American Sports Builders Association ASBA is the centralized source for information on tennis courts, running tracks, fields, and indoor sports facilities.

American Sports Builders Association ASBA is the centralized source for information on tennis courts, running tracks, fields, and indoor sports facilities.
Volume 41, October 2008

October 2008

Welcome to the latest innovation from ASBA - NEWSLINE on-line!

From the Chair
George Todd, Jr., CTCB
Greetings fellow ASBA members! From those of you that I have spoken with, everyone seems to be busy despite the slowing economy..
Technical Meeting 2008
2008 Technical Meeting Registration Open.


Featured Articles

TradelineITF Foundation Meeting Again a Learning Experience
On Friday, June 27, Mark Brogan, CTCB, (Pro-Sport Construction, Inc., Devon, PA), President of the Tennis Division and Carol Hogan, ASBA’s Executive Vice President, attended the annual meeting of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Foundation. Read more...

Board Happenings
Summer Board Meeting

Certified Builder as Bid Qualification Upheld In Massachusetts
In a recent ruling, a major victory for ASBA’s certification programs, the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts upheld the use of the bid requirement that the bidder employ an ASBA Certified Track Builder. Read More...


Member News




Calendar of Events
Important Dates
Mark your calendar for the ASBA Technical Meeting.





New Articles





From the Chair
Greetings fellow ASBA members! From those of you that I have spoken with, everyone seems to be busy despite the slowing economy.

I would like to thank all of you who participated in the member survey regarding percentage of activities in which your company is involved. The survey indicated that ASBA member activities average 56% tennis, 24% track, 15% fields, and 5% indoor. This information will be useful in determining the allocation of resources within ASBA.

The Fields Division has been anxious to take the next step toward a Certification Program. With the Fields Manual complete, our next step will be to begin the process of role delineation. In July, the Board of Directors authorized funds for this next step.

Many of the TIA tennis questionnaires have been completed and returned. We hope to have a report for those of you who participated when we meet at the Technical Meeting in New Orleans.

An update on the transition process: Carol and Fred are completing the transition of executive responsibilities to King Stringfellow, which will allow Carol to devote 100% of her time to the ASBA publications (just kidding Carol). Cynthia will be employed by King Stringfellow as of October 1st and her ASBA activities will continue uninterrupted. Also, please note that ASBA’s address and telephone number will not change.

I have been watching the hurricanes this year with additional interest since our Technical Meeting is scheduled for December 6-9 at the Astor Crowne Plaza in New Orleans. Our Winter Meeting is scheduled for February 26 – March 3, 2009 at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino in Puerto Rico. Look forward to seeding you all in New Orleans!

George Todd, Jr., CTCB

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Technical Meeting 2008

2008 Technical Meeting Registration Open

By now, you should have received your registration for the 2008 Technical Meeting December 6-9, 2008. If not, stop reading and call Association Headquarters at 866-501-ASBA or 410-730-9595 or check out the registration online at

This year, perhaps more than ever before, there are many reasons to go…

You’ll get your first chance to check out ASBA’s new management staff headed by EVP Fred Stringfellow, CAE and including our own Cynthia Jordan as well as another new face, Eileen Laidler.

Then, of course, there’s the program. There are topics planned to address all aspects of the sports facility industry, from design to construction, and from supply to business management. We’ve developed a program that addresses all membership divisions and all interests – tennis, track, fields, indoor, manufacture/supply, design and more. There are topics for those new to the industry and for those who have been around for years.

Take a look at our program! Do you call this variety -- “Running Track Design from a Meet Manager’s Point of View,” “Safety Issues on the Jobsite,” “ASTM F710 – Standard Practice for Preparing Concrete Floors to Receive Resilient Flooring,” “Acrylic Manufacturers Panel,” “Surfacing of Concrete Tennis Courts,” and “Liquidated Damages in Construction Contracts?” And that’s just six of 30 concurrent sessions!

In fact, we have a session JUST for you. Bring us the problem you’ve run into that has you stumped. Put it on the table and get advice from everyone else in your industry during our problem-solving roundtable sessions. We have one for each membership division. How can you pass up the chance to get advice – from the experts, all in one place?

What else can you expect? We’ll continue our Opening Breakfast Meet and Greet. After all, who better to kick off the meeting than the real experts on our industry – ASBA’s members and guests? Don’t miss the opportunity to introduce yourself to some new colleagues and get together with some old friends. The opening session also will include a showcase for our Awards – all the awards except for the Facilities of the Year will be announced at the opening session and featured in a display throughout the meeting. As usual, we’ll hold the top awards for our closing dinner. Other favorites - let’s not leave out the trade show, where new products and services will be showcased, and of course, our golf and tennis tournaments, where good fun and good business always combine.

As if that is not enough – there’s New Orleans itself, always an ASBA favorite. Whether you love New Orleans for its fun, food, music, architecture or history, it’s clearly one of the great cities in the United States. We’ll be staying at the Astor Crowne Plaza, at Bourbon and Canal, site of the successful 2004 Technical Meeting.

You’re not still sitting on the fence, are you? There’s a great program, new ideas, a fun location and a perfect time of year to get away. Get off the fence and make your plans now. Any questions? Call Cynthia at ASBA at 866-501-ASBA.

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Note: ASBA welcomes articles on industry topics from its members, and from others in the industry. Please contact the ASBA if you are interested in writing or submitting an article.


