The 21st Annual Sports Turf Managers Association Conference and Exhibition combines a rich educational program, the most comprehensive yet, with an exhibition that focuses on emerging technology.

21st STMA Conference and Exhibition returns to Disney Orlando

Welcome to the Orlando! We invite you to attend the industry’s largest event dedicated to sports turf management. The 21st Annual Sports Turf Managers Association Conference and Exhibition combines a rich educational program, our most comprehensive yet—with an exhibition that focused on emerging technology. Be sure to take advantage of the exclusive networking time scheduled throughout the conference to share your ideas with friends and make new contacts.  With something for everyone, this conference is one that should not be missed!
Here is an overview of the educational program with descriptions for the STMA 2010 Conference.  Here are some reasons to make your arrangements now! 

What You Will Learn:

·         Innovative and proactive techniques to help you save time and money

·         Up-to-date research and how you can apply it

·         Best management practices for sustainable athletic fields

·         Hands on learning that you can take back and share with your staff

·         Features and benefits for new industry products, equipment and technology

·         Communication strategies to help you succeed with user groups

What the Conference Package includes:

·         NEW – Full day of pre-conference workshops

·         More than 90 hours of education

·         More than 8 hours of viewing new products, meeting with distributors and product developers

·         20 hours of networking

·         Breakfasts and lunches

·         Receptions and the Awards banquet

·         Career Center

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

8:00am – 10:00am Pre Conference Workshop – Getting the Most Out of Your Water: Managing Athletic Fields with Reduced or No Irrigations

Doug Karcher, Ph.D., University of Arkansas

As freshwater irrigation resources and athletic facility budgets become more limiting, many athletic field managers must maintain acceptable sports turf with limited water resources. Under such conditions, field managers can utilize several resources to help maximize turf quality. The implementation of drought tolerant cultivars, wetting agent application, and capacitance probes for scheduling irrigation can significantly reduce the amount of water necessary to produce a high-quality sports turf. Recent research on these resources and how they can be best utilized in athletic field management will be discussed.


10:15am – 12:15pm Pre Conference Workshop – Athletic Field Drainage – Subsurface Water Flow Made Visible

Ed McCoy, Ph.D., Ohio State University

Because natural athletic fields can contain a wide variety of soils and soil profiles, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to field drainage. Consequently, it is best to understand the principles of drainage for a variety of soil and soil profile conditions, and then to choose the best design for the situation at hand. This talk will cover some of the basic principles of water flow to drainage elements and illustrate, via water flow animations of selected systems, how these principles lead to effective drainage.


2:00pm – 4:00pm 4 Pre Conference Workshops to choose from.

Grass Art: Mowing Patterns & Beyond

Matt Anderson, Lansing Lugnuts

Greg Salyer, West Michigan Whitecaps

Find out how to create patterns and designs on turf without using paint.  Mowing patterns will be briefly discussed, with an in-depth “How-to” session on creating detailed designs on turf.  You’ll understand how to lay-out and maintain logos and shapes on outfield turf using simple techniques or brushing, rolling and brooming.  Step-by-step instructions will be given and with many example pictures.


Management Q&A for Warm-Season Athletic Fields  Grady Miller, Ph.D., NC State University, John Sorochan, Ph.D., University of Tennessee

Find out answers to the most common turfgrass management questions as it relates to warm-season turfgrasses. This guided discussion will cover current technologies and considerations for better sports turfgrass management and incorporates audience interaction.


Weather 101     Brad Jakubowski, Doane College

Through this interactive workshop, sports turf managers will understand fundamental weather concepts.  Learn how to interpret daily weather reports, maps, and forecasts, which can then be applied to daily turfgrass management practices.


Field of the Year: What makes a strong FOY candidate?

Past winners and Awards Committee Members will share their insight into a winning Field of the Year entry.


4:30PM – 6:30PM Sports Turf Networking: These sessions are designed for attendees to get together with other professional in their field and discuss important issues facing their jobs.

