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It's all about maintenance. If you do the little things every time the field is used, there will be fewer big things (and fewer injuries).
I was the field commissioner for our new sports association on land that was literally part of a cattle ranch in Texas.. which was associated with the King Ranch ....but we turned those fields into jewels.
One Sunday morning I chased about 30 1500 pound Santa Gertrudis off our fields before church...because they liked our grass better than their pasture.
But they were our Field of Dreams...
Teams would come in from out of town for All Star tournaments and would stand in amazed at how manicured these fields were.
My advice...train every coach/dad to know how to properly groom fields.
How funny. Doug and I were just talking about this last night. He was telling me how they had to maintain their own field in college, and he was glad. Said it gave him respect for the field.
It doesn't take a lot.
- Rake the fields after every use
- fill the holes in the batters box and pitchers mound
- rake up the baselines rather than across so there is no lip.
- don't take water off the dirt other than scooping or sucking
- once a year, take a 2x4 and fill in low spots.
That alone will make your fields nicer than 90%. Nothing that takes much money or that much time.
I have been the fields manager for my local league for the past 5 years. Its rewarding to me for a few reasons. One of which my son and his teammates and friends have a home field in which they can be proud of and its now a nice baseball field. The other reason being that I grew up playing on the same fields, only they weren't nearly as nice when I was a kid. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent rebuilding batters boxes, lining out base pegs, foul poles, dragging, leveling, chalking, watering, mowing, painting, building backstops, ordering materials, setting up and taking down outfield fences. The list is long but seeing teams come play at our fields from out of town and hear them say, "WOW, I wish our fields looked like this", makes it totally worth it.
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