ITF Foundation Meeting Again a Learning Experience

On Friday, June 27, Mark Brogan, CTCB, (Pro-Sport Construction, Inc., Devon, PA), President of the Tennis Division and Carol Hogan, ASBA’s Executive Vice President, attended the annual meeting of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Foundation. John Graham (DecoTurf, Andover, MA) also attended as a representative of his company, along with Chris Trickey and Tim Freeman of SAPCA, and representatives of other suppliers to the tennis industry.

Among the important points from the meeting:

Court Surface Classification

Dr. Stuart Miller reported that the revision of the 1997 Initial Study on Performance Standards for Tennis Court Surfaces has been completed. The ITF publication Approved Tennis Balls & Classified Court Surfaces – a guide to products and test methods, May 2008 now includes the “ITF Guide to Test Methods for Tennis Court Surfaces.” This booklet is published twice a year and appears on ITF’s website, which will allow the test methods, surface research and standards to be revised on an ongoing basis.

Court Pace

Initially, the Surface Pace Rating (SPR) was determined solely by the coefficient of friction (COF) of the court surface which was derived from the measurement of the speed and angle of the ball going in to make contact with the surface and the speed and angle of the ball coming off the surface:

SPR = 100(1-µ) where

µ = coefficient of friction

After it had established the SPR, ITF found that the classification of surface pace based on SPR did not correlate with player perception for unbound surfaces such as clay and grass. ITF determined that player perception of pace relates not only to the COF, but also to the coefficient of restitution (COR), which determines how the ball bounces. If the ball bounces high, the player perceives the surface as slow because he/she has longer to get to it; if the ball stays low, the player perceives the surface as fast.

Using data which quantified player perception of pace and comparing it to the SPR as measured on the same courts, ITF was able to develop an equation to adjust SPR to more closely correlate with player perception:

Pace Correction Factor = a(b-e)


a = pace perception constant (150)
b = mean coefficient of restitution for all surface types (0.81)
e = coefficient of restitution for a specific surface

The new scale resulting from adjusting the SPR is called the Court Pace Rating (CPR) and the equation for determining the CPR is:

CPR = 100(1-µ) – a(b-e)

As compared to SPR, CPR not only better relates to player perception of pace on all types of surfaces including unbound surfaces, but better discriminates between surface types, which allows for five categories of surface pace rather than three:

Surface Pace Rating
Slow 29
Medium-slow 30-34
Medium 35-39
Medium-Fast 40-44
Fast 45


The difference between categories is 5 points, which also is about the degree of difference which can be distinguished by a high level player. The tolerance for achieving surface pace also has been set at ±5, while the maximum variation in CPR over the court surface, excluding the lines, set at 10. These tolerances were established with the input of industry.

Testing Coefficient of Restitution

Ball rebound has been adopted as a predictive test for COR even though it is a vertical drop test. Since angle of strike plays a significant role in actual play, it can be expected COR as measured by ball rebound will not correlate as strongly with player perception as might be ideal.

To minimize the effect of environmental conditions and ball properties, the calculation of COR through ball rebound involves comparing the rebound height of the test surface to the rebound height of a reference surface (a polished granite block). The test method also specifies the drop height and other details of test. The equation for Relative Percentage Rebound (RPR), which is used as a predictive COR, is given by:

RPR = 100(BHTtest/BHTref)

COR of 0.85 is classified as High, 0.79 – 0.84 as Medium and 0.78 as Low. Surfaces with a COR of less than 0.70 are not recommended for tennis and a COR of 0.80 is preferred. The standard requires that the maximum variation in RPR between the test location means based on 5 tests in each location should be 10.

Dr. Miller reported that Davis Cup has adopted a rule regarding surface pace; he expects Fed Cup to follow. With the exception of grass and clay, all surfaces for Davis Cup play must have a CPR between 24 and 50. Ideally, all surfaces should be tested in advance; however, so far ITF has tested only on surfaces where ties occurred in competition.

Up until now, most of the emphasis and discussion with ITF has been about pace, but ITF has moved on to various other parameters which it believes affect play.


The May 2008 document specifies that:

The court surface should be free from any imperfection that causes an inconsistent ball bounce, allows the collection of water, or significantly increases the risk of injury to players.

Evenness is measured with a 3m aluminum straight edge, two supports and a graduated wedge marked in increments of 1mm. The straight edge is dragged across the Total Playing Area. Low spots are measured by resting the straightedge on the court on either side of the low spot and measuring the depth of the low spot with the wedge. High spots are measured using the supports on either side of the high spot, measuring the deviation from the underside of the straightedge and subtracting the height of the supports. The straight edge is to be dragged both in the direction of play and perpendicular to the direction of play. The test value is the number of deviations outside the recommended limits for the surface type. If the deviation occurs in both directions, it is counted only once.

    Acrylic Artificial clay/grass;
Clay Grass
  Evenness 6mm 6mm 10 mm (single layer)8mm (2 or more layers) 6mm 6mm
  Deviations 2(PPA)/4(TPA) 2(PPA)/4(TPA) 4(PPA)/8(TPA) N/A N/A

Some discussion was held around the definition of the Principal (or Primary) Playing Area (PPA) and the Total Playing Area (TPA).

SAPCA defines the PPA as that area within the lines. ASBA defines the PPA as the area that includes 6’ beyond the sidelines and 10’ behind the baseline; this definition appears in the context of recommended illumination.

ITF on the other hand has divided the tennis court into a 5m grid and defines the PPA in accordance with the diagram attached to this report.

All agreed that there should be a consistent definition for Principal Playing Area and that there might be differences in the requirements for surface testing as opposed to the requirements for lighting. Perhaps new terminology is required. ITF will reconsider this issue. It was suggested that play should include at least the area +/- 2m behind the baseline.

