Soccer field help

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by denispoor, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. denispoor

    denispoor LawnSite Member
    from SoCal
    Messages: 3

    Im a high school soccer coach who is finally coming to grips that if I want to play on a half way decent field that I am going to have to maintain it myself to keep it in playing condition
    I am in Southern California and our current problem that we have is that when it does rain we have puddles down the middle of the field. I think that we first need to fill in the low lying areas, but Im not sure how or what to use to level the field out. Need lots of help
    taking all recommendations
  2. teamoneoutdoors

    teamoneoutdoors LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    Hello Coach.

    I need to know some information. What type of turf do you have? What type of soil do you have? When is your playing season? What type of budget do you have to work with? What type of equipment do you have access to?

    Once we get some of that information we can work on a game plan.

    I dealt with the exact same situation this past summer.
  3. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    1. Are the puddles occuring where the field recieves most of its abuse
    2. do you already have an irrigation system in place
    3. What is the soil make up.consist of right now
    5. What type of turf grass do you have on the playing field

    Here is what I will start with. pretty much all fields need to be designed to shed water. Typicaly on a foot ball or soccer field this will consist of a crwned playing surface where the middle is higher than the sides. Over time and without proper upkeep the crown or higher area will compct down typicaly because this is where the majoirty of the plyaing or use of the field is. If this is the cas a quick fix to the problem would be to fill the lower areas and bring them back to the right level so that the field will drain properly again. However if the field is not set up properly and many are not you will always have low spots that will create havoc.

    One of our biggest problems with the fields wher I was was compaction. due to the sheer amount of usage the fields would recieve from both the school phys ed programs and the community. Make sure this is not part of the problem as well.

    I am amazed that the school does not have someone else taking care of the field like their maintance or grounds departments.
  4. Groundspro

    Groundspro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Hey coach
    S.Cal eh? I was up in Sacratamatoe for many years and I feel your pain. Most likely the budget is tight as you fend for yourself among all the other programs! In your post you don't say anything about parent support, booster clubs, or public interest. First and foremost you most come up with a viable and cost affective plan that you can present to someone to obtain the goals your looking for(no pun intended). Get help in this area.

    The previous two posts have the technical end down pat. One thing in mind, make sure you can understand some of the jargon coming at you. Typically a crown for a soccer field, depending on soil types should be somewhere in the range 1.5% to 3.5% slope. Soil types are what we call in the field as "profiles" and they consists of varying degrees of sand, clay( calsified)and silt (loam) to accomodate specific turf types and events. In S.Cal, turf types will run the gamut but you want to look at other fields that have Sport Fescue> I used this back in a few years ago in the Sacramento valley with great success. If time is short, peruse the following trade mags for lots of great info. Sports Field Management, Sportsturf, and Landscape Superintendent.
    Good luck and lets us know how ya' made out!
  5. denispoor

    denispoor LawnSite Member
    from SoCal
    Messages: 3

    a couple things about our field.

    1. There is high use for football and soccer and pe classes. the only time that it gets any rest is during the track season, the spring when only students only walk on the field.
    2. there is a groundkeeper at school but he has not been very helpful. wthere is no time to reseed as we have playoffs soon and i also believe that we need to level or crown the field off.
    3. there is irrigation but there are a couple of sprinler heads that need to be replaced and there are a couple of spots on the field that get over watered when they run (the grounds keeper sets up the timers)
    4. not sure what kind of turf we have but i have laid a winter rye(?) in previous years but have not been able to stay off of it long enough to get any good growth.
    5. i really need a quick fix for playoffs. there is not time to seed. i was really just thinking for now to fill in the pot hole like areas that are really uneven down the middle
    6. the tools that i know i have are a couple of wheel barrows (sp?) a bunch of rakes, shovels, hoes,(nothing mechanized that i know of) and 20 or so athletes with time to spare.

    also not sure of soil type. but i am thinking that i first need to fill in low lying areas, just not sure what to use.

    was planning to buy or find some type of soil and manually dump it with my athletes to and eyeball it out til its even.

    ill find out from out groundkeeper what other tools i might have access too.

    thanks for the responses
  6. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    Ok for a real quick fix find a rock and soil distributor and se if you can get a load of sand clay mix. 75 percent sand 25 percent clay and have it delivered. again this is just for a quick fix. Use your guys to fill in and level the low areas. when you go to put the fill dirt in the lower areas mix in a stater fert into the clay sand mix. rhye grass will typically come in really quick especially if you can keep people off the area for a week. It would also be a good idea to lightly aerate the complet field if you have access to a large aerator. just watch those sprinkler heads.

    As for giving time to the field to grow get the athletic director, principal and superintendent together. show what needs to be done and explain you need full cooperation so the field will be ready for the playoffs. at the same time see if you can get the money to have a prinkler teck to come out and check and reset your system just for the field. Do some talking you might find a company who wil donate services for a playoff situation. Remember you need to have people off the field for a week.

    I know you are working with a limited budget if you are working with a school so see if you can get some sponor ship or donations. Business will do this especially if you make sure to mention them. In case you may wonder. typically the grounds guy's are encouraged to take a larger role in keeping up playing fields. However many schools just hire anyone for as little as they can so alot of times you get guys who could care less about what they do.
  7. GroundsGuy

    GroundsGuy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    Where in Southern California are you located?
  8. Groundspro

    Groundspro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    The way I see it, it looks as if you want a quick fix for zero money. Unfortunately, band-aids on this type of chronic problem only exasperates the situation and may cause even more headaches down the road. Sometimes you just have to stand back after making your recommendations and let it fall where it may. What, do you want to be a hero, saving the day so that the powers to be hoist you on their shoulders only to trash you next budget talks?
    You've gotten some great advise from many here on this site. Use it or loose it. Sorry to sound rough, just my opinion.
  9. The Yard Barber Inc.

    The Yard Barber Inc. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 228

    from the sounds of things, you need a practice field to do more on. that way you can get less action on the game field. If you put soil down and you don't have enough time for the seed to come up and it just so happens to rain and have 20 people running around it's not going to be pretty. what I am saying is that you need to wait untill the season is over to do anything
  10. denispoor

    denispoor LawnSite Member
    from SoCal
    Messages: 3

    yes im looking kind of a quick fix miracle but i am also looking to learn about field maintanence so we dont have this problem again. when the season is over we will reseed and have some time to get some growth.

    im in south la.

    thank you all for your help. im going to try to get a sand clay mix to fill in the low areas then reseed in the next couple of weeks when our season is over. ill have to find out about an aireator

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