The Little League World Series marks the end of another playing season, but now is not the time to take a break. In fact, fall is the ideal period for carrying out repairs and upgrades.
Consider a few best practices when planning out repairs and upgrades for your little league fields!
Repair damaged areas
The worst thing that can happen once the baseball season starts is anything that could harm the players. Taking the time to do inspections and ensure field safety will help you avoid any potential risk.
Look for holes or uneven surfaces in the grass and dirt, especially in the infield. One misstep from a player in these damaged areas could mean a twisted ankle, or worse.
Follow a process of removing excess material from the damaged area, add water, set the clay, and then use a tamp to pack it all down. The clay should be as firmly packed into the ground as possible, so be very forceful and thorough with your tamping. Once this is done, you can use a field maintenance rake to provide the finesse needed to make the field presentable and safe.
Spot covers can also be placed on the pitching mound and the home plate areas. Spot covers will help to keep the appropriate amount of moisture in these very important areas when the field is not in use.
For your infield skin, use a hose or sprinkler system to wet the dirt prior to using a nail drag. It’s suggested to undergo a dragging process with two steps:
- Drag the field with nails to loosen up the hardened, cracked dirt.
- Drag the infield skin with a screen drag to give the dirt a smooth, finished look.
This video demonstrates these steps and more:
If you notice low areas in your infield skin, adding infield mix may be necessary. Adding a quality infield mix, such as DuraEdge Engineered Soils, can dramatically increase the playability and safety of your infield skin. DuraEdge has a variety of engineered soil options to ensure the optimum playing condition for your field.
Lips of dirt along the edges of the infield skin can also be taken out with a sod cutter or a high-volume pressure nozzle.
Here are some other things to watch out for:
- How do the bases look when they’re anchored in the ground? Are they loose? Are they level with the ground?
- When you irrigate the outfield turf, are there flooded sections?
- Is the pitching mound repaired adequately with packing clay?
These are only a few examples of things you can improve when promoting a better, safer field. Thoroughly inspect your fields in order to make them as safe as possible before the next season begins.
Whatever you choose to do with your repairs and upgrades, create a plan. Saving money, making your employees’ jobs easier, and improving the methods by which you go about field maintenance will help you create the ideal fields for next season.