Note: The entire test methods and standards document is in metric. When asked whether ITF intends to change the rules of tennis to metric, Dr. Miller responded that he didn’t think so because “everyone likes round numbers.”

Slope and Planarity

The documents states:

Ideally, a tennis court should be a flat surface lying in a single horizontal plane. The court maybe sloped for drainage…

ITF resists making a stronger, definitive statement, eliminating “ideally,” because the French Tennis Federation (FFT) still calls for clay courts to be crowned. Those attending these meetings have repeatedly explained the effect of crowning courts to no avail.

Test methods call for the measurement of the ratio of change in elevation using a laser or optical level to determine slope and calculation of the elevation at each of the 29 points on the attached diagram for the purpose of establishing planarity. The following chart compares ITF’s standards to those of ASBA:

Acrylic 1:100 1:120 – 1:100
Artificial Clay/Grass 1:120 Infilled Turf – 1:120 – 1:100 Fast Dry with Above Ground Irrigation – 1:360 – 1:288 Fast Dry with Subsurface Irrigation – 1:720 – 1:360
Uncoated asphalt; concrete, etc. 1:120 1:120 – 1:100
Clay 1:200 1:360 – 1:288
Grass 1:200 1:120 – 1:100

ITF specifies that the surface for laser-guided paving should be within ±10mm from true and for hand-laid paving ±25mm from true.

Finally, in its new document, ITF specifies tolerances for deviations in dimensions, which vary from 5mm to 16mm. Some of the more important tolerances are:

Middle of net to singles or doubles sidelines 5mm
Net to baseline 12mm
Net to service line 6mm
Half court diagonal 14mm

The entire document listing all the tolerances can be requested from ITF or downloaded from the ITF website at by clicking on “Technical”.

Future research and, hopefully, test methods and standards will focus on static friction/slip resistance (possibly by next year) and, further away, durability/wear and spin.


One of the most interesting parts of the meeting was ITF’s demonstration of a prototype of a predictive test apparatus for surface pace. After many pieces of equipment have been studied – Tortus, the Haines pendulum, the CRAB – ITF’s latest apparatus, called the SPRite, is promising.

ITF has been seeking a portable (small and light) piece of equipment which can measure both COF and COR accurately enough to result in a calculation of CPR within 5 points of that measured by the definitive method. That piece of equipment should be intuitive to operate (requiring minimal training), not user dependent, have robust sensors so that it can withstand shipping and field use and require no external power. Following attempts to identify an apparatus by various means, ITF put the problem to a local university, which developed the SPRite, now in its second generation (Super SPRite) with more changes contemplated. (NOTE: In discussing the possibility of conducting research, ASBA reviewed a proposal for letting grants to universities with graduate departments in related fields such as civil engineering. Here is an example of a successful such project.) Once the apparatus is finalized, it will be available for purchase. We have written to ITF asking Dr. Miller and Ms. Page to attend the Technical Meeting in New Orleans to report to the Tennis Division and to demonstrate the SPRite.


Another interesting aspect of the meeting is the opportunity it provides to meet with SAPCA representatives. Knowing that SAPCA always has had graduated dues based on the volume of construction, and given that a similar suggestion often has been made within ASBA, we briefly asked about their system. The average SAPCA builder member pays £6,000 per year (about $12,000). As a result, SAPCA, with about 1/3 the number of members of ASBA, now has five full time staff members including a full time technical person and a full time director of membership. ASBA functions on about 3,600 hours of staff time per year or approximately two full-time equivalents.

In addition to learning about ITF research and future plans, ASBA also gains visibility and credibility by attending this meeting. ITF has used much of ASBA’s input into the referenced document and always acknowledges ASBA in its presentations such as that at the USTA Annual meeting last April.

Track and Field Rules-Change Proposals

The rules-change proposals below were approved by the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country Committees for 2009-2010. The proposals will not be final until reviewed and approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP). Text with double parenthesis ((-)) is to be deleted. Underlined text is to be added. Rationale is in italic.

Note: The first two proposed changes were a response to ASBA’s Examples of NCAA Rules with Construction Implications provided to the Rules Committee and reprinted in the last issue of Newsline.

Amend Rule 1-1.1 as follows:

b. The maximum overall downward inclination permitted in the running direction for the track, the running direction for all runways and the throwing direction for all landing sectors, measured over the full length of any straight track distance, the last 20 meters of the javelin runway, the last 40 meters of other runways and the full length of landing sectors, shall not exceed 1:1000, one-tenth of one percent (0.1%).

c. In the high jump, the maximum inclination of the last 15 meters of the approach and takeoff area shall not exceed 1:250, four-tenths of one percent (0.4%), in the running direction toward the center of the crossbar.

Amend rule 1-1.2 by adding the following at the end of the first paragraph:

Whenever possible, it is recommended that there be an obstacle-free zone on the inside and on the outside of the track at least one meter in width.

Amend Rule 1-1.9 as follows:

((Note:)) To assist competitors in identifying the break line, small cones ((may)) shall be placed at the intersection of the lane lines and the break line.

Amend Rule 1-11.1 as follows:

The runway shall be marked by two parallel lines 5 centimeters in width. ((For new construction after January 2006, the)) The minimum length shall be 33.5 meters ((,the maximum length shall be 36.5 meters,)) and the width shall be 4 meters between the inside edges of the marked parallel lines...

For additional information regarding recommended changes to Rules 2-10, please consult the NCAA.

