September 2009


Successful Bermudagrass Overseeding is Dependent on Species Selection and Pre-plant Cultivation, and Traffic Timing 

Click here to read about the effects of three pre-plant cultivation techniques and post-seeding traffic on the establishment of five overseeding turfgrass species. 

News You Can Use

The STMA Field of the Year Application Deadline is Approaching… 

The deadline to submit applications for STMA’s prestigious Field of the Year program is Thursday, October 15, 2009. STMA may present awards in baseball, softball, football, soccer, and sporting grounds categories at the Schools and Parks, College and University, and Professional levels. 
Click here to download a PDF of the application. It is also available in a Word document here

Each Field of the Year Award winner is presented with a special plaque at the STMA Awards Banquet, held each year at the STMA Conference and Exhibition. This year, the Awards Banquet will be the evening of Friday, Jan. 15, 2008 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. In addition to the plaque, each STMA Field of the Year winner will receive free conference registration, three night’s lodging at the conference, STMA signature apparel, and a feature article in the official publication of STMA, SportsTurf Magazine. 

Take pride in your profession and submit your application for STMA Field of the Year and get recognition for your field and respect from your peers. Each and every STMA member has a field that could become Field of the Year and take a place among some of the great athletic venues in the country. 

Contact Patrick Allen, Manager, Sales and Marketing, at if you have questions about the STMA Field of the Year program. 

… and so is the SAFE Scholarship Deadline! 

The deadline to apply for a SAFE Scholarship is also Thursday, October 15, 2009. Last year SAFE, STMA’s philanthropic arm, awarded $12,500 through eight scholarships, each at a minimum of $1,000. Winners will also receive complimentary registration to the STMA Conference and three nights lodging at a Disney property while at conference. 

To be eligible to submit an application for a SAFE scholarship, you must be an STMA member and enrolled in turf management or a related subject with the intention of pursuing sports turf management or research as a career, and have one semester of study remaining. Download and print a PDF of the application 
here. For a Word version, click here

New Continuing Education Grant to be Presented by SAFE 

For the first time, The SAFE Foundation, STMA’s philanthropic arm, will award the Terry Mellor Continuing Education Grant, sponsored by Turface Athletics. This $1,000 grant is intended to fund a portion of the winner’s attendance at the STMA Conference in January. All members of an STMA affiliated chapter are eligible to win, and must be nominated through a letter of recommendation by a National STMA Member. 

The deadline to apply for the Terry Mellor Continuing Education Grant will be November 15. STMA will provide a complimentary conference registration to the winner, and the winner will be recognized at the association’s annual Awards Banquet held at the conference on Jan. 15, 2010. 

Terry, the brother of Red Sox Director of Grounds David Mellor, died of a massive heart attack at the age of 43. He was very involved in his community and was named volunteer of the year for the state of Wisconsin for the Special Olympics. He was a strong supporter of continuing education and this grant honors his passion. 

The STMA scholarship Committee, who judges the SAFE Scholarship winners each year, will be involved in the selection of this grant’s winner. More specific application criteria and the selection process are still being refined, so check back in October’s News Online for more details. 

STMA Co-Sponsors ASBA Certification 

The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is developing a certification program that will designate the credential Certified Field Builder , and STMA is co-sponsoring the program. The Synthetic Turf Council is also a co-sponsor. 

ASBA’s Certification Advisory Committee has been meeting regularly and two representatives from STMA have joined the Advisory Committee to provide technical review and other input. Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP) is working with ASBA and the Committee to develop the program. AMP was involved in ASBA’s Certified Tennis Court Builder and Certified Track Builder certification programs. The first exam for field builders is scheduled to be offered in December at the ASBA Technical Meeting in Savannah, Georgia. Candidates for the exam will have the option to become certified in both natural and synthetic turf or apply for separate designations in either natural or synthetic turf. STMA members will be able to take the certification exam at the ASBA member rate. 

A subcommittee of STMA’s Information Outreach Committee has been providing technical expertise to ASBA for the development of their manual, Sports Fields; A Construction and Maintenance Manual , which will be a study resource for those pursuing the field builder certification. 

NTEP Cancels SAFE Traffic/Wear Study 

STMA reported several months ago that its philanthropic arm, The SAFE Foundation, was cooperatively funding a National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) three-year research trial on drought and traffic tolerances of cool season turfgrass. NTEP has had to cancel the study due to lack of number of entries to have a viable trial, which is 20. They only received six total from two companies. NTEP and SAFE hopes that these initial efforts to create this trial may help spur seed companies to develop new traffic tolerant varieties or experimentals in their programs for a future trial. 

Disney Hotel Rooms — Reserved! 

With the STMA conference just 3 ½ months away, many who are planning to attend have already booked their hotel rooms at the Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center. There are definitely rooms still available, but rooms at this conference and vacation destination are highly desirable and our block is always sold out in advance of the conference. STMA has secured the low rate of $141 per night. This rate is also available for three days in advance of the conference and three days after the conference — perfect for an add-on vacation! Rates will go up in December for any unsold rooms. Book now at, or call 1-407-939-1020, and reference the STMA conference to receive this special rate. 

