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Field Care Techniques

Updated Friday February 17, 2017 by OYO.

We encourage all our volunteers — coaches and parents — to review and follow these recommendations when working on the fields at OYO.  As we move forward thru the season and continue to work diligently to get as many games played as possible, these simple tips will go a long way to keeping your field playable on wet or rainy evenings and Saturdays.

Using Diamond Dry

Please limit the use of Diamond Dry to one-to-two (1-2) bags on a fields with grass infields and two (2) bags on the back diamonds with all dirt infields.  This is less of a cost-conscious measure and more about preserving the long-term use of the fields. Diamond Dry offers some helpful short-term fixes, but actually can do more longer-term damage as it turns quality field mix into a more dust-like surface. In short, the more dry used the more dry needed to dry the field next time.

Diamond Dry Do’s

  • Apply only one handful of field dry mixture for every 15 square feet of playing surface. This amounts to only 30-40 handfuls if applied to an entire infield, equals less than one full bag. (And only apply in necessary areas, not the entire field.)
  • Do rake it into the dirt.
  • Do keep it out of the rain.
  • Work it into the dirt, move on to next location. After you have been to all necessary locations, then go back around for round two.
  • Never apply the field dry until 30 minutes (or less) before game time/field usage.

Diamond Dry Don’ts

  • Do not use it outside the fair/foul line.
  • Do not use it in standing water.
  • Do not use on the base paths until the last minute, if at all.

Using Field Dirt

We never want to use the field agg piled up near the cart path between Fields 1 and 5 as a solution to rain and wet situations.  It’s use should be limited to making repairs to fields.  However, we are asking you leave such repairs to the OYO Board.  If you have a repair you believe is needed on your diamond, please notify the OYO President, Executive Vice President (baseball), Vice President of Softball, or 1st Vice President (grounds).  These repairs typically require a couple days and definitely need some dry weather.

Removing Water from Playing Surface

Never push water into the grass. In addition to pushing the water, you’re pushing the dirt, which results in lips around the infield and outfield. We work hard every season to remove these lips so your assistance is appreciated.  We recommend you remove water using one of five methods:

  • Electric pump (but it’s hit or miss when our pump is working properly)
  • Hand pump (highly effective)
  • Shop-vac (also very effective, but due to limited power outlets not easy to pull off on some diamonds)
  • Sponge (which we do not have onsite at this time)
  • Buckets (usually slowest method but reliable)

If you are unsure of how any of these methods work, please contact any OYO board member.

During hot summer days you can push the water to other areas of the infield and let the sun dry it out, but it’s typically faster and easier to use a bucket  and carry it off.

Field Prep AFTER Practices & Games

Always rake your fields after games and practices. If you find yourself with no time to get this done then at the very least fill the holes at the pitcher’s mound and home plate.  Just a reminder, do not rake dirt into grass.   On the front diamonds, we recommend using the hand drags and rakes provided inside or next to the barns.  On the back diamonds, we recommend using the brooms and rakes until more hand drags become available.

Be respectful of those working on the fields

If you’re following another practice or game on your field, then please conduct all your pre-game activities in the outfield until the coaches and parent volunteers are done raking and dragging your field.  They’re only trying to provide you with the best possible field conditions, so allow them the time to do just that without putting them in harm’s way.

 




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