Highlights from the USTA Technical Committee Meeting

On September 1, 2008, Incoming Executive Vice President Fred Stringfellow and Outgoing EVP Carol Hogan attended a meeting of the USTA Technical Committee held as part of USTA’s Semi-Annual Meeting in New York. The mission of the Technical Committee is to evaluate and, where appropriate, influence technical developments and make recommendations for related rules in order to preserve the essential character of the game of tennis. Among the highlights of the meeting:

Awards Presentation - The first part of the meeting was set aside for the presentation of USTA Outstanding Facility Awards. The USTA Awards recognize excellence in design, construction and programming. Similar to ASBA’s awards program, every applicant which meets the criteria receives an award. Also like ASBA’s program, the Award goes to the facility. Next year, USTA’s Quick Start Program (more on this later) will be emphasized in the criteria.

Ball Testing – Suresh Ponnussamy reported that USTA is the only National Governing Body (NGB) that does its own ball testing (ITF does ball testing for all brands). This year, USTA tested 65 ball types submitted by manufacturers. Of the balls submitted by manufacturers, 97% passed. Additionally, USTA conducted off-the-shelf testing of balls purchased at random from retail outlets. Only 58% of those balls passed all the tests.

Court Surface Testing – Ponnusamy also reported that USTA tests the courts for the US Open Series as well as the courts at the National Tennis Center. Courts are tested using the Tortus and the Haines pendulum. All courts tested were found to be within a 5% variance. The maximum variation found was one court which was 2.7% faster than others.

USTA is developing a new device to test courts. This device uses a ball machine and high speed video camera in a manner similar to the procedure employed by the Sestee, ITF’s definitive test equipment for court surface pace measurement.

Net Tension – Gordy Pierce then reported on net tension. This work is based on research Gordy originally completed for ASBA in 1990. In that research, Gordy found that the greater the tension on the net cord the more energy is returned to the ball and the more likely the ball is to bounce out-of-bounds. The looser the net cord, the less energy is returned to the ball and the more likely the ball is to “bloop” back on the side from which it was hit. At optimum net tension, the ball behavior is most directly determined by the quality and energy of the hit and the least influenced by striking the net. This becomes especially important in that NCAA Div 1 has eliminated let serves but seeks consistency on courts to create predictability.

Intrigued by Pierce’s research, ITF has found similar results regarding ball behavior and has noted significant differences in net tension among the grand slams. It has held preliminary discussions with the Rules Committee regarding establishing a rule or guideline for net tension; however, it needs a simple means of measuring net tension in order to do so. USTA intends to seek inclusion of language on net tension in the next edition of Friend at Court.

The common method of setting up a net by pulling it all the way tight, then using the center strap to pull the net down to 36” in the center does not create consistent net tension. However, the weight method described in the tennis book creates a reasonably consistent net tension. Gordy demonstrated a net post sold by Lee Tennis which includes an internal tension gauge. This post is patented and only available from Lee. In addition, there is a product called the Slipwich, which will, to a certain degree, control net tension if, according to Gordy, everything is perfect, i.e., the net posts are exactly 42’ apart, etc.

Maintenance Standards – Alex Levitsky reported that the Technical Committee will be studying maintenance standards. As examples, he mentioned the following:

· when an owner of existing courts wishes to add courts at a different elevation, what is the appropriate slope ratio?

· in the most recent edition of Tennis Courts, the tolerance for court evenness has been changed from 1/8” in 10’ to ¼” in 10’. He stated that this was a huge source of controversy.

· where sand-filled artificial turf courts are not adequately maintained, they have many issues including extreme pace, moss and algae, and fibers curled over at the baseline.

· Overlays – there has been little discussion on systems applied over old asphalt courts. (Alex has previously said that asphalt is getting weaker and hazmat concerns regarding asphalt are growing, both of which will increase the market for overlays and concrete courts.)

· The Rules of Tennis include no tolerances. (At this point, ITF has published tolerances through its “ITF Approved Tennis Balls & Classified Court Surfaces – a guide to products and test methods,” as detailed in the report from the ITF Foundation meeting in this Newsline..)

Research and Development – Another committee member, Karl Hedrick, reported that the Committee has been discussing whether it makes sense for USTA to conduct its own research or whether doing so duplicates ITF’s efforts. USTA had hoped to establish an internship at ITF’s headquarters in London, but this year it was unable to fund the internship, which costs $7-8,000 for an 8 week stay. Stuart Miller added that ITF is not short of equipment and resources for additional research, but is short of people to conduct that research. ITF also has the infrastructure to supervise another intern.

Public Facility Funding – Virgil Christian reported that the Public Facility Funding Committee meets every week to discuss ways to help those who would like to develop tennis facilities. This effort began with the Adopt-A-Court project and has continued through the TIPS program. Through those two grants programs, USTA has distributed or helped to distribute $4.7million in funding which has generated $44 million in infrastructure development. All applications for public facility funding come through a public facility inquiry form available at; currently there are 300 inquiries in the queue. Mr. Christian stated that USTA is trying to provide much more customer service.

Quick Start – Christian then gave a presentation on Quick Start Tennis, which he acknowledged is not a new program; it has been done all over the world. Just as baseball, for example, promotes the introduction of children to the sport through tee ball and Little League, with fields and equipment specifically for children, tennis proposes to use 36’ and 60’ courts, special racquets and balls to allow children to play in order to learn rather than learning to play through boring drills and frustrating play on full size courts. Christian said that parents and children need to understand this is real tennis. The Quick Start program was rolled out in February through ESPN. Since then, 120 courts have been built or converted.

