STMA News Online

News You Can Use

It's Thanksgiving and provides STMA another opportunity to express our gratitude for being a member. As the holiday approaches, look for your membership invoice in the mail. Or, go on-line to renew at On behalf of the STMA Board of Directors and your staff, thank you in advance for renewing. We strive to provide services that help you be successful in your career.

What is it:
STMA received a grant to investigate if it was possible to determine when a field becomes unsafe for athletes. Led by Dr. Brad Fresenburg, STMA's Playing Conditions Index (PCI) was reengineered into a digital format. It is a protected Excel spreadsheet and users can only enter information in the cells that allow entry. The spreadsheet can be saved under different file names by the field manager to maintain records for each field. Not only does the spreadsheet automatically generate a PCI for the field being tested, but it also provides immediate feedback to sports turf managers about areas of their field that need attention if unsafe conditions are present. You may use this spreadsheet for all your fields and as many times as you wish. Click here to access.

What do you need:
Access to a smart phone, tablet, or computer. Download Microsoft's free app for Excel if you are using a smart phone or tablet. Access the spreadsheet here.
To enter data on percent turfgrass cover, you will need to download the free Canopeo app.
To enter data on field hardness, compaction, and volumetric soil moisture, you will need the following instruments:

- Clegg Impact Hammer
- Soil moisture sensor
- Dial penetrometer

What to do with your results:
Over the course of time, STMA hopes to develop a database that will help bring us closer to making informed decisions about when fields become unsafe by identifying trends with field usage. Once you collect field data using the spreadsheet, please send the results to The spreadsheet can be used as many times as necessary and may act as a recordkeeping tool for your fields. It may also be a good tool for providing data to your administrators to validate your need for additional resources. Please send your results any time you enter data to help us further the mission of keeping fields safe and playable for our athletes.

Take a sneak peak at the conference education!
The 2018 Conference Education Program is packed full of exciting and informative presentations. This year speakers have volunteered to present short 15-30 minute webinars prior to the conference as an introduction to their education session. Don't miss this great opportunity to prepare for conference education sessions! Only 50 people can take part in the live webinar, so make sure to register early. Webinars will be recorded and available for On-Demand access in STMA's Webinar Library
Webinars will take place in November and December. Sign up now:

Athletic Field Drainage from Design to Maintenance with Thomas A. Rychlik, P.E., LEED-AP on Tues., Nov. 14 at 12 pm EST - Register Here

Advanced Soil Science for the Sports Turfgrass Professional with Dr. Bryan Hopkins on Wed., Nov. 29 at 11 am EST - Register Here

Topdressing and Cultivation for Your Athletic Fields with Dr. Adam Thoms on Thurs., Dec. 7 at 1 pm EST - Register Here

Low Budget Weed Control with Dr. Jared Hoyle and Dr. Jay McCurdy on Tues., Dec. 12 at 12 pm EST - Register Here

Topgolf Tournament
Tues., Jan. 16, 12 - 3 pm

SAFE introduces its newest event this year at Topgolf's newest location in Fort Worth. Open to all experience levels, Topgolf's state-of-the-art technology gives an unparalleled experience with its 240-yard outfield with dartboard-like inground targets and micro-chipped golf balls! Players are placed in climate-controlled "bays," similar to bowling lanes, accompanied by full-service staff and lounges. Join us in a tournament play setting accompanied by food and beverages. Clubs are provided. Additional fee required.
Sponsored by:

Supporting Sponsors:

Still unsure on how Topgolf works? Check out this video here.


SAFE Night of Bowling
Tues., Jan. 16, 6 - 9 pm

Now in its 4th year, SAFE will be holding its Bowling Event at Brunswick Westcreek Lanes. Sign up with fellow chapter members or other friends and bowl as teams or as an individual. Additional fee required.

Thank you to our Title Sponsor, FIELDS, Inc., and our Drink Sponsor, Beacon Athletics!

Ballots to be sent Nov. 20

The STMA Nominating Committee has set the Slate of Candidates for the 2018 Board of Directors elections. They will present the slate later this month via electronic ballot to the membership - complete with bios, vision statements and photos of those slated.

The Nominating Process is straightforward, guided by a timetable and process outlined in the Election SOP. Members interested in Board service are encouraged to submit a Volunteer Interest Form, complete with their vision for the future of the association. The Nominating Committee reviews all information and reaches out to those who submit to gather additional information and to provide information about the time commitment and expectations of board service. This information is subsequently discussed by the Committee and the slate is developed. All who are slated are contacted by the Committee to confirm final interest and those who are not slated are contacted and provided an explanation of why they were not slated.

The Nominating Committee works independently of the STMA Board of Directors to avoid any appearance of favoritism. An electronic ballot is then created through an on-line software. That link is emailed to each voting member of STMA and is unable to be forwarded. Results are automatically electronically compiled, and the Chair of the Nominating Committee is notified first of the voting results; next, the remainder of the Committee is notified, and then the Committee notifies the candidates -- those who have advanced to the Board and those who did not. The new Board of Directors is presented to the membership at the Annual Meeting during the Conference. That meeting will be Thurs., Jan. 18, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Up for Election
For the Secretary/Treasurer, Weston Appelfeller, CSFM, Columbus Crew SC, Columbus, OH is slated versus Jimmy Simpson, CSFM, Town of Cary, Cary, NC.

In the Academic race, the candidates are Jason Kruse, Ph.D., University of Florida, Gainesville, FL and Brian Scott, Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA.

James Bergdoll, CSFM, City of Chattanooga, TN and Nick Caggiano, City of Nashua, NH are contenders for the Director, Parks and Recreation position.

