Rain, Rain Rain: Follow Up From Nats Park

 

“Grass Fields Are Always Rained Out”.  It is one of the most common attacks on and regular misconceptions about natural grass fields.

In this age of creative thinking and technology supporting hard working Sports Field Managers, these perceptions just are NOT true any longer.  Last year, as rain was pummeling much much of the country, we shared “Rain, Rain, Rain: Play Through on Natural Grass” with a few of the many success stories from natural grass fields sustaining play during rainfall.   “Weathering the storms” is another favorite that introduces some thoughts around natural grass fields sustaining play during rain as well.

BUT BASEBALL FIELDS are perceived to be even more challenging than rectangular fields.  Infield skins without a tarp take days and even weeks to dry following heavy or sustained rainfall.  Parks and high schools without the money to purchase a tarp feel that they have no chance to ever play during wet time periods.  Their reference many times is that they don’t have money like the professional teams to have a tarp or staff to cover the field.

Nationals Park in Washington, DC provides us with a shining example of what is possible for a baseball field in the 21st century.

At 11:30pm last night during a deluge that dropped 2″ of rain in less than 1 hour…

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And at 11:3oam this morning as the hard working Nationals Grounds Crew, lead by Mr. John Turnour, finish preparing for tonight’s game:

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BUT HOW?!?

Simply because of proper natural grass field construction and via innovation and technology in infield skin maintenance products.  The perception that a full tarp is required to keep a baseball field playable, especially at the Parks and High School level is just that.. PERCEPTION.  Baseball fields around the country, from Parks to Pros, are working with these innovations and technologies and no longer utilizing full infield tarps full time.  The only tarps required always are 1 small tarp on the mound and a tarp on home plate to protect these areas built with higher clay content. Ironically, these improved products create infields that play BETTER when they get a lot of water or rain on them!

Natural grass fields are NOT always rained out.  And baseball (and softball fields) do NOT always require full field tarps to stay playable.  Creative thinking and technology supporting hard working Sports Field Managers are redefining what is possible for natural grass fields.  Because “if we always do what we have always done, we will always get what we have always gotten”.  


Special THANK YOU to Mr. John Turnour or the Washington Nationals for allowing the use of this baseball field example.  And THANK YOU to each and every hard working Sports Field Manager and your support teams for all of the amazing examples of high quality, high use natural grass fields!!!  You are #GrassCanTakeMore™

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