AFE Jacobsen Golf Tournament to Return to ChampionsGate 

The SAFE Jacobsen Golf Tournament, one of the most anticipated events each year at the STMA Conference and Exhibition, returns to nationally acclaimed golf resort ChampionsGate. Offering 36 holes designed by International Golf Champion Greg Norman and the World Headquarters of David Leadbetter Golf Academy, ChampionsGate is a world-class golf destination. 

After playing the links style International Course at ChampionsGate in January 2006, the upcoming SAFE Jacobsen Tournament will be held on the National Course. Carved out of the Florida woodlands, the National Course is a more traditional American style course. The course plays to a majestic 7,128 yards from the championship tees to a par of 70. With a course rating of 75.1 and a slope rating of 133, the National Course will offer participants a challenging, yet fair, test. The course is located just 10 minutes from the STMA Conference headquarters hotel. 

Proceeds from the tournament benefit the SAFE Foundation, STMA’s philanthropic arm, which funds scholarships, research and education. 

Have the Perfect Site for a Regional Conference? 

STMA chapters have been invited to consider hosting a Summer Regional Conference in their area. STMA has developed a simple form to help chapters indicate their interest. Chapters that host an STMA Conference have no financial or administrative obligations. Through the Summer Regional Conferences, STMA is striving to bring the national conference experience to those areas that would not typically host an STMA National Conference. To access the form, 
click here

Promoting Natural Grass Athletic Fields for High Schools 

STMA has developed an interactive PowerPoint presentation and accompanying technical resource to endorse the benefits of maintaining a natural grass athletic field. This presentation can be downloaded and adapted to meet the needs of any high school or parks and recreation facility. It is designed to help parent groups, athletic directors, those considering building an athletic field, etc. convince the community of the benefits natural grass playing surfaces hold. Click here to view the 
PowerPoint presentation and the technical resource

New Educational Bulletins! 

As Fall sports get under way, it is important to make certain your fields are safe and playable. STMA has put together educational bulletins to help your facility be at its best. 

Football/Soccer Field Safety and Maintenance Checklist  
• Baseball/Softball Field Safety and Maintenance Checklist  

• Football Practice Techniques that Help to Minimize Field Wear 
8 Steps to an Easy Field Facelift 
Top 10 Tips on How to Create a Successful Partnership with your Field Provider 

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

When Plans Don’t Go According to the Script, Keep Planning 
John C. Maxwell, 

"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."   Dwight D. Eisenhower 

As Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, Dwight D. Eisenhower planned, coordinated, and carried out the largest amphibious assault ever undertaken - the Invasion of Normandy. Historians regard him as one of the greatest military strategists of all time. Even so, Eisenhower considered plans to be essentially worthless. 

Why Plans Are Useless 

1) There's No Way to Control Your Competition
In a hypercompetitive and dynamic world, plans have an increasingly shorter shelf life. As Colin Powell said, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." As leaders, we are susceptible to the innovations of competitors. When faced with a new reality, we must either scrap our plans or close our doors. 
In business as in warfare, there's no way to predict the strategies and innovations of your opponent. You never know when a competitor could obliterate your business plan by introducing an inventive idea. Competition from foreign automakers sent GM spiraling into bankruptcy. iTunes has nearly sunk the major record companies, and online news sources have put traditional newspapers on life support. 

2) There's No Way to Control Your Circumstances 
If you own a small construction firm, then you're painfully aware of this principle. A brilliant plan for growth doesn't do any good when few people are buying and even fewer are building. None of your strategies have the power to revive the stock market or to put money back in people's wallets. 
The fate of Hummer is a prime example of a company's plans being hammered by forces beyond its control. Five years ago, Hummers were the rage, and the brand had incredible appeal. Riding the wave of popularity, Hummer spun off clothing lines, toys, and even founded an off-road driving school in South Bend, Indiana. However, a spike in gas prices nearly killed off the company a few months ago. 

Why Planning is Indispensible 

Eisenhower was no fool. While he recognized that concrete plans would sooner or later be discarded in the course of battle, he prized the process of planning. Why? Because he knew firsthand the benefits it could bring. 

1) Planning Prepares You Mentally and Emotionally 
When planning, you walk down the avenue of possibilities in your mind. This exercise mentally familiarizes you with the pros and cons that may be associated with the decisions you make. Also, projecting yourself into the future acquaints you with some of the sacrifices that will be necessary to see a plan through to completion. Oftentimes, being aware of these costs in advance helps a leader to prepare emotionally to make tough choices. 

2) Planning Helps You to Prioritize Your Resources 
Opportunities abound, but you can't do everything. Planning helps you to separate what you must do from what you could do. By prioritizing, you more effectively allocate precious resources of time and capital. 

3) Planning Causes You to Identify Assumptions 
As any mapmaker knows, a good roadmap must be drawn to scale and must have a legend explaining its symbols. Without these two essential features, the map is confusing and unreliable to the reader. 
Assumptions serve as our legend and scale when we map out a path for those we lead. We really can't make a sensible plan for the future until we've defined our assumptions. Planning exposes assumptions to the light of inquiry. When considering a future plan, we have to test whether or not our present assumptions remain valid. This process helps us refine our fundamental beliefs about the mission, values, and goals of our organization. 


Plans are disposable. As such, perhaps it's best to write them on recyclable paper, but never stop the discipline of planning. Although a majority of your plans will end up being abandoned and discarded, the process of planning won't fail to reward you. 

International Resources