The American Sports Builders Association’s Fields Division is celebrating its 5th anniversary. The division, formally added to the ASBA in December 2005, has enjoyed a highly productive run so far:
· Election of a Fields Division president, who oversees all aspects of the division, presides over division meetings at the Technical and Winter meetings, and serves as the technical contact for issues having to do with sports fields (synthetic and natural)
· Development of a Certified Field Builder program, with separate designations of CFB (Certified Field Builder, showing aptitude in both natural and synthetic fields), CFB-N (Certified Field Builder-Natural Turf (for those specializing in natural turf sports fields), and CFB-S (Certified Field Builder-Synthetic Turf) for those specializing in synthetic turf sports fields. The Certified Field Builder program was developed in collaboration with two other industry organizations, the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) and the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA).
· Development of awards criteria, and of an awards program, to honor excellence in sports field construction: ASBA’s annual awards program now includes two new categories: Sports Field: Multiple Field category, and Sports Field: Single Field category. Those awards will be presented at the upcoming Technical Meeting from December 5-7 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
· Publication of a new technical manual, Synthetic Turf Sports Fields: A Construction and Maintenance Manual, available for purchase through the ASBA. (Note: The next edition, to be entitled: Sports Fields: A Construction and Maintenance Manual, will be available in September 2011).
· Development of fields-specific technical programming presented at the ASBA Technical Meeting each year; programming ranges from formal presentations by noted industry experts, to roundtable problem-solving sessions where members can provide input on issues of concern to all.
· Development of user-friendly materials and features for consumers and users of sports fields: ASBA has developed the following: a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about sports fields; this list is posted on its web site. There is also a Buyer’s Guide for Synthetic Turf Field Construction, ASBA’s position statement on synthetic fields vs. natural turf, and a feature on the web site to allow those interested to find a sports field designer, builder or supplier of material.
· Liaison with other organizations in the industry, including STMA and STC. Working in cooperation with other professional associations has allowed members of ASBA to share information, keep up with developments in the sports field industry, and develop new programs and resources.
· Writing of technical articles, presentations at other meetings: ASBA continues to share the expertise of its members, and to educate others in the industry, by writing technical articles for a variety of trade publications, and to send representatives of the membership to speak at meetings of other industry organizations.
Information on all of ASBA’s fields-related programs, publications and more is available at www.sportsbuilders.org.