Sports Fields: Design, Construction, and Maintenance, Second Edition
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The completely updated edition of the definitive sports field book

Recognizing that new developments in the design, construction, and maintenance of sports fields have literally changed the playing field, Sports Fields, Second Edition is now fully updated and revised to continue its legacy as a leading authority on sports field management. Highly illustrated, with step-by-step examination of essential topics such as turfgrass and soil science, sand fields, turf paints, field quality evaluation, and weather preparedness, this in-depth guide chalks out the ultimate game plan to integrate these elements into a winning project. Sports Fields, Second Edition includes:

  • New coverage of environmental stewardship and resource conservation, natural and organic field maintenance, and artificial turf care and maintenance
  • Discussion of the following field types: baseball, softball, football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, tennis, and track and field
  • Updated information on grasses, pesticides, fertilizers, and equipment
  • New exploration of green initiatives in the design and maintenance of fields
  • Hundreds of illustrations, 50 percent of which are newly updated

A versatile how-to guide, Sports Fields, Second Edition suggests solutions to common field problems that are not only helpful for professional sports turf practitioners, but also for park and recreation professionals, school athletic field managers, architects, landscape architects, and engineers. Chapter after chapter delivers on the promise of imparting well-grounded principles that can be applied to create athletic fields that are long-lasting, visually dazzling—and eminently playable.


JAMES C. PUHALLA has thirty years' experience in the sports field industry, specializing in the design, construction, renovation, and maintenance of sports fields and related facilities. He was the 1994 recipient of the Baseball Field of the Year Award by the Sports Turf Managers Association and SportsTurf magazine.

JEFFREY V. KRANS, PHD, former professor of agronomy, Mississippi State University, is a turfgrass breeding and physiology specialist as well as a member of the Crop Science Society of America and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

J. MICHAEL GOATLEY, JR., PHD, Extension Turfgrass Specialist, Virginia Tech University, is an advisor for the Virginia Turfgrass Council and the Virginia Sports Turf Managers Association. He is the 2008 recipient of the Sports Turf Managers Association's William H. Daniel Founder's Award.


Part I Principles of Sports Turf Culture.

Chapter 1 Turfgrasses.

Biology and Identification.

Turfgrass Types.

Turfgrass Selection.

Using the Two Map System to Select Turfgrass.

Planting Times and Rates.

Soil Preparation.

Planting Techniques.


Overseeding Warm Season Fields.

Chapter 2 Soils and Soil Science.

Soil as a Medium for Turfgrass.

Soil for Hard Surfaces.

Chapter 3 Fertility and Fertilizers.

Nutrient Requirements.

Nutrient Uptake.

Soil Reaction.

Fertilizer Analysis.

Fertilizer Sources.

Application Rates and Frequencies.


Chapter 4 Mowing.

Types of Mowers.

Turf Response.

Height and Frequency.


Clipping Removal.

Equipment and Safety.

Chemical Growth Regulators.

Chapter 5 Irrigation.

Irrigation and Turfgrass Culture.

General Principles of Turfgrass Irrigation.

Portable Irrigation Systems.

Installed Irrigation Systems.

Wireless Sensor Technology.

Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI).

Chapter 6 Drainage.

Surface Drainage.

Internal Drainage.

Installed Drain Systems.

Other Drain System Practices.

Chapter 7 Thatch.

Definition of Thatch.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Thatch in Sports Turf.

How Thatch Develops.

Maintaining a Managed Thatch Layer.

Reducing Excessive Thatch Buildup.

Chapter 8 Aeration.

Aerating for Optimum Turf Responses.

Aeration Equipment.


Chapter 9 Turfgrass Stresses and Remedies.

Mechanical Stresses.

Environmental Stresses.

Weeds, Insects, and Disease.

Chapter 10 Wise Use of Chemicals.

The Label is the Law.

Planning and Performing Applications.

Record Keeping.

Chapter 11 Organic Field Management.

Definitions and the Controversy.

Principles and Concepts of Organic Field Management.

History and Materialization of Organic Field Management.

Making the Mental Adjustment to Organic Field Management.

Public Relations and Visibility of Organic Field Management.

Timing and Site Conditions for Organic Field Management.

Principles of Sports Turf Culture for Organic Field Management.

Compost and Composting.

Compost Applications on Sports Fields.

Part II Natural Turfgrass Sports Fields.

Chapter 12 Baseball and Softball Fields.


Construction and Reconstruction.


Maintenance and Management Procedures.

Warning Tracks.

Rules and Regulations.

Chapter 13 Football Fields.


Construction and Reconstruction.


Maintenance and Management Procedures.

Rules and Regulations.

Chapter 14 Soccer, Lacrosse, and Field Hockey Fields.


Construction and Reconstruction.


Maintenance and Management Procedures.

Rules and Regulations.

Part III Other Sports Surfaces.

Chapter 15 Tennis Courts.


Construction and Reconstruction.



Rules and Regulations.

Chapter 16 Track and Field Facilities.


Track Construction and Reconstruction.

Track Renovation.

Track Maintenance.

Rules and Regulations.

Chapter 17 Synthetic Turf.

History and Innovations.

Choosing the Right Manufacturer and Installer.

Care and Maintenance.

Part IV Ancillary Information.

Chapter 18 Surveying.

Surveying Equipment.

Using Surveying Equipment to Determine Elevations.

Interpreting the Contour (Grading) Plan.

Chapter 19 Sand and Sand-Based Fields.

Critical Considerations in Sand-Based Growing Media.

Sand Field Amendments.

Practical Considerations for Sand-Based Fields.


Methods of Construction.



Sand Field Testing.

Chapter 20 Paints and Covers.



Chapter 21 Field Quality and Evaluation.

Components of a Quality Field.

Aesthetic Appeal and Quality.

Ball and Player Response as Affected by Surface Characteristics.

Hardness Evaluation Equipment.

Traction Evaluation Equipment.

Surface Pace Evaluation Equipment.

Safety Considerations.

The Playing Condition Index.

Chapter 22 Environmental Stewardship, Resource Conservation, and Sustainability.

Environmental Stewardship.

Resource Conservation.