STMA News Online

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STMA has teamed up with Athletic Management to produce a three-edition, interactive, Guide to Grass Field Maintenance. This Guide contains an annual plan and valuable tips to help you develop and maintain high-quality, safe grass playing fields for your athletic teams.

Vol. 1 - The importance of a year-round management plan.

Click here to read.

Vol. 2 - Grass selection—part 1, pest control and water issues

Click here to read.

Vol. 3 - Fall/winter prep, grass selection—part 2, heavily used fields, snow removal

Click here to read.

Integrated pest management (IPM) is an environmentally and economically effective approach to pest management. IPM programs identify weed, insect, and disease pests, and then use current, comprehensive information on pest life cycles and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to make a decision about managing pests by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. The goal of IPM in turfgrass is to keep pest populations or damage at a tolerable level so there is no reduction in quality or safety of the turfgrass.

In turfgrass management, the essential tools for a successful IPM program include the pest triangle, prevention using proper cultural practices and scouting methods, and finally, the use of pesticides. Click here for a bulletin that discusses these three components in detail using various examples.

Do you want to follow STMA using Twitter, but haven't signed up? It's easy! Just follow these 7 steps and you are on your way to becoming better informed about all that is happening in the industry. Below, we have included a sample of the variety and scope of tweets that you'll see by being a follower @Field Experts. STMA also uses Twitter exclusively to notify its membership when new job openings are posted in the STMA Career Center.

Sign up today! Here are the instructions from Twitter:

1. Go to and find the sign up box, or go directly to
2. Enter your full name, email address and a password.
3. Click Sign up for Twitter.
4. On the next page, you can select a username (usernames are unique identifiers on Twitter) - type your own or choose one that is suggested. You'll be notified if the username you want is available.
5. Double check your name, email address, password and username.
6. Click Create My Account. You may be asked to complete a Captcha to verify that you are human.
7. Twitter will send a confirmation email to your email address. Click on the link and you're signed up and ready to follow us!

STMA @FieldExperts
@NashvilleSounds open new stadium w/ natural grass. 100K sq. ft. of Tiffway Bermuda Grass. #SportsTurf @MiLB_PR

STMA @FieldExperts
Few months away from #Wimbledon & we are already thinkin' about the natural grass #tennis season! #SportsTurf

STMA @FieldExperts
"It's possible to make any athletic field maintenance program a little more environmentally-friendly." ... @AthleticBiz

STMA @FieldExperts
Did you know there are almost 200 Certified Sports Field Managers? Learn more about the CSFM program: . #SportsTurf

STMA @FieldExperts
Did you know Bent Oak Farm in Alabama supplied the natural grass #turf to #SuperBowlXLIX? More info: .... #SportsTurf

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Cathy Bradley has notified the SAFE and STMA Boards of Directors that she will be leaving her office, effective Jan. 1, 2016. Bradley has been its Chairman of the Board since Jan. 2013.

"SAFE has been very fortunate to have had such a capable leader," says Kim Heck, SAFE's executive director and also the CEO of STMA. "Cathy understands foundations and philanthropy and has brought so many new ideas to help SAFE fundraise and become a more viable charity."

Bradley is the executive director of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and her growing responsibilities are limiting the amount of time she can volunteer to lead SAFE. She has an understanding of the sports turf management profession through her work with baseball groundskeepers. "I love working with the sports turf professionals associated with Major League Baseball and also have the greatest appreciation for all sports turf managers, especially for those who work at municipal and school facilities," says Bradley.

The SAFE Board will be following its process of using a Nominating Committee to fill the position.

The SAFE Foundation was established in 2000 to fund research, educational programs and scholarships geared to the sports field profession. SAFE is a 501(c)3 and is the charitable arm of STMA. Its mission is to enrich communities through championing safe, sustainable sports and recreation fields for all athletes.

STMA is again supporting the Green Sports Alliance annual Summit as a Community Partner.

 Green Sports Alliance members span nearly 300 pro and collegiate sports teams and venues from 20 different leagues and 14 countries. The annual Green Sports Alliance Summit, which is being held in Chicago on June 29-July 1, is the world’s largest and most influential gathering for the sports community to unite around sustainability. STMA is part of this gathering. In addition to being a Community Partner, we are presenting on the educational program. Jon Dewitt, CSFM is speaking on behalf of STMA about water sustainability practices.