Networking 1: K-12

Networking 2: Higher Education

Networking 3: Facilities Used by Professional Athletes

Networking 4: Parks & Rec

Networking 5: Academics

Networking 6: Students


Thursday, January 14

8:00am – 10:00am

GENERAL SESSION sponsored by World Class Athletic Surfaces

Communicating Effectively to Achieve Safer, More Sustainable Playing Surfaces – by Dr. Clint Waltz

Learn how to communicate effectively with administrators, county managers and elected officials associated with your facility to achieve a safer and more sustainable playing surface. Helping these individuals understand proper agronomics related to initiating field use and routine maintenance will help build valuable relationships and increase the success of your facility over the long term. Topics covered will include effective presentation of money saving methods, informing the public on the safety of pesticide and fertilizer applications, and how water conservation can lead to safer playing surfaces.


Keynote Address – Joe Posnanski

Joe Posnanski is a Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated. He was sports columnist at The Kansas City Star from 1996 to 2009, and during that time he was twice named the best sports columnist in America by The Associated Press Sports Editors. He was also nominated for twenty-one awards by the APSE, and won additional first place national awards in feature and project writing. As his mother says, that and about four bucks could get him a Grande Mocha at Starbucks. He has authored “Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America,” winner of the prestigious 2007 Casey Award as baseball book of the year, and one of the ten best sports books of 2007 by Booklist. His newest book, “The Machine: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds,” was released on 09/09/09. He has written essays for several books, including “The Hardball Times Annual,” ESPN’s best-selling College Football Encyclopedia and “Football and Philosophy.” His work twice has been anthologized in “The Best American Sportswriting.”

Jim Callis, Executive Editor for Baseball America and a long-time contributor to says. “Posnanski is arguably the best baseball writer in the business.”


10:30am-11:45am 8 BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Going Deep: Aerification Frequency and Timing for Compacted Athletic Fields

(repeated 1/15-2:45-4:00pm)

This presentation will cover the basics of soil compaction – how it happens, what are primary causes, and how to alleviate it. Compaction as affected by soil type, equipment and method of aerification will be discussed.

Elizabeth Guertal, Ph.D.,

Auburn University


Making Time for Maintenance

Find out how to create a yearly renovation schedule that will get it placed as the top priority at your facility and how to develop a long term approach to maintenance planning that will always meet with success.

Ron Hostick, CSFM,

San Diego State University


Research You Can Use

This talk will look at some of the practical research undertaken at Ohio State, including using fungicides to accelerate turfgrass establishment, effects of trinexapac- ethyl on sports turf and grass selection for maximum results.

Pamela Sherratt,

Ohio State University


Top 10 Do’s & Don’ts in Sports Field Construction

Hear from a sports field contractor on the foremost “thou shall” and “thou shall not” processes in field construction methods. A focus will be on the entire construction process including planning, design, materials selection, pre-bid qualification, bid/RFP, and construction. We will look at pitfalls, similarities and differences, new trends, proven winners and how it all relates to maintenance and field performance. Q&A time will be dedicated and considered an important component of the discussion.

Chad Price, CSFM,

Carolina Green, Inc.


Controlling Weeds in Cool-Season Athletic Fields

Learn about currently-registered herbicides for use on fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass athletic fields and the weeds they control.  A focus will be on herbicides that can be used during seeding, including new-to-the-market products. Issues relating to the loss of MSMA will be discussed, and alternative herbicides and management approaches will be provided.

Shawn Askew, Virginia Tech


Bermudagrass Traffic Tolerance

Hear about how to reduce damage from traffic on bermudagrass athletic fields. Topics will include: Cultivar selection, crumb rubber topdressing, fertilization, traffic management, irrigation, and cultivation among others.

Aaron Patton, Ph.D.,

University of Arkansas


The Skinny on Skins

Learn the goals for a successful infield skin. Soil selection, proper construction of the skin profile, the many different types of topdressings and soil amendments (tools) available, and how to select the right tool(s) to make the field perform better. See real-life examples of how sub-par infield skins can be improved by using the right tool(s) from the soil amendment/topdressing toolbox.

Paul Zwaska,

Beacon Athletics


How to Speak Design

Learn to speak “architect” so that you can get what you need in your upcoming construction project.

Dave Hieronymus,

DLH Architecture, LLC


12:00pm-1:15pm Lunch and Annual Meeting


1:30pm-2:45pm 8 Breakout Sessions


Selling Your Budget to Administration

Understand tried and true methods of up-selling your budget to administrators. Learn how to design a budget that tracks costs and can become a powerful tool in your presentation process.