USTA advocates building dedicated 36’ and 60’ courts. The 60’ courts also work well for elderly players. Where additional lines are painted on existing regulation courts, USTA recommends that those lines be in the same color family as the existing court, i.e., green on green, so as not to distract players when the regulation court is in use.

Quick Start now has its own website at He notes that “Successful tennis clubs have great youth programs. This is going to be the most important thing to come along in tennis in a long time.” He suggests that courts will be built or lined out in parking lots, indoors at strip malls where they will anchor the mall. Kids will play tennis while parents shop. He suggested that everyone present listen for news on “Driveway Tennis.” Kids will be playing tennis in their neighborhoods. But, first, according to Christian, USTA needs to get in front of designers, contractors, club owners, pros and others to show them how important Quick Start is and how they can participate. (He has been invited to present at the December Technical Meeting.)

Testing Laboratory – Ms. Beard reported that USTA had dedicated a new ball testing laboratory at its White Plains headquarters to Carleton Anderson, a 41-year member of the Technical Committee who passed away in 2008.

Lessons from Geese
By Carol Hogan

This is it. My final column. I hope you read my article in the January issue and understand how very much my 20 years with ASBA have meant to me. But, it being fall, and my being from the Mid-Atlantic where fall is truly magical, I want to share one more thing with you – one of my favorite things.

Where I grew up, long before geese became a bane to golf course managers, they were a natural, welcome part of fall. When you saw the geese flying south in their classic “V” formation, stopping briefly to peck in fields where the corn had been harvested, you knew it was leaf raking time, time for sweaters and apple cider. And you knew that the chill winds of winter weren’t far behind.

Though it has often been attributed to others, Dr. Robert McNeish, who retired as Associate Superintendent of Schools in Baltimore in 1992, wrote this piece for a lay sermon delivered at the Northminster Presbyterian Church in Reisterstown, MD in 1972. Before I was an association executive, I was a biology teacher like Dr. McNeish. Like him, I have always appreciated the natural order. And, like him, I have always believed that what applies in nature applies in associations and in life. So please enjoy these “Lessons from Geese.”

As each goose flaps its wings, it creates “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front of it.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.

Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources.

The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater.

When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then they launch out with another formation or catch up with the original flock.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

And with that, I say remember the geese and good flying. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear me honking my encouragement.


-by Fred Stringfellow, CAE

It is with great anticipation that I look toward New Orleans and my first ASBA Technical Meeting as your Executive Vice President. After 20 years with Carol Hogan as your Executive Vice President, I will be “the new guy in town.”

I realize that I have big shoes to fill and do not plan to introduce myself as “Carol’s replacement.” Rather, I will be introducing myself as ASBA’s new EVP. I will come to you eager to learn about your companies, your industry and your association. I am not an expert on sports facility design or construction, but I consider myself to be a quick study, so please be patient with me.

I am co-founder of King Stringfellow Group, Inc., an Association Management Company in Bel Air, Maryland. Our staff of 12 in Baltimore manages 11 national trade associations. We are pleased to welcome the American Sports Builders Association as a client association; and pleased to welcome Cynthia Jordan as the newest member of our team.

Having spent the past 18 years managing associations in industries ranging from woodworking machinery to flexographic printing to geospatial information technologies, I have worked with thousands of volunteers and volunteer leaders. I find it energizing to learn new industries, meet new people and try to help the members of these organizations look at challenges in a different light.

As a member of several professional associations myself, including the Association Management Company Institute; the American Society of Association Executives and the Maryland Society of Association Executives, I always try to walk away from these association meetings and events having met someone new, and having learned something new that I can bring back to my own business to create change within my staff or my business. I’m a firm believer that you get the most out of the organizations to whom you dedicate time, so I have served on a number of volunteer committees and boards and am the past president of three associations. I hope to encourage members of ASBA to take the same approach toward your Association.

As a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and owner of an Accredited Association Management Company, I see the value in certification and accreditation programs. I appreciate the time and resources that have gone into ASBA’s certified builder programs and recognize what they do for the individuals who choose to pursue their certification.

It is gratifying to create venues and opportunities for professionals to improve and grow their businesses. I look forward to meeting you in New Orleans…to growing and improving with you.

See you in New Orleans!


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New Password – Members Only Section

Effective July 15, 2008, the password for the Members Only Section of the ASBA website will be “finishline.” To log in to the Members Only section, use the name “Member” and this password until the next Newsline.

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Certified Builder as Bid Qualification Upheld In Massachusetts
In a recent ruling, a major victory for ASBA’s certification programs, the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts upheld the use of the bid requirement that the bidder employ an ASBA Certified Track Builder.

In its opinion, the Office of the Attorney General held:

“There is a reasonable nexus between the certificate requirement and the objective sought by the awarding authority in imposing the requirement. That requirement is adherence to industry standards and the objective is obtaining quality installation.”

In this case, a non-member company, the low bidder, protested the awarding of a running track resurfacing project to an ASBA-member company on the basis that the low bid did not comply with the specifications because it did not have a Certified Track Builder on staff. The opinion recognized that there are only 22 certified builders in the nation and that the member company that won the bid is the only New England company with a Certified Track Builder on staff. However, the Masconomet Regional School District argued that it had serious problems regarding the workmanship in prior track work, which justified the use of the certification requirement as a quality standard. The School District’s procurement officer found ASBA online while searching for industry standards for track construction.

