
Best of all, the whole event is set against a backdrop of old and new – the great city of Austin, Texas. Austin, the capital of the state, is also known as the "Live Music Capital of the World." On any given night, there are more than 150 live music venues, including "Austin City Limits," a TV show taped at the KLRU studios on the University of Texas campus and broadcast on PBS. Over the years, the show has featured performers ranging from Van Morrison to Alison Krause and Union Station to Coldplay to Elvis Costello to Michael McDonald.
The city is progressive – it ranks among one of the top areas in the country for free Wi-Fi. For fans, it is the home of the current TV show, “Friday Night Lights.” For sightseers, Austin boasts the largest statehouse in the country with eight acres of floor space, including the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, which covers everything from the conquistadors to the Alamo to Texas' role in space flight. Then there’s the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
You want culture? Great eating? Austin has both. For culture, there’s the Blanton Museum of Art, the largest university-owned art collection with more than 17,000 works. For food – for starters, the city is a haven of Tex-Mex and barbecue, as well as upscale bistros. There’s even the 80,000 square foot national headquarters of Whole Foods Market, described as a ‘culinary theme park.’ There’s shopping, including a host of trendy boutiques and eclectic specialty stores along South Congress Avenue (known as SoCo), which is within walking distance of the hotel. (The hotel is also close to the Sixth Street Entertainment District, an historic district with restaurants, nightclubs and shops, as well as the Second Street Retail District, a developing area of cafes, boutiques and specialty stores).
And while much of the rest of the nation is freezing, Austin’s average monthly temp in December is a welcome 62 degrees – great conditions for golf and tennis, as well as for sightseeing, shopping and enjoying the nightlife.
The local airport is Austin Bergstrom International
Airport (abbreviated AUS) which is served by 12 airlines including
Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Northwest, Southwest, United and USAirways.
Getting there couldn’t be easier.
See you in Austin – the home of the old and
Safety – Part One
Why important? It is estimated that almost 6,000 workers will die on the job this year and more than two million will be seriously injured. The cost will be more than $3 billion in health care expenses, not including lost wages and production1.
What can you do to protect your business and your employees? Every job site is different, but most experts agree that worksite safety begins with building a safety culture. According to the Laborer’s Health and Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA), “The best protection is a highly trained workforce and supervisory personnel who continually stress the importance of safety awareness.”
How to begin? Start during the off season by developing a proactive safety program using a safety handbook, job site safety posters, precautionary stickers and/or warning signs to identify hazards. Develop forms and checklists to document workplace accidents, including “near misses.”
1. Michael A Ferrara, Jr., http://cherryhill.injuryboard.com/worksite-injuries/worksite-safety-needs-to-be-fixed-2-million-injuries-and-6,000-deaths-is-unacceptable. May 9, 2007
Focus on Safety
Once the season begins, no matter how busy you are, don’t put safety on the “back burner.” Make workplace safety a priority. Many companies have proven that awareness is essential to prevention. When ITT launched a “Getting to Zero Accidents” program in three of its plants, it was able to achieve a 70% reduction in the number of days of lost work due to workplace accidents and reduce worker compensation costs by more than 80%. Think of the dollars saved by simply focusing on safety!
LHSFNA’s Executive Director Joe Fowler suggests that jobsite superintendents begin every shift with a safety meeting. “That way, consciousness is raised every day, worksite changes are reviewed and specific concerns can be addressed.”
Train Workers; Promote Safe Practices
The next step toward a safer workplace is training. Teach personnel how to use all equipment safely and in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations.
Since back injuries are common in the construction industry (construction has the highest lost-time incident rate for back injuries – 51.2 lost time injuries per 10,000 full-time workers in 20042 ), make certain all employees learn proper techniques for lifting, moving, bending and so forth. Provide workers with lift-support belts, but minimize manual handling wherever possible. Make certain that materials are delivered and stored close to where they will be used and encourage the use of carts, dollies, hoists and forklifts as much as possible.
Slips, trips and falls are another common injury and, in most cases, these accidents are preventable. According to Barbara Mulhern, a safety specialist with the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), common causes include:
Eye injuries, too, are a common, but preventable hazard. In an average year, construction workers suffer approximately 11,000 lost-time eye injuries. Experts estimate that 90% of these accidents could have been prevented through use of eye protection3. Safety glasses and goggles should include the “Z87” mark indicating that they meet the ANSI standard for eye protection. Equally importantly, eyewear should fit properly. Many injuries occur when workers are wearing ill-fitting eye protection, which allows splinters, dust or chemicals to enter around loose edges. Safety glasses for outdoor workers should be UV-rated to protect workers from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Speaking of the sun, how often do you show up on a jobsite to find everyone working shirtless and in shorts? Skin cancer is a serious problem among construction workers. Everyone, including dark-skinned workers, should take precautions including using sunscreen, wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and hats with neck flaps. Sunscreen should be at least SPF 15 (SPR 30 is recommended) and should be re-applied not less than every two hours, with special attention to the face, neck and ears.