This event brings together more than 800 industry stakeholders to learn and share better practices and the latest innovations in greening operations, advancing the supply chain and engaging fans. To register, click here.

The Soil Science Society of America is coordinating with the Global Soil Partnership and other organizations to raise awareness and promote the sustainability of our limited soil resources. Soils are a finite natural resource and are nonrenewable on a human-time scale. Soils are the foundation for food, animal feed, fuel and natural fiber production, the supply of clean water, nutrient cycling and a range of ecosystem functions. As part of the awareness campaign, the Soil Science Society of America developed 12 videos to raise public awareness about the value of soils. Click here to view the videos.

Help parent and youth groups understand the importance of safe fields and the role of a sports field manager.

The SAFE Foundation, STMA's charity, developed three videos on how to evaluate the surface of a sports field. Sports and Recreation Fields - Safety First is an educational outreach program directed to parent groups, volunteers, coaches -- virtually anyone who has a stake in outdoor sports . These videos provide a step-by-step process to evaluate a natural grass field, a synthetic field and sports facilities/equipment and were supported by a grant from The Toro Foundation.

Distributing the videos serves two purposes:
1) Validates your role to those who use your fields. The process of doing a quick field review by your user groups will confirm that your fields are well-managed and strengthens your relationship with these user groups. It also offers an opportunity for you to educate them on your field management practices.
2) Positions you as a community advocate and resource for safe fields. Send the link to your local Boys and Girls Clubs, youth sports associations, the local PTA, gym teachers, high school coaches, referees...your contact list is broad and contains those who would benefit from watching the video.

Look for more videos produced by the SAFE Foundation later this year.

STMA's Conference Education Committee is in the process of selecting the education program for the 2016 Conference and Exhibition. We are opening up the option to all STMA members to review submittals and vote on the presentations you would most like to see on the 2016 Conference Education Program. This allows the Conference Education Committee to evaluate the needs of STMA members and increase educational value for conference attendees.

The first of three surveys is now available for you to review and cast your vote. The topics of Pest Issues and Their Control, Environmental Issues/Sustainability, Baseball, and Agronomic/Turfgrass Management are all included in this survey. Please consider all presentations and cast your vote for what you would most like to see on the program. CLICK HERE to access the survey. The deadline to review and vote on the first round of topics is Monday, April 6.

Keep an eye on your inbox for survey number two and three. Survey two will be released Tuesday, April 7 and include these topics: Professional Development, Irrigation/Drainage/Water, Design/Construction/Renovation. Survey three will be released Tuesday, April 14 and include these topics: Facility Management, Technology, Synthetic, and Research.

If you host a Spring sport, 3 PCIs are REQUIRED now.

If you are submitting a Field of the Year application (Oct. 15 deadline) do not forget to complete the PCI. Four separate PCI worksheets are required; three must be conducted in the season of the field's primary sport, and one must be conducted in the off-season.

Photos are also required from ALL seasons, so get out your camera. Click here for the full application which has all of the instructions at the beginning in pages 1-4.

Winning a field of the year award validates your field management skills and expertise to your employer, your peers and the industry. All winning fields will be included in an issue of SportsTurf Magazine. The field manager will also receive a plaque, signature clothing, a complimentary registration to the STMA annual conference, recognition during its annual awards banquet and three nights lodging.

Your turf survived the long, hard winter and now it is time to get your field ready for play again. Hopefully, you prepared your field for the winter during the fall and you are heading into the spring with a strong, healthy turf stand. Even if your field is not in the condition you want it to be in at the beginning of spring, there are things you can do to get it ready for the first game. After all, you know that as soon as the weather breaks, your field will be a busy place. CLICK HERE for some tips to get your field looking great before that first game.

STMA's 27th Conference debuts in 2016 in San Diego on Jan. 19. The conference program and all of the events are being created to provide an excellent learning experience for participants. Plan now to extend your conference stay to a family vacation!