Massachusetts law requires that public construction be awarded to the “lowest responsible and eligible bidder,” and defines that as the bidder “whose bid is the lowest of those bidders possessing the skill, ability and integrity necessary to faithfully perform the work.” A company protesting the award of a bid must prove that the awarding authority’s decision was arbitrary.

The Office of the Attorney General found that the District’s decision was not arbitrary because the certification requirement “formed a rational basis for concluding that [the non-member company] was not a responsible bidder. It further found that the requirement is not overly restrictive because “certification is open to anyone who meets the ASBA’s standards.”

While bidding regulations differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and this decision will not be a binding precedent in other states, its arguments and findings can be used by members in other jurisdictions to argue that having a certified builder on staff is an appropriate qualification to determine eligibility for bidding.

Copies of the decision can be secured from Association headquarters.


Track Certification Document Available

With the cooperation of NCAA and NFHS, for the past several years, ASBA has been working on a policy and procedure for certifying running tracks at various levels. That document is now ready for comment. It is available in the Members Only section of ASBA’s website. To access the document, go to the website, click on “Member Login,” and use the username “member” and the current password.

If you have any comments or questions regarding the statement, please contact Sam Fisher, 515-432-3191, ext. 21 or or Jon Renner, CTB, at 720-318-8226 or


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Summer Board Meeting
July 11-12, 2008

During our most recent Board Meeting, the members of the Board undertook the following actions:

1. Approved funding for a comprehensive facilitated planning session to take place in July 2009.
2. Agreed to file an application for ASBA to become a continuing education provider through the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
3. Agreed to redesign the Technical Meeting sponsorship program with new levels and benefits of sponsorship.
4. Approved the program for the 2008 Technical Meeting.
5. Considered the analysis of the member involvement survey and based on the level of interest, authorized expenditure of up to $25,000 for a role delineation (job analysis survey) for a field builder certification.
6. Agreed to invite visitors, a few at a time, to Board meetings. These might be potential leaders and/or critics.
7. Considered but rejected a tiered dues structure. Agreed to place issues raised, including some that ASBA has considered again and again, on the agenda for the facilitated planning session.
8. Approved changes to the bylaws.
9. Approved the Operating Budget for 2008-2009 with a 3% dues increase (following no increase last year).


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MemberlineEditor’s Note: Information contained in Memberline is submitted by members and is published without verification. Its publication does not constitute an endorsement.


News from Connor Sport Court

There is a lot going on at Connor Sport Court. Among the news:

· Sport Court® has joined the US Soccer Foundation as part of the Partner’s Resource Center to provide expertise in planning and installing futsal playing surfaces. Sport Court will offer discounts to Foundation Grantees and Community Partners on modular sports surfaces used to build futsal facilities. Futsal is a five-on-five version of soccer played inside or outside on a playing surface about the size of a basketball court. US soccer coaches use futsal to develop the technical skills of players and to encourage more unstructured play.
· Constructed the floor for the NCCA Final Four Men’s Basketball Championships in San Antonio.
· Converted a parking lot into a playground including four basketball courts, eight multi-use courts, two half-court basketball courts, two volleyball courts, a badminton court and a pickle ball court. The project at the Irvin Deutscher Family YMCA was built in honor of David C. Hayes, a local college student and youth volunteer at the Y who died in a water accident.
· Provided 40 playing courts for the 2008 USA Junior Olympic Girls’ Volleyball Championships and 32 playing courts for the 2008 USA Junior Olympic Boys’ Volleyball Championships.
· Promoted Christa Bird to Field Services Manager at CSCI headquarters in Salt Lake City. In this position, Christa will continue to help CSCI build collaborative relationships within the company and with its dealer network.

For more information on Connor Sport Court news, contact Jim Ure, who coordinates marketing, advertising and public relations, or, 801-467-0893.

DecoTurf Tennis Surface, 31 Years at the US Open

For the 31st year, DecoTurf (Andover, MA) cushioned tennis courts were the surface chosen for the 2008 US Open and for the US Open Series tournaments in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, at Pilot Pen and the Legg Mason Classic. The US Open was originally played on grass until Forest Hills switched to clay courts in 1975. In 1978, the event moved from Forest Hills to its current home in Flushing Meadows, where the surface changed again to Pro Deco Turf.

In September’s, Brad Gilbert declared “the surface at the US Open to be the most equalizing of all the majors. Net-rushers, counter-punchers and big hitters all thrive at the Open.” agreed, stating that “...the US Open puts competitors on equal footing. Literally. The tournaments DecoTurf II playing surface caters to heavy hitters and speedy scramblers alike.”

Congratulations to ASBA Treasurer John Graham, who was mentioned by John McEnroe during his commentary, saying Graham had advised him about the changes in the court surface over time as it related to the Open and how it was different for the Olympics, where DecoTurf also was the tennis surface, because of the weather, dust, etc. It’s good for everyone in the industry when commentators, players, coaches and spectators begin to understand the important role of tennis surfaces.

Clay Court Maintenance Seminars by Welch Tennis Courts

October is an especially busy time for the Welch Tennis (Sun City, FL) staff who will present three complete one-day clay court maintenance seminars in three different Florida locations. These October seminars will be held at Ibis Golf & Country Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, the Kensington Golf & Country Club in Naples, Florida, and Selva Marina Country Club in the Jacksonville (Atlantic Beach) area.

The attendees typically include court maintenance personnel, club managers, and tennis pros. A certificate is presented to each attendee validating their seminar participation and USPTA members earn three full credits for continuing education. Others new to clay court maintenance come as students seeking to enhance their total experience with clay. Some are seeking employment opportunities in this area and know the seminar can provide valuable training.