George Bernardon, CSFM,

GCA Services


Warm Season Grass Management for Athletic Fields

Hear about the pros/cons, successes/challenges and general management strategies for maintaining warm season turfgrass.

Jason Kruse, Ph.D.,

University of Florida


Maintenance Practices for Synthetic Grasses: Why These Fields are Far from Maintenance Free

View different maintenance procedures and equipment used on synthetic grass fields. Learn about snow removal, covering of the field for concerts, etc. A key focus will be on maintenance items to be performed on a regular basis to keep the field in top condition and prolong the life of the system.

Webb Cook,



Fact and Fiction of Fertilization in Turfgrass

(repeated 1/15-2:45-4:00pm)

In times of shrinking budgets, raised environmental awareness, and increased demand for highly functional/aesthetic turf, managers need to know how to efficiently fertilize based on field needs. Learn fundamental principles of soil and nutrient chemistry, assessment tools, cutting edge products and techniques, and two case studies.

Bryan Hopkins, Ph.D.,



Sports Fields: Selecting the Best Grasses

Selection of species of grass can influence money spent for maintenance and durability of sports fields. Turfgrass breeders and managers are developing species for better wear tolerance, inputs required and repair times. Often the choice of species/blends is based more on what has been done rather than current knowledge.  Price is often in the final decision but superior performance may save money long term.

Leah Brilman, Ph.D.,

Seed Research of Oregon


GREEN Acres: Environmentalism and the Sports Turf Manager?

Explore the role of the sports turf manager in the context of 21st century ecorealism (environmentalism “as if people mattered.”) The session will promote the development and implementation of sciencebased stewardship programs that reduce our ecological footprints while balancing social and economic considerations, for the good of our environment and our industry.

Kevin Trotta,

Global Sports Alliance


What is a Field Club?

This presentation will define a Field Club and how it relates to sports turf management. Learn about bentgrass sports turf maintenance of lawn tennis, croquet, badminton and lawn bowling. Other topics included will be: tennis and bocce ball maintenance on American clay surfaces, flooring bentgrass for a concert, issues from construction, surviving the inaugural year, and various unique and challenging experiences maintaining a Field Club.

Nathan Salmore,

The Boathouse


The CSFM Process Demystified

Overcome the unknowns of taking the CSFM exam. Information presented will help the sports turf manager who is entering into the CSFM process to better prepare for the exam including the exam format, question format, and studying/preparation strategies.

Tony Koski, Ph.D.,

Colorado State University


3:00pm-4:15pm 8 Breakout Sessions


How to find information to solve your problems

With information overload hovering sports turf managers needs viable strategies to obtain relevant and timely information.  Learn the basics of using experience, hard references, online resources, and people resources to diagnose and solve problems encounter in day-to-day management or sports fields.

Grady Miller, Ph.D.,

NC State University


A Guide to Outsourcing Grounds Maintenance Services

Outsourcing certain grounds maintenance tasks is another management tool Facility Managers use for meeting goals, improving service and managing financial performance.

Hear an overview of outsourcing, when to use it, its advantages, disadvantages and tips on how to effectively manage the process. Specification writing, contract administration and contractor selection will also be covered.

Don Savard, CSFM,

Salesianum School


Managing Sports Fields and Water Restrictions: Short and Long-Term Approaches

The key to managing water restrictions is pro activity in field management with political and regulatory bodies. Topics include: a) impacts of drought restrictions; b) proactive responses to drought restrictions and water conservation; and c) site-specific BMPs for individual sports fields.

Robert Carrow, Ph.D.,

University of Georgia


Sports Turf Weed Control on a Budget

Learn about affordable strategies to control weeds on warm and cool season athletic fields, results of new herbicide studies, effects of cultural practices on herbicide performance and an emphasis on providing strategies to prepare for the loss of MSMA at the end of 2010.

Jim Brosnan, Ph.D.,

University of Tennessee


Organic Fertilizer and Phosphite Usage

This will include a first hand experience of an organic fertilizer program – Benefits vs. Drawbacks. Also I’ll talk about the use of phosphites to reduce disease in a transition zone at a professional baseball stadium.

