Softball Field Padding & Maintenance Safety Tips
As Field of Dreams had it, “If you build it, they will come.” While anyone can build a softball field, most people don’t realize it takes a lot of work and organization to maintain that field. From soil composition, softball field padding, to base paths to dragging patterns to pitching mounds, there’s a lot of detail when it comes to softball field maintenance.Field Wall Pads has installed backstop padding, windscreens, and field padding at thousands of stadiums. We know a thing or two about safety and softball. Here are six tips we recommend to save you time, stress and money.
- Ensure safety is job priority #1 for both athletes and spectators. The Foundation for Safer Athletic Fields (SAFE) has published an excellent softball field safety and maintenance checklist. It’s a great tool to help you check the playing surface, turf, fencing, facilities and other areas before and after games.
- Improve your playing surface and reduce soil compaction and rainouts by applying a sports field conditioner. Whether you’re constructing a new softball field or renovating your current space, infield and soil conditioners allow your players to perform at their highest level.
- Make sure your softball fields are dry and puddle-free. Not only are wet fields the number one reason for field damage, they’re also the leading cause of player injury. Puddle sponges, drying agents, and raking can help in a pinch. But the best preventive medicine is to re-level the infield in the fall.
- Purchase and install the most protective softball field padding available. FieldWallPads.com offers 3” high-impact foam that provides a barrier against injuries. When your softball backstop pads are made of a hard surface—such as brick or cement—experts recommend backstop padding to cover those surfaces. We take safety very seriously at Field Wall Pads. We’ve conducted our own independent research to see how our field wall and backstop pads stack up against the competition and found that our durable field padding provides superior protection against concussions.
- Learn now and continue learning about the best methods to protect and maintain your softball fields. Groundskeeper University is an online professional training tool that’s perfect for volunteers, staff, and seasonal workers. The more experience and continuity you have, the better your softball field will be maintained
- Test your turf and soil. Buy a soil probe and use it at random spots around the field. The plugs will indicate compaction, moisture, and root growth. Based on your findings, you can tweak your maintenance schedule. One common problem is mowing incorrectly. If your mower blades are too dull, grass blades may be torn and shredded. Your mowing regimen should take off about 1/3 of the grass blade. If you find a lot of clippings, you may be mowing too much of the turf. Once you’ve got your grass under control, consider lawn striping and to add some beautiful patterns to your softball field. For more general tips on making your turf look beautiful, check out this YouTube video from Busch Stadium.
With a solid plan in place and some general education, you can have a lush, green, and healthy softball field. We hope you’ve enjoyed these six tips and techniques. Field Wall Pads wishes you a very successful season. Play ball!