August 2010



Interpreting Turfgrass Irrigation Water Test Results

Sports fields all across the country can be affected by soluble salts in irrigation water. Therefore, water analysis and periodic monitoring have become key components of sound irrigation management. 
Click here to learn about the importance of testing your irrigation water and how to interpret the results to maximize the health of your field.

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

The Business E-Mail Etiquette Basics You Need to Know

When it comes to your business e-mail communications, you need to make an impression that can lend to the determination that you are a credible professional and someone that will be a pleasure to do business with. You only have one chance to make that first impression which will be invaluable to building trust and confidence.

Click here to view these valuable communication tips!

News You Can Use

Northwest Regional Conference a Hit with Attendees, Exhibitors

Attendees from across the northwest and as far away as Hawaii enjoyed world class education, a full trade show, professional facility tours, hands on demonstrations, a group social outing to the Mariners game and seasonably beautiful weather in Seattle, Wash., on July 21-22 at STMA's Northwest Regional Conference and Exhibition.

On Wed., July 21, more than 170 paid attendees were taken on an in-depth tour of Safeco Field by Head Groundskeeper Bob Christofferson and his staff. The attendees then headed over to Starfire Sports Complex in the Seattle suburb of Tukwila, where 32 exhibitors showed off their newest products, equipment and services until 2:00 p.m. After logo painting, paint removal from synthetic turf and high traffic area repair demonstrations by Scott MacVicar, John Wright and Dr. David Minner, respectively, everyone was treated to a tour of Starfire by Facility Director Juan Saravia. Starfire is unique in that it is a 501(c)3 organization and is also the official training facility of the Seattle Sounders FC Major League Soccer team.

After the tour, all of the attendees and exhibit personnel, plus their family, friends, and other guests filled more than 250 seats to watch Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez take on the Chicago White Sox in what turned out to be a thrilling 2-1 walk-off win for the Mariners in 11 innings.

The next morning everyone returned to Safeco for more than nine hours of sports turf specific education presented by some of the preeminent academics and practitioners in the country. Topics covered included panels on synthetic turf and natural turfgrass and presentations on irrigation issues, integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, and field conversions. After lunch in the lower bowl section of Safeco, the group headed to neighboring Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, where Director of Facilities and Fields John Wright and his crew discussed the facility, maintenance practices and equipment it takes to keep one of the League's premier facilities in top shape.

Those who stuck around for the afternoon tour of Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC), the Seahawks practice facility bordering Lake Washington in Renton and the second largest training facility in the NFL, were treated to one of the highlights of the two days worth of events. After sneaking up on Fields and Grounds Manager Sean Vanos who was speaking about the outdoor practice field, Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll addressed the crowd. Carroll (at right, center) wondered jokingly about how the group got Sean's permission to walk on the field, because he always had to ask for it, and then discussed how much the effort of Vanos and his crew at VMAC and John Wright and his crew at Qwest meant to the preparation and success of the Seahawks. He pointed out the Bald Eagles watching over the facility and the beautiful view of Mercer Island and Lake Washington.

After Coach Carroll excused himself and Seahawks General Manager John Schneider waved to the group from his office, we snapped a picture of everyone together and the event came to an end.

Final numbers: two days, three hands on demonstrations, four professional facility tours, 14 hours of education, 32 exhibitors, hundreds of attendees... and countless memories.

The STMA Board of Directors and the STMA Northwest Regional Conference Steering Committee would like to thank all of the attendees, exhibitors, speakers and volunteers who helped make this event special for all parties.

SAFE Auction Donations Requested

STMA and SAFE are requesting donations for the SAFE Live and Silent Auctions that will take place throughout STMA's 22nd Annual Conference and Exhibition, Jan. 11-15, 2011 in Austin, Texas. Items in demand at the event each year include sports memorabilia (autographed, game used or otherwise), team or corporate gear, equipment, travel, tickets to games or events, electronics, lifestyle items (art, cigars, wine, etc.) and much more.

