December 2012

News You Can Use

STMA members are notified that the Annual Meeting will take place on Thurs., Jan. 17, 12:00 p.m. in the Ballroom of the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, FL. The agenda includes STMA updates, SAFE update, Announcement of the 2013 Board of Directors, and Recognition. It will conclude by 1:15 p.m. and includes lunch. The trade show opens immediately following the meeting, where dessert will be served.

Congratulations to Field of the Year and MiLB Winners

STMA announces its 2012 Field of the Year winners and Minor League Baseball Sports Turf Manager of the Year. 

Field of the Year

  • Schools and Parks – Don Gaebelein Field, Wesleyan School, Norcross, GA
  • College and University – TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, NE
  • Professional – Fluor Field at the West End, Greenville Drive, Greenville, SC


  • Schools and Parks – Panther Stadium, Oregon USD, Oregon, WI
  • College and University – Jack Trice Stadium, Iowa State University, Ames, IA


  • Schools and Parks – Waukegan SportsPark Field #2, Waukegan Park Dist., Waukegan, IL
  • College and University – Gordon Field, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Professional – Dicks Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO


  • Schools and Parks – Alpenrose Stadium, Little League Softball World Series, Portland, OR
  • College and University – Tiger Park, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

 Sporting Grounds

  • Schools and Parks - Infinity Park, City of Glendale, CO

Award winners will be presented with their awards on Fri., Jan. 18, 2013, at the STMA Awards Banquet. The banquet concludes the STMA Annual Conference and Exhibition, which starts Jan. 15 in Daytona Beach.

The STMA Field of the Year Award program began in 1992. There are five field types for which awards may be given: Baseball, Football, Soccer, Softball and Sporting Grounds. For each field type, awards may be given in three categories: Professional, College and University, and Schools and Parks. A panel of 11 judges independently scored each entry based on the playability and appearance of the playing surfaces, innovative solutions employed, effective use of budget, and the development and implementation of a comprehensive, sound agronomic program. 

Minor League Baseball
Triple A - Joey Stevenson, Indianapolis Indians
Double A - Dan Douglas, Reading Fightin Phils
A - Opie Cheek, Clearwater Threshers
Short season or Rookie - Ryan Woodley, Staten Island Yankees

STMA, in partnership with Minor League Baseball, presents these awards. The MiLB selects 16 league winners, who are invited to submit an application for this award. STMA's Awards Committee independently judges these submittals and CEO Kim Heck presents these awards to the winners during the Baseball Winter Meetings Annual Awards Luncheon.

Committee Service Sign-Up is Now Open

STMA’s committee volunteer process is open for members to sign up on-line. Please click here and fill out the brief form. If you served on a committee in 2012, you must sign up again for 2013. The deadline is Jan. 31, and appointments will be made by March 1. Committee service starts March 1, 2013 and concludes in February 2014.

Committees meet via conference call as often as their work for the year requires. This could be as frequently as once a month; others may meet regularly over a short time period to accomplish a specific project; and others may meet once or twice a year. Participation by committee members on the calls is important, so please review the committees below and the estimated time commitment before you sign up to be certain it fits your schedule. Calls are conducted during regular Monday through Friday business hours. 