Breakfast, lunch, and courtside beverages are included as well as happy hour where certificates are distributed. Many people attend year after year to refresh their knowledge or get a new certificate to display.

Topics include general clay court knowledge and specific challenges such as algae and hardpan. The elite expert construction and resurfacing team of Dave Welch and Bob McGuire provide hands on experience. Their combined decades of clay court experience are reflected in the on-court demonstrations featuring equipment, techniques, tips, and procedures.

The October 2008 clay court seminars will be at the following cities and dates:

October 10, 2008 Ibis Golf & Country Club - West Palm Beach, Florida
October 17, 2008 Kensington Golf & Country Club - Naples, Florida
October 24, 2008 Selva Marina Country Club – Atlantic Beach (Jax.) Florida

For questions or more information (motels, maps, directions, reservations, etc.) contact Deb Carlson at 1-800-282-4415 or Email:

Laykold Rewarded with Sony Ericsson Open Extension

Advanced Polymer Technology (Harmony, PA) announces the extension of Laykold Acrylic Tennis Court Systems as the Official Surface of the Sony Ericsson Open. Known as tennis’ 5th Grand Slam, the Sony Ericsson Open has the second highest attendance for American events. Jeff Bryant, National Director of Sales for APT's Laykold and Omnicourt Trademark Systems states, "Back in 2002, due to 18 years of reliable quality and superb performance, the tournament rewarded Laykold with "Official Surface" status. This past April after hosting its 24th successful event in a row, the Key Biscayne, Florida tennis tournament offered APT a contract extension to maintain Laykold as its Official Surface for several more years. We (everyone at APT) are extremely proud and honored that a high-profile, world-class tennis event like the Sony Ericsson Open wants Laykold to remain a vital contributor to its future successes. It’s a tribute to APT’s dedication in maintaining Laykold as the finest acrylic tennis and recreational sport surfaces in the world.”

For information on Laykold Cushion Plus, Laykold ColorCoat and other Laykold acrylic tennis and recreational sport systems, please visit or call Jeff Bryant directly at 732-206-0031.

Director of Public Works honors Robert A. Bothman, Inc during National Public Works Week

Katy Allen, Director of Public Works presented an Award of Special Recognition to general engineering and building contractor Robert A. Bothman, Inc. (San Jose, CA) at a City Hall ceremony during National Public Works Week.

The Award was presented for RAB’s superlative work in delivering the Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park to the City three months ahead of schedule and under the project budget.

At 68,000 square feet the Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park is the largest purpose built skate park in California. It features the longest full pipe, the tallest Vert Wall in the World and the largest cradle in the Nation. In addition the park has 11 bowls and street course. The Park has also developed a cult following on YouTube with many underground videos springing up.

RAB has worked extensively for the City of San Jose Public Works Department and the San Jose Redevelopment agency. In addition to Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park RAB has constructed the Guadalupe River Park, San Jose’s signature water front park and many other projects.

RAB is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2008. Founded in 1978 by Robert A. Bothman the company has grown to employ 215 staff, with annual revenues in excess of $80 million.

For more information please contact Andy Lambert, Tel: 1 408 279 2277.

Team Laykold Surfaces Collegiate Courts

What do Texas Christian University, Indiana State University and University of Illinois have in common? All three of these prominent universities now play tennis on Laykold (Advanced Polymer Technology, Brick, NJ) acrylic tennis court surfaces.

Carter Construction Company, LLC of Fort Worth, Texas resurfaced 22 tennis courts (8 varsity and 16 intramural) for Texas Christian University using a two-tone Royal Purple/Medium Green Laykold ColorCoat system. The Horned Frogs have a strong tennis tradition and finished the 2008 season ranked #34 nationally.

Indiana State University resurfaced 8 varsity tennis courts this past summer with the Laykold ColorCoat system. The two-tone Dark Blue/Light Blue system was supplied by Pavement Coatings, Inc. of Evansville, Indiana. Preferred Construction Inc. professionally applied the Laykold ColorCoat system on the Sycamores home courts.

Harris Barrier Corporation of Indianapolis, Indiana surfaced 12 new asphalt tennis courts for the University of Illinois with the Laykold Cushion Plus system. The Fighting Illini, who finished the 2008 season ranked #15 nationally, topped off the Laykold Cushion Plus system with a two-tone Dark Blue/Medium Green Laykold ColorCoat color scheme.

For details on the Laykold ColorCoat and Cushion Plus systems, please call Advanced Polymer Technology at 888-266-4221 or visit

LSI Down Under

LSI Courtsider Sports Lighting (Cincinnati, OH) is supplying fixtures for tennis court illumination and general ingress/egress lighting at the Queensland State Tennis Centre under construction in Brisbane, Australia. The world class tennis center is slated to open in January 2009 and will include 23 courts in grass, clay and acrylic surfaces. Equipment furnished by LSI will provide tournament level illumination suitable for international-standard tennis events.

Nova Sports USA Inc. Chosen for Lithuanian National Tennis Complex

The newly constrtucted Lithuanian National Tennis Complex in Vilnius has chosen Nova Sports USA’s (Milford, MA) Novacushion and Ultracushion surfacing systems for its 19 indoor and 4 outdoor courts. Designed to be the premiere tennis facility in Eastern Europe, the complex will house various national and international tennis competitions. The tennis center, which plans on hosting 300,000 guests annually, contains restaurants, shopping and a 200 room upscale hotel. Lithuania’s President Valdas Adamkus and Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas took part in the ribbon cutting on September 27th.