Joey Stevenson,

Indianapolis Indians


Managing Infields in the Transition Zone

This talk will be geared towards getting infields ready for baseball and softball practices that start in January, all while battling Mother Nature. It will highlight maintenance practices, successes, and failures. Sometimes no matter what you do, Mother Nature always wins.

Marcus Dean, CSFM,

University of Kentucky


Alternative Grasses for Overseeding Athletic Fields to Promote Better Surfaces for Late and Early-Season Play

Understand how to incorporate the use of intermediate ryegrasses as part of late season or early season seeding. This will jump start grass coverage for better traction before perennial ryegrass or other grasses have begun to grow.

Gwen Stahnke, Ph.D.,

Washington State University


University Updates on Synthetic Turf Research

Synthetic turf continues to advance and evolve. University research provides an unbiased and timely evaluation of synthetic turf used on sports fields.

Andy McNitt, Ph.D.,

Penn State University


4:15pm-7:45pm Trade Show Open

5:30pm Sprayer/Spreader Calibration Demonstration on the Trade Show Floor


Friday, January 15

7:00am – 7:45am Innovative Sessions (3 consecutive fast-paced sessions)

• Pre-germinating Turfgrass Seed David Schlotthauer, BYU

• Taking Used Equipment and Making it New Again Marc Moran, Atlee High School

• Taking Golf Course Practices to the Game Fields Andrea Bakalyar, Eden Turfgrass/McDonough School

7:30am – 9:30am Commercial Member Workshop and Business Meeting: Looking Outside the USA at Sports Turf Opportunities

Murray Cook, Brickman Group

8:00am – 10:00am Educational Workshops

Dealing with Difficult People Lisa Goatley MS, LPC, Blacksburg, VA & Bill Griffith, Walla Walla CC


Preparing for and Recovering from Special Events Nick Fedewa, SMG/Jacksonville Jaguars & Jeff Salmond, CSFM, University of Oklahoma


Cool Season Traffic Tolerance Scott Ebdon, Ph.D., UMass/Amherst & William Dest, Ph.D., Univ. of Connecticut


Q&A Panel: Field Construction Andy McNitt, Ph.D., Penn State Univ., Larry DiVito, Minnesota Twins, Chad Price, CSFM, Carolina Green, Inc., Dave Hieronymus, DLH Architecture


Q&A Panel: Organic Approaches to Turf Management

Mary Owen, UMass, Richard Miller, Blackhawk Technical College, Kevin Mercer, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Kevin Trotta, Global Sports Alliance


Q&A Panel: Football/Soccer

Sports Turf Managers from MLS, NFL, and high schools


8:00am-10:30am Student Collegiate Challenge

10:00am-2:45pm Trade Show

11:30am Sprayer /Spreaders Calibration Demonstration


2:45pm-4:00pm 8 Educations Sessions

A Poa annua Control Plan that Works

Hear how a 20-year problem with Poa annua in a Kentucky bluegrass native soil field was defeated and a management plan implemented that is keeping the field clean with

excellent results.

Dan Douglas,

Reading Phillies


Design and Construction Components of Synthetic Fields

Find out about the factors you must consider to have a safe and playable synthetic field, from design to site preparation to installation to cleanup.

Mark Nicholls,

Turf Industry, Inc.


Assessing Sports Fields for Soil Physical Problems Relating to Player Safety

Approaches will be discussed for conducting a comprehensive assessment of community sports fields for many factors including player safety, field playability, irrigation system effectiveness, and turfgrass management issues.

Robert Carrow Ph.D.,

University of Georgia


Fact and Fiction of Fertilization in Turfgrass

(repeated presentation first given 1/14 – 1:30-2:45pm)

In times of shrinking budgets, raised environmental awareness, and increased demand for highly functional/aesthetic turf, managers need to know how to efficiently fertilize based on specific field needs. This presentation will cover fundamental principles of soil and nutrient chemistry, assessment tools, cutting edge products and techniques, and two case studies.

Bryan Hopkins, Ph.D., BYU


Going Deep: Aerification Frequency/Timing for Compacted Athletic Fields

(repeated presentation first given 1/14 – 10:30-11:45am)

Learn how soil type, water content and traffic affect compaction, how to measure compaction, and how and when to aerify. Understand the types of aerification equipment available and hear about new research.

