With Fall well underway, there’s no telling when the weather will take a turn for the worst. What does rainy weather mean for our field availability?
There are multiple considerations our hard-working Parks Team evaluates when deciding to close a field due to weather. Today we put ourselves in the shoes of a Parks Supervisor to get a deeper understanding of the field evaluation process.
What to look for when closing a field:
1. Safety Always Comes First
The first things we look for are the safety and playability of the fields. If the field appears questionable, you need to evaluate whether someone can perform their usual actions during a game. For example, can they run and make a cutting or stopping action safely and without hurting themselves? Resident safety is our priority, and we want to eliminate the risk of accidents as much as possible.
2. Preserve Our Fields
The other thing we pay attention to is the preservation of the fields.
When you play on a field with soft or wet turf or infield areas, it becomes damaged and will not respond to these same conditions the next time we have rain. Areas with turf or infield damage will create wet spots that retain water and makes it harder to drain or flow with the pitch of the field. Consequently, this could create safety concerns and the potential for injuries.
3. Manage our Resources
The last aspect we evaluate comes from a resource management perspective. How much would it cost in time and money to address issues created by playing on fields during unideal conditions? Fixing a damaged field includes re-leveling areas with soil, reseeding, resodding, aerating, extra infield leveling, and inserting more infield material.
As you can see, a lot of thought and consideration goes into deciding to close a field due to weather. In the end, it all comes down to safety. Our mission is to create world-class experiences for those that use our fields. That includes making sure they are safe, clean, and green!