  • Awards: To judge the association’s awards program applicants selecting the Field of the Year winners and the Minor League Baseball Sports Turf Manager of the Year; to develop strategies to enhance the programs. (Approx. 12 hours Mid-Oct. to Mid-Nov.)
  • Bylaws: To develop association bylaws, which are fair and enforceable, and clearly define the expectations for membership, governance processes and board of directors service. (Approx. 3 hours per year)
  • Certification: To develop strategies to grow the number of certified members; to consistently monitor the program and recommend enhancements to ensure that the program is the top achievement for sports turf managers. (Approx. 12 hours per year)
  • Chapter Relations: To create a chapter structure that is beneficial locally and nationally; to financially assist chapters with their administrative, operations and educational efforts; to facilitate the sharing of best practices. (Approx. 6 hours a year)
  • Conference: (Conference Education, Exhibition, and Tours subcommittees) To develop all content, sessions, workshops and off-site venues, and select speakers and moderators for the next year’s conference that will make it a “must attend” event for members and nonmembers; to recommend strategies that will drive attendance to the exhibition and will add value to exhibitors. (Education - approx. 12 hours over 2 months; Exhibition - approx. 4 hours per year; Tours - approx. 6 hours per year)
  • Commercial Membership:  To recommend specific strategies to grow commercial membership and to develop benefits and value for our commercial members. (Approx. 4 hours per year)
  • Editorial: To insure that the STMA magazine contains information relevant to the sports turf manager; to provide ideas and contacts for articles for publication. (Approx. 4 hours per year)
  • Environmental: To develop environmental strategies that position STMA and its members as leaders in environmental stewardship and the related health and safety issues that impact fans and players. (Approx. 12 hours per year)
  • Ethics: To provide a fair and unbiased council to investigate claims of ethics violations, determine if the claim has merit, and shepherd the appeals process.  (This Committee is called into operation only if there is an ethics violation claim).
  • Finance & Audit: To provide oversight of the STMA’s financial resources by reporting information to the Board of Directors. (Approx. 5 hours per year)
  • Historical: To preserve the history of the association and the profession. (Approx. 24 hours per year)
  • Information Outreach: To develop educational and informational opportunities for members to enhance their personal and professional development. (Approx. 8 hours per year).
  • International: To position STMA as a global leader in sports facility management and make STMA the ‘go-to’ resource for those who work internationally in the industry. (Approx. 8 hours per year)
  • Membership: To develop initiatives to drive membership growth and retention; to recommend programs that add value for each member. (Approx. 6 hours per year)
  • Nominating: The Immediate Past President chairs this committee selects its members. It must have representation from each category of membership. (Not available for general committee sign-up)
  • Past President’s Advisory Council: Purpose: To advise the STMA Board on issues pertaining to the past, present and future of STMA. (Limited to STMA Past Presidents)
  • Scholarship:  To judge the recipients of the SAFE Scholarships, the Terry Mellor Educational Grant and the Gary Vandenburg Internship Grant; to develop strategies to enhance these programs. (Approx. 12 hours over one month  mid-Oct. to mid-Nov.).
  • Student Challenge: To develop the annual student challenge exam questions, answer key, and protocols; assist in proctoring the exam as needed. (Approx. 6 hours per year and volunteering at the conference)
  • Technical Standards: To help determine standards and best management practices needed in the profession and to guide the work of the ASTM on developing sports field and facility standards. (Approx. 4 hours per year)
  • Website: To insure that the STMA website contains information relevant to members, prospects and the green industry in an easily accessible and consumable format. (Approx. 4 hours per year).

    SAFE Board Chair Montgomery Steps Down

MontgomeryBoyd Montgomery, CSFM, CSE, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Foundation for Safer Athletic Fields for Everyone (SAFE) has resigned his position, effective Jan. 20, 2013.

Montgomery has chaired STMA's charity, SAFE, since 2006, replacing Michael Schiller, CSFM whose term ended that year.

Under Montgomery's leadership, SAFE launched several initiatives beginning with changing its mission, its name (formerly The Foundation for Safer Athletic Field Environments), and its bylaws. These changes paved the way for the creation of an industry-wide initiative: Sports and Recreation Fields – Safety First. Its core purpose is to fund education, outreach, research and scholarship to advance the safety and sustainability of playing surfaces and reduce sports field injuries. This initiative is in its second year of fundraising with a goal of $1 million by 2016.

Montgomery is stepping down due to work and family commitments. "Our Board of Trustees has worked very hard to move SAFE forward. With my work and family schedule it has become increasingly difficult to give SAFE the time it deserves", says Montgomery. I am confident that its new leader can keep the momentum going forward". SAFE has engaged its Nominating Committee and the new chairman is expected to be in place as Montgomery leaves the Board.

The SAFE Board of Trustees includes Cathy Bradley, Ken Curry, Gil Landry, Ph.D., David Pinsonneault, CSFM, CPRP, Chard Price, CSFM, CFB, Doug Schattinger, Jay Warnick, CSFM, and Steve Wightman. The Foundation's mission is: To enrich communities through championing safe, sustainable sports and recreation fields for all athletes.

Mark Your Calendars: Important Conference Deadlines Approaching December 15

We hope you will be joining us in Daytona Beach for STMA's 24th Annual Conference & Exhibition! If you do plan on attending but have not signed up yet, there are some important deadlines to be aware of so you don't miss out on any of the invaluable money-saving, educational and professionally-rewarding activities STMA has to offer at the conference. Please note the date of December 15. This is the deadline of early bird registration, student challenge registration and sports turf manager pre-qualification and pre-preregistration to take the certification exam. Those taking advantage of the early bird deadline save $75 on full conference registrations and enjoy savings on a host of other optional activities like our golf tournament! Student challenge participants and those wishing to be certified as sports turf managers (CSFM) also must register pre-conference by this date. Make sure you visit us at to register today!