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New Members

The following companies have joined the ASBA or renewed their membership since the last newsletter. Please add their names to the appropriate section of your membership directory.

Covington Flooring Company, Inc. (Builder)
288-A Oxmoor Court
Birmingham, AL 35209
Fax: 205-328-2496

Joseph Covington, President


Suburban Consulting Engineers, Inc. (Professional)
100 Valley Road, #202
Mt. Arlington, NJ 07856
Fax: 973-398-2121

Daren Phil, Executive VP

Environmental Soil Stabilization, LLC (Supplier)
240 East Renfro Street, #207
Burleson, TX 76028
Fax: 817-426-8018

Russell Scharlin, VP

Game Courts of Michigan (Builder)
2000 West 8 Mile Road
Ferndale, MI 48220
Fax: 248-543-9232

Noah Teicher, VP

Gary Shaw Athletic Field Design & Consulting (Professional)
11229 Shady Run
Auburn, CA 95603
Fax: 530-392-3506

Gary Shaw, President

Crescent Sport Systems, (Provisional)
P.O. Box 2006
Prairieville, LA 70769
Fax: 225-612-6863

Kevin Leach, Manager

Rafael Construction, Inc.
7120 Rafael Ridge Way
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Fax: 702-451-6111

Tim Burns, Owner



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December 3-6, 2008
Athletic Business Conference, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX. For more information,

December 6-9, 2008
ASBA Technical Meeting, Astor Crowne Plaza, New Orleans, LA. For information 866-501-ASBA (2722) or

February 26– March 3, 2009
ASBA Winter Meeting, Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino,
San Juan, Puerto Rico. For information 866-501-ASBA (2722) or

December 2-5, 2009
Athletic Business Conference, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL For more information,

December 5-7, 2009
ASBA Technical Meeting, Hyatt Regency Savannah, Savannah, GA. For information 866-501-ASBA (2722) or

December 5-7, 2010
ASBA Technical Meeting, Marriott Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. For information 866-501-ASBA (2722) or

Note: Updated information on ASBA meetings can often be found on the website; please contact


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Certification Corner

Congratulations to the following member of ASBA who has become newly certified since the last issue of Newsline:

Mike Edgerton, CTCB
DeRosa Tennis Contractors, Inc.

Carl Aiken, CTB
Copeland Coating Co., Inc.

Matt Schnitzler, CTB
Hellas Construction, Inc.


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CPSC Finds Synthetic Turf “OK to Install, OK to Play On;”
Not Everyone Agrees

In late July, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released its evaluation on the risk of lead in synthetic turf. Find the report at

The research found that while small quantities of lead were present in the some of the samples tested, even where present its transfer to the children during play and its subsequent ingestion by those children (its bioavailablility) yielded very low exposure levels, far lower than CPSC “levels of concern.”

CPSC research found that, in many cases, newer fields yielded no lead. Small amounts of lead were detected in some older fields. CPSC staff theorized that such conditions as age, use, weathering and UV degradation permit small particles of the lead-containing fibers in synthetic turf to break off. However, they further based their conclusions on the theory that only when those particles stick to the children’s hands and, subsequently, are transferred to the children’s mouths and swallowed, do they present any concern.

Although CPSC found no current risk of harmful exposure, it asked that voluntary standards be developed to preclude the use of lead in future products. Additionally, CPSC staff recommended that children wash their hands after playing on synthetic turf fields, especially before eating.

Synthetic Turf Council executive Rick Doyle, in an article for Athletic Turf News pronounced, “The verdict we have all been waiting for is in: On July 30, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that synthetic turf fields are safe (emphasis his) to install and play on for children and people of all ages.”

To say that Connecticut officials do not agree is an understatement. According to Athletic Turf News, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal asked the CPSC to remove the report from its website and said that it might “dangerously and deceptively mislead citizens into believing that artificial turf has been proven safe.”

Both Blumenthal and Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro criticized the evaluation study for focusing only on the synthetic turf fiber and not on the recycled tire rubber used in the fields. In addition, both criticized the size, methodology and limitations of the study as inadequate to make such a sweeping statement, “OK to Install, OK to Play On.” In fact, said Blumenthal, “This report and release are as deceptive as some of the advertising and marketing of consumer products prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.”

He went on to say, “There is a clear and present danger that municipal and state decision makers, as well as parents and citizens, will rely on this unconscionably deficient report.”

Apparently, some in California agree with Blumenthal. In September, the State Attorney General, joined by the City Attorney of Los Angeles and the District Attorney of Solano County, filed suit against three synthetic turf companies maintaining that they are breaking state law by not warning the public of exposure to dangerous amounts of lead in artificial turf. The suit is designed to stop the sale of any new turf manufactured with lead.

Meantime, STC announced its own voluntary standards to reduce the amount of lead in synthetic turf fibers. Said Doyle, “Our industry has worked hard to remove lead from more than 90% of pigments used to color synthetic turf.” Now, the STC plans to reduce lead levels in the remaining 10% of all colored fibers that still require lead chromate to meet the consumer’s demand for long-term color fastness.

STC’s voluntary commitment comes just ahead of lead restrictions for products used by children contained in H.R. 4040, the “Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008,” which was signed into law by President Bush on August 14. The new law calls for the level of lead in all pigments used in children’s products to be reduced to 300 parts per million (ppm) or less by no later than Jan. 1, 2010 and to 100 ppm or less by no later than Jan. 1, 2012.


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