Other simple on-site procedures to protect workers:
Encourage workers to recognize and report their physical limitations and work within them. Persuading workers to take a break when necessary, ask for help and avoid over exertion is essential for safety. Not only can heat and dehydration pose problems from workers, but an overly tired worker makes mistakes. Sometimes, those mistakes can lead to serious consequences. Within the limits of the law, ask employees to disclose any medical issues which may affect their health and safety on the job and assign their work appropriately. Request emergency contact information from all workers and keep it in a place where it is readily accessible.
Despite all precautions an accident may occur. Part Two, in the October issue of Newsline will discuss what to do when that happens.
1. “Back Injuries Plague Workforce,” http://www.lhsfna.org/index.cfm?objectID=6EC8509D-D56F-E6FA-9C6D1DFAB9467172
Editor's Note: Articles in the "Opinion Line" column represent the opinions of their authors and not necessarily those of the ASBA. Readers are invited to respond. Please send comments to ASBA, Attn.: “Opinion Line,” 8480 Baltimore National Pike, #307, Ellicott City, MD 21043.
Concrete Tennis Court Mix Designs
When building concrete courts, you should carefully consider mix designs for the concrete. In each part of the country, there are different materials being used in the mixture of concrete, the foremost being different types of aggregate. These different types of aggregate can and will affect acrylic tennis court surfacing.
In some parts of the country, there are aggregates with high metal contents. These aggregates should be avoided due to rusting that can reflect or even come through the coatings.
In areas west of the Mississippi River, aggregates can be high in alkali. These aggregates can cause alkali-silica reaction (ASR). ASR can and will cause all kinds of problems with the acrylic surfacing. To avoid ASR, certain types of admixtures such as fly ash can be added to the concrete mix to eliminate the risk.
The amount (percent) of air entrainment should be considered at different altitudes and in different climates.
When pouring concrete courts at different times of the year, hot or cold water can be added to the mixture to change the time you have to finish the cement before it sets off. In the construction of tennis courts, do not allow the use of “High Early;” this is a calcium chloride additive that also can have serious effects on acrylic coatings.
These are just a few of the things to consider when building concrete tennis courts. It is always best to spend some time with your local concrete supplier to explain the procedures and materials used in constructing and coating tennis courts so that they may provide you with the appropriate concrete mix design for your particular use & area.
The three governing bodies first explained how their rules are made and how ASBA might be involved:
USATF – The rules committee consists of volunteers, most of whom have never coached, built a track or managed an event. They are accountants, attorneys and others with an interest in public service. Some write hundreds of rules suggestions each year, but in the end, Mahoney said, USATF rules march in “lock step” with IAAF. It was Mr. Mahoney’s belief that a representative or representatives of ASBA would not be welcome nor would unsolicited input from ASBA.
NCAA – Ms. Perry reported that NCAA rules are made by a subcommittee of the Track & Field Committee, which consists of 50% coaches, 20% administrators and 30% others. Because the Track & Field Committee deals with so many responsibilities and because these persons have so many other duties in their jobs, most burn out quickly. There is little continuity among committee members. Bob Podkaminer, who is the Secretary to the Committee, is the official interpreter of the rules and the person upon whom most committee members rely when it comes to questions about rules. He is willing to meet with ASBA. It was noted that last year, when a significant revision was made to Rule 1, Mr. Podkaminer submitted a draft to ASBA for comment.
Ms. Perry suggested that ASBA could be most effective by educating those involved in the construction of track facilities as to the materials and services which it can provide. ASBA might do that by appearing on the program or at least having a booth at the meeting of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and at the National Association of Women Collegiate Athletic Administrators (NAWCAA).
NFHS – Ms. Oakes stated that NFHS rules are made by an 11-person committee that meets the first week of June in Indianapolis. During that meeting, the committee members go over new rules changes and have special presentations on specific areas of interest within track and field. They might be open to a presentation from ASBA. She agreed that ASBA should work at educating owners and managers and suggested that it make a presentation on planning and building a track at the high school athletics directors meeting in December. She will work to get such a topic on the program. She also suggested that ASBA send a representative to the Rules Interpreters Meeting in January.
Discussion began regarding an issue previously discussed at the 2006 meeting. All agreed that one of the problems we face is that the architect chosen for a school project often is unfamiliar with track design, or that portion of the school project is delegated to a junior associate. It was clear that all of us have an interest in assisting owners and professional designers in designing facilities correctly, in a way which best meets their needs. This task is especially challenging where the track surrounds a field and where the facility will be used for multiple sports and other uses.
Suggestions to promote the availability of information from ASBA included:
Ms. Oakes asked that ASBA develop a one-page piece describing the information and services it provides that she could make available to her state associations. Ms. Hogan and Mr. Fisher suggested that ASBA might be able to provide a copy of the track and fields construction manuals to each state association. There are 51 of them.