STMA is Adding Value to Your 2013 Conference & Exhibition Experience

STMA wants you to get the most out of your conference experience! We introduced the “STMA Academy” because our members wanted deeper educational opportunities pre and post conference. We’re happy to say we think we’ve answered the call with the Academy: all sessions offer higher-level learning opportunities in hands-on, interactive workshop settings that can be built upon at future conferences and are included in the full registration price. Academy sessions offer high level learning opportunities; result in a Certificate of Completion; advance each year, adding the next higher level of education (400 level in 2013; 500 level in 2014, etc.); and require preregistration. Lastly, are you looking to save a little money at conference? If you are attending with colleagues – or if you have friends at other institutions who you know will also be attending – why not consider sharing a ride to/from the airport or sharing a hotel room? The Daytona Beach area is served by two airports and has a number of resources for getting around:

  • Daytona Beach International (DAB) Distance to hotel: 5 miles
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO) Distance to hotel: 70 miles
  • Delta Airlines is offering a 5% discount to anyone flying into DAB and MCO airports! Use code NMDGQ. For reservations call 800-328-1111 or online at For other airlines, call World Tek Travel at 800-233-5989.
  • Taxis: Taxis from DAB to the Daytona Hilton run $14.00-$22.00 for one person and $1.00 per each additional person.

Rental cars: AVIS is offering special rental car pricing for our conference. Call Avis at 800-331-1600 and provide the code AWD#J947511 or go to, Conference Tab to reserve a car on-line.

This Year’s Conference Expo Is Bigger and Better Than Ever!

The STMA Exposition premieres Thursday, January 17 with new hours (1:30 - 7 pm) and concludes Friday, January 18 (10 am - 1 pm). On the show floor will be a number of innovative sessions, a race car simulator and race car driver Mike Skinner signing autographs (Friday only)! Mike Skinner has a storied career with NASCAR, winning dozens of races. He raced for Gene Petty, Richard Childress Racing and filled in for teammate Dale Earnhardt when Earnhardt was recovering from injuries. He is currently the only Toyota driver to run every truck event since its entry into NASCAR. Skinner also created a charity and assists various drivers and teams as a Driver Coach to mentor young talent to fulfill the dream he discovered in the sport of NASCAR racing.

Electronic Balloting Underway

STMA has streamlined its voting process to an on-line ballot. All voting members were sent a personal link via email that cannot be forwarded and can only be filled out once. STMA has always allowed electronic voting, but this process uses a software that is specific to voting. This new process has already increased response by 45 percent over last year! If you prefer a paper ballot, please contact STMA at 800-323-3875. To insure all voting members are able to vote, paper ballots were mailed to those without email addresses. Please check out the candidates bios and vote by December 15!

Mobile App Available for 2013 Conference

STMA is going mobile! Access various conference features including the schedule, exhibitor list, speaker list, education session information, maps, and sponsors. Create your own personalized schedule to make sure you attend all the conference has to offer. Build your own profile and connect with other attendees and exhibitors to boost your professional contacts. Download the STMA conference app to your smart phone or tablet for free! Go to, choose Zwoor Event for your device and enter meeting code: STMA2013.

Featured Speakers of the Month

Each month two speakers presenting at the 2013 National STMA Conference and Exhibition in Daytona Beach, Florida will be featured. Don't miss the educational opportunities offered at the conference!

BigelowCale A. Bigelow Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Purdue University – Agronomy Department. On Wednesday, January 16, he will be presenting "Fire and Ice: Sports Turf Management in the Transition Zone" with Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. It is difficult to grow both warm- and cool-season grasses in the transition zone. Often times our fields are experiencing environmental stresses when we need them to be looking their best. This session will focus on sport specific species and cultivar selection as well as specific management practices to minimize plant stress and improve turfgrass quality. Other topics include non-chemical and chemical control of various turfgrass pests and sustainability as it relates to economics and the environment in the transition zone.

ReinerJim Reiner is a Groundskeeper for Sunrise Little League as well as a publisher and editor. On Thursday, January 17, he will be presenting "K-16 Baseball Field Maintenance & Renovation With Limited Resources". Many people use ballparks day after day, see the problems, but really don't have any idea where to start to fix it. From K-12, to park and rec, to high school and collegiate, many coaches, parents, and maintenance staff just don't know where to start or what to do. There is a solution. Armed with a couple tools, you can evaluate your ball park, prioritize improvement efforts, create an action plan you can really implement, and keep your ballpark in tip top shape into the future. This presentation is for baseball field maintenance staff, both professional sports turf managers and community volunteers, who don't have the resources and staff that premium quality fields have, but want a ball field they can be proud of. The session will include tips/hints and mistakes to avoid using over two dozen case study examples from K-12, high school, park and rec, and collegiate.


The 2-Minute Tip for Success

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Turf Rundown

Perennial ryegrass is often used on sports fields due to its rapid establishment and superior traffic tolerance. However, compared to other cool-season grasses, perennial ryegrass exhibits higher levels of freezing injury in northern climatic regions. Recent research has identified perennial ryegrass germplasm that has superior freezing tolerance compared to many commercially available cultivars. Click here to read how progress is being made to develop perennial ryegrass cultivars better adapted to northern climatic regions

International Resources