Baseball and Softball Field Maintenance – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)1. How can I protect my baseball/softball field during the winter?
In order to make sure your baseball/softball field is ready for spring, it is important to properly protect it during the winter. To prevent winter weather damage, we suggest using winter turf blankets to shield the turf from snow and frost. These blankets/growth covers will also accelerate seed germination in the spring because they hold in heat and moisture.
Do your best to minimize field traffic during the off season, which causes unnecessary wear and damage. Turf covers help keep traffic to a minimum.
Check out our blog post about protecting your baseball field in the winter for more information.
2. How can you protect your baseball field during rain?
In the event of rain, we suggest using rain spot covers to protect the most important areas of your field such as the pitcher’s mound, home plate and bases. These covers can be placed over these areas for protection. For full field coverage we recommend infield rain tarps. It is highly recommended to secure the covers to the field using stakes or sandbags. Otherwise, the covers will blow in the wind, damaging the covers and leaving the field exposed without protection. Weighted spot covers are weighted in the hem and do not require sandbags or stakes to stay put.
3. How do I select the right windscreen for my baseball/softball field? A number of factors might play into your windscreen decision, but most involve budget, color, warranty, durability and privacy needs and whether printing is desired. Fabric and Durability – There are a variety of windscreen fabrics on the market such as polyethylene, polypropylene, vinyl and vinyl coated meshes. Polypropylene and polyethylene fabrics have good durability but are generally only available in a few colors. In general, the heavier the material, the more durable it likely will be. For example, the 14oz. ArmorMesh will last longer than the 8oz. Classic Mesh. Price and Warranty – All windscreen fabrics range in price. Many factors affect the price, such as the material type (polyethylene is less expensive than polypropylene) and the number of years covered under warranty. If your association has money in the budget and you don’t want to replace your windscreen every 2 years, it makes more sense to invest in the more durable fabric with a longer warranty. If funds are limited, there are still windscreens on the market that will look good and last a few years. Privacy – It is important to strike the right balance of privacy for your field and wind passage. If privacy is a concern, there are meshes that are almost closed (90%, 96%), but one must remember that the more closed the screen, the less opportunity for wind passage. When the wind is blocked from passing through, the wind load is too heavy on the screen itself causing it to act as a sail and billow. This can lead to damage to the screen and the actual fence if the winds are strong. So while you might want as much privacy as possible, keep in mind that wind needs to pass through the screen in order for it to hold up. Certain fabrics are available in a variety of colors ranging from orange to purple, and some might only come in black, green or blue. If you are searching for a color that matches your school or team, you will be limited to only a few fabric types. The same goes for printable fabrics. If you are interested in having your windscreen branded with your school or association, your choices are narrowed to a few fabrics such as vinyl coated meshes and solid vinyl. Not all windscreen fabrics can be printed, such as polypropylene and polyethylene. For more information, browse through our variety wind and privacy screens to figure out the right screen for your needs. Contact us for a free quote on getting a customized windscreen for your business or team.
4. Are baseball/softball windscreens easy to install? If you follow the proper steps while installing your windscreen, it can be relatively simple to install a windscreen. For a full list of steps and installation tips, check out our blog post that walks you through the whole process.
5. Is backstop padding necessary? While backstop padding is may not be required on a baseball field, it is necessary if you want your players to be as safe as possible. Backstop padding helps to protect your players from injuries and is also a great way to brand your facility and support your team with sponsorships. For softball, there is a new NCAA rule that required backstop padding from dugout to dugout if a backstop is wood, cement, or brick.
6. How can I get advertisers for my team if we do not have any outfield fencing? Temporary and portable baseball & softball fences are a great way to help support your team. If your field does not have outfield fencing we recommend the Grand Slam Fencing banner kit, which allows you to feature your sponsors.
7. Are portable outfield fences easy to install and take down? Setting up the portable fences typically requires 2 or 3 people. Once you measure and set where the poles/sockets go, installing and removing the kits is easy and quick. Initially, it might take some time and a little strength to measure the distance between poles and marking/digging the holes for the poles/sockets. Using the ground sockets is helpful and recommended. Not only do the sockets provide additional ground reinforcement/stability for the fence, but they function as markers for re-installing the fence after it has been removed.
8. How long do portable outfield fences typically last? Some portable fences such as Grand Slam Fencing have a 2 year warranty. Removing and storing your kit after every use will extend its life, limiting the exposure to the elements and potential misuse or vandalism. From time to time, replacement poles are necessary if they bend due to impact.
9. How do I protect my players from getting injured on our chain link fence? Using a fence top cover such as our premium custom fence rail and post padding, or a plastic solution such as our FenceCrown Chain Link Fence Top Protection can help keep your athletes safe when catching fly balls in the outfield.
10. Is fence top protection easy to install? For the plastic FenceCrown models, we recommend buying the FenceCrown Fence-Top Tool, this tool helps separate the plastic topping so that it is easier to place on to the top of the fence. Installing FenceCrown models is a 2-or 3-person job. Other products like Safety Top Cap and SafeFoam are easier to install and require no special tool.
11. What are some baseball field grooming tips? CoverSports recently compiled a blog post of our favorite grounds keeping tips. Learn about our recommendations to keep your field in great shape here.