Baseball/Softball Field Safety and Maintenance Checklist

Prior to practice or a game, assess the following field characteristics and make the necessary corrections before allowing players on the field. If your field is experiencing major problems, including excessive wear, drainage issues, design flaws, etc., contact the STMA at ph. 800-323-3875, or STMAinfo@STMA.org for a referral to a local STMA chapter volunteer in your area for advice.

Print a hard copy of the Baseball/Softball Field Safety and Maintenance Checklist.

Skinned Areas

  • The soil is not too loose and provides good running traction.
  • The soil surface is loose enough around sliding zones for safe sliding.
  • The soil is not too abrasive for safe sliding.
  • The soil is not too compacted to provide good drainage.
  • Running paths and sliding zones near bases are level and not worn.
  • Batter’s box and home plate areas are in good condition.
  • Pitcher’s mound is in good condition.
  • The skinned area is level and does not have low spots or holes.
  • There is no hazardous soil buildup (lip) between the skinned area and the turf.
  • The skinned area is dry.
  • When moist, the skinned area is not too sticky and does not adhere to shoes.
  • Coach’s box is level with surrounding area.
  • Coach’s box is not excessively hard.
  • On-deck or walkway from dugout is not excessively hard and compacted.
  • Unsafe obstacles such as hard gravel and framing boards do not exist in on-deck or walkway areas from dugouts.

 

Pitcher’s Mound

  • The mound conforms to league requirements.
  • Platform area behind the rubber is large enough.
  • “Push off” and “landing” areas are constructed with specialized clay.
  • “Push-off” and “landing” areas are not dished out and in need of repair.
  • There is not a hazardous soil buildup (lip) between the mound and the infield grass.

 

Playing Surface

  • Maintenance equipment, such as rakes, hoes, etc. have been removed from the field.
  • Litter and unsafe debris have been removed from the field and player/ spectator areas.
  • The sprinkler heads should be installed as per manufacturer’s recommendations with no protrusions on the playing surface.
  • If there is an irrigation system, it is timed correctly to irrigate the appropriate amount of time prior to play.
  • The field was constructed according to recommended industry specifications.

 

Turfgrass Areas

  • There is at least 75 percent coverage of turfgrass on the field.
  • There are no bare spots with a hard soil surface exposed.
  • Soil is well drained with no standing water.
  • Turfgrass is uniform in color, height and density.
  • Turfgrass has strong root system, limiting “blow-outs.”
  • There are no weeds with thorns, bristles or burrs.
  • There are no holes or mounds made by moles, gophers, or other animals.
  • There are no ruts or trenches caused by equipment use or field wear.
  • There has been communication between the maintenance staff and coach/facility user.

 

Bases and Anchoring

  • The base coverings do not have unsafe rips or gouges.
  • The base framework or hardware is not loose or damaged.
  • The base ground stake is safely below the surface grade.
  • The base ground stake is firmly secured in its concrete footing.
  • The base, ground stake and its footing are installed according to the manufacturer’s requirement.
  • The bases seat properly with the ground elevation and are seated securely.
  • The concrete footings will not twist out of place in the ground.
  • The surface of home plate is level with the surrounding surface.
  • The pitcher’s rubber is level with the surrounding surface and is secured safely in the ground.

 

Fencing

  • Fences are securely set in the ground.
  • Fence posts are outside of the playing area.
  • There are no concrete footings exposed above ground.
  • Fencing is securely attached to its posts.
  • There are no large gaps in the fencing or between the ground and the fence.
  • Top and bottom tension wires are in place to secure the fence.
  • The wire ends of the fence are not exposed at the top or corners.
  • There are no damaged areas that protrude, are sharp or loose.

 

Lighting

  • Lighting has been installed and inspected by a trained engineer or technician.
  • All lights are working.
  • The light’s beam adequately and uniformly covers the field.
  • The lighting foot candles meet industry recommended specifications.

 

Bleachers/Facility

  • Nuts and bolts are tight and in sufficient number.
  • Guard rails are securely in place.
  • The plank or railing end caps are securely in place.
  • There are no splinters or worn areas (wooden bleachers).
  • There are no hazardous protrusions or sharp edges.
  • The supply and location of waste cans is adequate.
  • There is appropriate signage notifying players and spectators of rules, appropriate behavior and deficient conditions.
  • There are public telephones or staffed office for emergency situations.
  • Areas under repair are identified and posted appropriately.

 

General

  • There is a flag or other signaling system to alert players to leave the field if inclement weather or other danger is imminent.
  • Skinned foul lines are in good condition.
  • The chalking material is not irritating to eyes.
  • There are public telephones available for emergency situations.
  • Areas that are hazardous or under repair have been blocked off or identified.