For the Director Higher Education contest, Joshua Koss, CSFM, San Diego State University and Nick McKenna, CSFM, Texas A&M Athletics, College Station, TX will be slated.

Matt Anderson, CSFM, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ and Rusty Walker, CSFM, City of Grapevine, TX are positioned in the Director-At Large Elected race.

Three positions will be appointed by the new 2018 President, Sarah Martin, CSFM, City of Phoenix. Those are: At-Large Appointed Director; Director - Professional Facilities; and Commercial Director.

The Committee slated current Commercial Director Boyd Montgomery, CSFM, CSE, The Toro Company, Bloomington, MN in the Commercial Vice President position. That position runs unopposed.

Current President Tim VanLoo, CSFM, Iowa State University, Ames, IA will move to Immediate Past President. Jody Gill, CSFM, Blue Valley School District, Overland Park, KS will move to President-Elect.

The K-12 Director is not up for election. Sun Roesslein, CSFM, Jeffco Schools, Golden, CO holds that position.

STMA and SAFE, in partnership with Exmark Manufacturing and Project Evergreen (PE) is once again sponsoring the "Our Winning Green Space" contest.

The contest gives municipal parks and recreation and public works departments, and non-profit agencies a chance to win a top-of-the-line Exmark Lazer Z X-Series mower package – valued at $15,000 - and a "Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids." renovation project for their city.

Eligible parties can submit an essay and photos online declaring why their city deserves the new equipment and renovated playing field, and how it will assist them in maintaining a healthier, safer area for kids to play. Submissions can be made at from now through December 15, 2017, and the winner will be announced in January 2018.

Please let your chapter members know about this program.

STMA is still looking for “fun on the job” pictures! These pictures may be included in our video presented at the Annual Awards Banquet. Please send all photos to

STMA has launched its 5th annual mowing patterns contest. Members craft unique patterns for eligibility to win; only patterns produced with mowing equipment qualify. Entries are submitted via Facebook before Nov. 20. The winner is announced on Dec. 4 and included in a future issue of SportsTurf, STMA's official monthly publication. Voting is open to all Facebook users and only STMA members are eligible to enter. Previous winners will not be considered.

Last year's winner was Britt Barry, Sports Turf Manager at the Dayton Dragons, Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. Barry won with his intricate "diamond-patterns" design he crafted at Fifth Third Field, home to the Dragons.

The Mowing Patterns winning design will have a custom poster featured at the 2018 STMA Conference & Exhibition (January 16-19) in Fort Worth, Texas.

Enter today!
For more information:,, 800.323.3875.

The STMA Conference is the main fundraising opportunity for The SAFE Foundation, STMA's charity. SAFE holds several events during the conference: a golf tournament, bowling match, live auction, silent auction and a raffle.

SAFE is seeking donations for the auction and raffles.

We are seeking team gear, gift cards, equipment and product donations, experiences, sporting event tickets, sports memorabilia, vacation destination trips, gift baskets, merchandise for women .... just about anything is appreciated.

Please ship items to STMA Headquarters (prior to Dec. 29th) or bring your items to the conference and drop them off at STMA's registration desk. If you are wanting to donate an item, please use this form.

Each month two speakers presenting at the 2018 National STMA Conference and Exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas will be featured. Don't miss the educational opportunities offered at the conference!

ChristiansDr. Nick Christians is a University Professor at Iowa State University. On Wednesday, January 17, he will be presenting "The Ups and Downs of pH Modification."

The presentation will deal with the basic concepts of soil pH and discuss the impact of buffering capacity as it applies to raising or lowering soil pH.

On Thursday, January 18, Dr. Christians will be presenting with Dr. Adam Thoms, Assistant Professor at Iowa State University. The presentation will be "Topdressing and Cultivation for Your Athletic Fields - Part 1&2."

Proper topdressing and cultivation of athletic fields can greatly impact athletic field performance of both native-soil and sand-based athletic fields. This presentation will cover many of the basics of what type of cultivation methods to use and when, as well as how much sand topdressing is necessary to keep athletic fields performing at their highest level.

Attendees will learn:
- How to maintain or improve the water infiltration of athletic fields through proper cultivation and sand topdressing.
- How to improve their calculations to determine how much sand topdressing is needed at various times of the year.
- What cultivation methods will help maintain a safe playing surface.


HoyleDr. Jared Hoyle is an Assistant Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist at Kansas State University, and Dr. Jay McCurdy is an Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University. On Wednesday, January 17, they will be presenting "Low Budget Weed Control."

Weed control doesn't have to be overly complicated or terribly expensive. This workshop helps attendees plan a budget sensitive weed control strategy to suit both warm and cool-season athletic fields.

Attendees will:
- Gain fundamental knowledge pertaining to weed identification and control.
- Understand basic cultural and chemical principles that reduce pesticide inputs without sacrificing weed control.
- Develop a budget sensitive weed control strategy for warm- and cool-season turfgrass facilities.

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

Successful companies know that embracing a kindness culture pays big dividends in staff morale and in the bottom line. Click here to read more about this unexpected leadership trait.

Turf Rundown

Dense, healthy turfgrass can retain properly-applied nitrogen fertilizer with minimal nutrient loss to the environment. In the southern U.S., urban water conservation strategies often include reduced irrigation programs which can diminish the health and density of turfgrass temporarily. In a two-year field study, researchers investigated the effects of water-conserving irrigation practices on runoff volume and nutrient losses from turf. Click here to learn how water conservation programs can be effective tools for reducing nitrate pollution from turf with the adjustment of conventional fertilizer rates.

International Resources