Elizabeth Guertal, Ph.D.,

Auburn University


2:45pm – 5:15pm

Workshop: Weed Identification

Learn how to correctly identify turfgrass species, weedy grasses, and broadleaf weeds using botanical characteristics and structures of the plants. Participants will understand the importance of being able to properly identify broadleaf weeds, desirable turfgrass species, and weedy grasses after attending this workshop. Participants will also learn how to use hardcopy and web-based keys to assist in the identification process.

Shawn Askew, Virginia Tech,

Jim Brosnan, Ph.D., University of Tennessee,

Tony Koski, Ph.D., Colorado State University,

Joann Gruttadaurio, Cornell University


2:45- 5:15pm

Workshop: Selecting, Testing, and Constructing Sports Turf Root Zones

During this workshop attendees will receive hands on experience evaluating the physical and engineering properties of various native soils and root zone mixes for the purposes of constructing and /or maintaining athletic fields. Attendees will help conduct laboratory performance testing procedures and interpret results to assess the materials’ suitability for root zone construction and/or topdressing material.

Jason Henderson, Ph.D.,

University of Connecticut,

John Sorochan, Ph.D.,

University of Tennessee



Q&A Panel: Skinned Area Management

Industry professionals collaborate to answer your questions about the best infield skin management practices. This discussion allows audience members to interact and discuss solutions to common problems sports turf managers may be facing with their infields.

Dan Bergstrom,

Houston Astros,

Marcus Dean, CSFM,

University of Kentucky,

Paul Zwaska,

Beacon Athletics


4:15pm-5:15pm  5 educational sessions

Sustainability Solutions for Athletic Fields

This presentation will provide turf managers with green ideas and solutions through a ten-step program that will result in environmentally friendly practices for sports complexes, from the shop to the athletic field. It will also provide guidance on how to obtain Audubon certification through Audubon International.

Kevin Mercer,

St. Mary’s College of Maryland


Points to Consider on a Northern Native Soil Sports Field

Carroll College fields have native western soils with a short growing season that are used by NAIA national contender teams in football and soccer. Discussion will include field use/wintertime play, irrigation and maintenance practices, budgets, and communication strategies.

Gerald Landby,

Carroll College


Yes, It’s Possible! Reducing Fungicide Use on Cool Season Turf in the Transition Zone

“Are you doing all you can to lower your need for fungicides?” Find out how to re-examine your entire management plan from watering practices, nutrient management, and cultural practices to reduce fungicide use.

Jerad Minnick,

Maryland Soccerplex/Maryland Soccer Foundation


Recruiting for the Future: Tomorrow’s Field Mgrs.

As the industry continues to grow, more qualified sports turf managers are needed. Through industry partnership and university collaboration, sports turf programs can be developed. Learn about opportunities to work with school systems and groups to help young men and women to enter a career in sports turf management.

Marc Moran, Atlee High

School & Martin Kaufman,

CSFM, Ensworth Schools


Rolling Along

What is rolling? What type of equipment is needed? Hear about the benefits, drawbacks and current practices of rolling an athletic field. Data will be presented on optimum soil and grass conditions for successful experience.

Barry Stewart,

Mississippi State University


Student Activities

Students are welcome and encouraged to attend all that the conference offers! In addition, STMA has designed several student-only activities. These include:

Student Networking Session

Wednesday, January 13 – 4:30pm-6:30pm

Student Educational Sessions & Lunch

Thursday, January 14 – 11:00am-2:00pm

Hear two presentations and enjoy lunch.

These sessions are timed so that students can take a short break from studying for Friday’s Student Challenge Exam, and after taking the exam, can relax and enjoy the trade show. In prior years, these sessions followed the exam.

Student Collegiate Challenge

Participants Receive FREE Conference Registration!

Friday, January 15 – 8:00am-10:30am

Win $4,000 for your turf program. Teams of two-to-four students (undergraduates only) compete on a team test covering agronomics, sports turf and athletic field management. Awards will be given to winning teams from a two-year program and from a four-year program. Pre-registration is required. Online registration is not available for student challenge participants. Call STMA headquarters for more information at 1-800-323-3875.