Sports Turf is here to stay. We are seeing more and more fields constructed featuring all turf designs and there is certainly some good news and some bad news in that reality. You all know I’m an old-school kind of person, but after spending thousands of hours of my life working on softball fields I have to admit that my opinion is changing.
Why I love all-turf fields:
- The fields drain great so just about as soon as it stops raining you can start playing.
- There is no dragging, no lining and no between-game maintenance to worry about.
- The field plays true. There are no bad hops because of rocks, ruts or other imperfections.
- No tarp! There is no more miserable experience than pulling the tarp early on a frigid morning. Period.
- Laundry bills go down. No grass stains, no clay stains and a lot less time in the laundry room.
Why I hate all-turf fields:
- Old-fashioned me likes the look of a perfectly prepped field with clean edges and perfect lines.
- It feels like you are inside a pizza oven when it is really hot and sunny.
- You can burn through the knees of a pair of pants pretty quickly sliding on the turf.
- Put on the brakes when sliding. You see a lot of players sliding right past the base because the turf is so much faster.
- Crazy big bounces. There are no bad hops but there are plenty of high hops.
- My back hurts. I’m not sure if it’s the turf or just old age but my back hurts more after a long day on the turf.
- Money, money, money. There is a huge investment in building an all turf field.
We are seeing many more colleges and softball facilities making the investment. I expect that in the next 10 years or so we will see many more places going all turf, all the time. it’s different for sure but different doesn’t always mean bad!