San Diego is one of the premiere vacation destinations in the U.S., ranked #6 by US News and World Reports. Here are a few of the top attractions:

Balboa Park
Home to the renowned San Diego Zoo, this 1,200-acre park is the city's cultural hub. Located in the heart of downtown San it offers many gardens, 15 museums including three art museums, the Air and Space Museum and the Model Railroad museum.
Mission & Coronado Beaches
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean in northwestern San Diego, Mission Beach is one of the most popular shorelines in the city with a thriving Boardwalk. Coronado Beach is just across the bay from San Diego. Magnificent mansions sit behind this beach on Ocean Boulevard and the historic Hotel del Coronado, a 120-year-old National Historic Landmark — is perched just beyond the sand. Even in the winter season when the water may be a little too chilly for swimming (although according to the National Weather Service, the week of conference average air temperature was 67 degrees!) you should still head to the beaches to spot seals and migrating whales.
Gaslamp Quarter
The Gaslamp Quarter's 16 blocks begin across the street from the Convention Center so you do not have to travel far to enjoy the Victorian-style buildings that house shops, art galleries, trendy restaurants, and some of the city's most popular nightlife venues.
San Diego Zoo & Safari Park
The 100-acre establishment is one of the most famous zoos in the country and home to nearly 4,000 critters. Thirty miles north in Escondido houses some of Africa's most beloved animals — including lions, elephants and cheetahs — roaming free at the Wild Animal Safari Park.
Torrey Pines State Reserve
This 1,700-acre natural reserve offers 8 miles of hiking and houses and protects numerous types of flora, but particularly the Torrey Pine, one of America's rarest pine trees.
USS Midway
Learn about what life is like on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier by visiting the USS Midway Museum, the longest-serving American aircraft carrier of the 20th century, which is on Harbor Drive just down from the Convention Center.
SeaWorld - 7 miles from our host hotel!
Disneyland - just 96 miles north!

There are dozens more things to see and do in San Diego. Don't miss this opportunity. STMA will not be back on the left coast for at least four years.

The SAFE Board of Trustees unanimously supports holding a golf tournament in San Diego in conjunction with the annual STMA Conference, Jan. 19-23, 2016. This year the golf tournament was not held due to the potential of adverse weather in Denver during January. The golf committee is currently exploring top golf facilities in the San Diego area to hold the event, which is scheduled for Tues., Jan. 19.

SAFE raised nearly $20,000 during this year's Conference. Proceeds benefit educational programs, scholarships and grants with the goal of enriching communities through safe, sustainable sports and recreation fields for all athletes.

In addition to golf, STMA conference participants will be able to take advantage of other SAFE fundraising activities in San Diego. These include:

Bowling - SAFE's inaugural event this year was a resounding success and it is definitely hosting the Night of Bowling sponsored by Fields Inc. in 2016. Tentative plans are to use the East Village Tavern + Bowl facility. Many thanks to our initial sponsors who have agreed to sponsor the 2016 event: title sponsor Fields, Inc. and drink sponsor Beacon Athletics.
Silent Auction - Participants can bid on items featured in the auction on the trade show floor during the two-day exposition. Take home some great merchandise, sports memorabilia and products.
Live Auction - Held right before the closing Awards banquet, participants can bid on top of the line products, specialized equipment, tickets to sporting events, and unique experience related items.
Large Item Raffle - Tickets are sold throughout the conference to be eligible for some exciting technology items.

Due to the STMA Welcome Reception being held outdoors on a terrace, SAFE's Casino Night will not be held. Plan now to contribute to the success of SAFE's events.

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

These easy-to-master 10 verbal communication tips are very important to success in your personal and professional lives. By improving your verbal communication skills you will quickly connect and build rapport, earn respect, gain influence, and become more likable and accepted.
Start with:
1. Be friendly. Click here to read more.

How's your relationship with your boss? National Bosses Day is 6 months away; now is a good time to take stock of how well you are interacting with your employer. Use these 14 tips (at the end of the article) to strengthen your rapport with your boss.

Turf Rundown

Previous research on wetting agents has evaluated water drop penetration time or visual localized dry spot symptoms. New research evaluates how wetting agents affect rootzone moisture distribution when applied to sand-based rootzones under wet, moderate, and dry irrigation regimes. Click here to see if the testing produces reduced localized dry spot incidence and increased soil moisture uniformity.

As you prepare your annual weed control plan, consider the chemistries of the products you are using for control. Herbicide-resistant weeds are among the most troublesome issues facing the turfgrass industry. The loss of effective and economically viable herbicides results in lower-quality turf and increases weed-management budgets. CLICK HERE to read the article from Mississippi Turfgrass. This topic was also presented at the 2015 STMA Conference - the recording can be purchased HERE (STMA 111).

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