All proceeds from the Live and Silent Auctions go to SAFE to fund scholarships and education and may be tax deductible*. To donate items ahead of the Conference in January, simply send them to STMA at 805 New Hampshire St., Suite E, Lawrence, KS 66044, or you may bring them to registration desk on-site in Austin. Thank you!

*Please consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of your donations.

Volunteer by Aug. 31

Interest Form for members to be considered for the STMA Board of Directors Slate of Candidates is due to STMA by Aug. 31. Take advantage of this opportunity to share your leadership expertise or to nominate a deserving peer. For more information on the positions available, click here.

Same Cost - Increased Value

STMA has held the registration fees to the same as in 2010 (and 2009!), and again is offering a full day of Pre-Conference Workshops on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at no additional cost. Wednesday's sessions include:

• Sports Turf Pest Control Update for 2011 (qualifies for Pesticide Recertification Credits)
• Managing Athletic Fields without Traditional Pesticides: Cultural, Organic, and Alternative Pest Management (qualifies for Pesticide Recertification Credit)
• What's New in Warm Season Grass Management
• Native Soil Field Improvement and Construction: Making the Best of What you Have
• New Technology: Gadgets and Gizmos

Featured Speakers of the Month

Each month we will be featuring speakers that are scheduled to present at the STMA National Conference in Austin, Texas. This month highlights David Han, Ph.D. and Joshua Koss.

Dr. David Han is the Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist for Turfgrass Management at Auburn University in Alabama. On Wednesday, January 12 he will be presenting a portion of "Sports Turf Pest Control Update for 2011." His focus will be on diseases and fungicide technology. Characteristics of common diseases affecting sports fields and how to diagnose and treat them will be discussed. Management options that reduce the severity and/or prevent the onset of diseases as well as an overview of fungicides that are currently available or in development will also be covered.

Joshua Koss is the Sports Turf Manager for San Diego Jewish Academy in San Diego, California. On Thursday, January 13 he will be presenting "Managing a Multi-Purpose Field: Turf Health in a High Traffic Environment." In this presentation he will discuss how important agronomics and constructive coach/turf manager/general manager relationships are to maintain a successful multi-use athletic field under high traffic conditions. Attendees will learn how to develop a maintenance plan for high traffic areas that will protect the company's investment in the field and build sustainability for the future, and also how to develop, maintain, or enhance healthy working relationships with coaches and user groups.

Soccer Grants to be Available October 1, 2010

The U.S. Soccer Foundation, the Major Charitable Arm of Soccer in the United States, is offering grants for soccer field building projects. The online grant application will be available October 1 - October 29.

• Footprint Field Building Grants: This grant type provides up to $200,000 credit toward the cost of construction an artificial turf soccer field.

• Field Grants: This grant type provides funding assistance for the enhancement of existing fields. Grants will be awarded for irrigation, sports lighting, modular futsal surfaces and field maintenance equipment.

The Foundation also has a Lighting Finance Initiative, which provides soccer organizations that are unable to secure a conventional loan with the opportunity to install a lighting system immediately.

To learn more about the U.S. Soccer Foundation's Grants Program, visit

STMA & ASBA Certification Tests Offered in Austin

During the STMA Annual Conference and Exhibition held in Austin both STMA and the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) will be offering its respective certification tests. The deadline to register for these exams with each association is Dec. 15.
The Certified Sports Field Manager (CSFM) exam will be given by STMA on Tues., Jan. 11, 3:30 - 7:30 p.m., and on Sat., Jan. 15, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. If you take the test on Tuesday and do not pass, you may be able to retest on those sections on Saturday. To find out if you qualify to test, contact STMA Headquarters or go to

The ASBA offers three certifications for field builders: Certified Field Builder (CFB), Certified Field Builder Natural (CFB-N) and the Certified Field Builder Synthetic (CFB-S). It will be offering these tests on Sat., Jan. 15, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. To find out if you qualify to take these tests, download the CFB application and CFB eligibility spreadsheet from its website, Those who take the ASBA's tests must register for the STMA conference, purchasing at a minimum, a one-day conference and education package.

International Resources