Ms. Hogan noted that ASBA has been providing a series of articles to American Track & Field. Ms. Oakes said that she might be able to place articles. Ms. Hogan asked that Ms. Oakes provide a list of common questions she receives so that ASBA can target its articles to the appropriate areas of need.
ASBA then introduced a proposal regarding color coding, suggesting that NFHS and NCAA alter some of their suggested color markings because more and more tracks are red and red markings do not show up well on red tracks. Also, red paint breaks down from UV exposure more quickly than other colors. Jon Renner had developed a handout which Ms. Oakes and Ms. Perry could share with their rules committees. ASBA suggested:
Change the markings for the 4 x 200 from red to white (including start
lines and exchange zones);
The group then discussed possible future topics for future cooperation and discussion:
ASBA then presented a proposal for track certification at various levels. Lengthy discussion ensued, especially about what is appropriate, affordable and reasonable at the high school level. Most coaches aspire one day to host a large meet or believe that they may one day have an extraordinary athlete, even if those beliefs are unreasonable. For that reason, all of them want a track of the highest possible caliber. Unfortunately, building to a higher standard significantly increases cost. It will be the goal of this document to provide guidance as to appropriate certification for tracks at different levels of use. Jon Renner will take the suggestions made by those present and modify the proposal.
All present agreed that this meeting continues to be invaluable and should be held annually. Ms. Hogan suggested that we might bring in more representatives, including Division representatives from other sports, perhaps a designer, even legal counsel, to discuss multiuse fields surrounded by a track and legal issues associated with common practice, not in the rules (i.e., placement of fencing around a track.)
Monde Chosen for Military World Games/Jefferson Parish
Also choosing the Le Monde system is Jefferson Parish Public Schools in New Orleans. Jefferson Parish will install two FieldTurf fields surrounded by LeMonde tracks at their East and West Jefferson Stadiums. First constructed in the 1950s, these stadiums were heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. It is hoped that facility improvements will provide an emotional boost to Jefferson Parish students.
For further information, call 800-724-2969 or visit www.fieldturftarkett.com.
Tennis to Host Conference on Indoor Clay Courts
Sport Joins Stantec
Patrick Maguire, President of Geller Sport, believes that as part of Stantec, former Geller professionals “will be able to offer an expanded roster of services, as well as an improved ability to serve clients throughout North America and abroad.”
Athletic Surfaces Adds “Infield”
Beyer Joins Lee Tennis
Beyer, a graduate of Ferris State’s Professional Tennis Marketing Program, began his tennis career as a teaching professional. He later held key manager positions in Promotions and Sports Marketing with Wilson Sporting Goods’ Racquet Sports Division and served as Director of Research and Statistical Marketing with the USPTA.
Engineers Adds Landscape Architects
Curci is a graduate Landscape Architect with 10 years of professional experience in the landscape architecture and civil engineering fields that includes master planning, design and development plans for large recreational, park, municipal, commercial-industrial, retail and residential projects. He will serve as a Project Professional.
Developer Chooses ProClay
Tennis Supports Tennis Channel
John Welborn, director of business development at Lee Tennis, said “We are avid advocates of clay tennis surfaces and believe in advancing the clay court tennis experience.”
The Tennis Channel presented more than 100 hours from Roland Garros, often called the French Open, and produced programming for both its own broadcast and that of ESPN2.
The following companies have joined the ASBA or renewed their membership since the last NEWSLINE. Please add their names to the appropriate section of your Membership Directory.
Battle of the Surfaces
For this match a special court, clay on one side of the net and grass on the other, was constructed. Changeovers were extended to two minutes to allow players to change their footwear for each surface. The world’s top two players traded breaks in the third set before Nadal edged out Federer in a tie-break. The Spaniard prevailed 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (12-10).
Are Your High Performers Ready to Quit?
Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, reports that employers typically cause high performers to want to quit by treating them worse than other employees. He says, “When a manager has a difficult project, upon which the whole company depends, who do they go to?” Bosses go to the high performers over and over, causing them extra stress and longer hours, while low performers typically get easier jobs because their bosses can’t count on them and even avoid them.
Leadership IQ offers seminars, onsite training, e-learning, books and other training aids to build company leaders. For more information, visit www.leadershipiq.com.
Pro Football Players Still Prefer Grass
When asked to select their favorite playing fields, players ranked the three best natural grass fields: 1) Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium, 2) Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium and 3) Arizona’s University of Phoenix Stadium. As to artificial playing fields, players rated the following as best: 1) Seattle’s Quest Field, 2) Detroit’s Ford Field and 3) Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium.
Track & Field Offers Service to ASBA Members
ASBA Articles in American Track & Field:
“Water on Tracks, Part I,” Winter 2005