The Sport Turf Managers Association bestowed its first-ever Innovation Awards, which honor companies that improve the sports turf management profession. Any product, service, equipment or technology that was introduced in 2010 was eligible.

STMA honors three companies with inaugural Innovation Awards

At last month’s Sport Turf Managers Association Conference & Exhibition in Austin, TX, the association bestowed upon three exhibitors its first-ever Innovation Awards, which honor companies that improve the sports turf management profession. Any product, service, equipment or technology that was introduced in 2010 was eligible; a panel of non-commercial STMA members representing all segments of membership judged the entries.

Rotating football goalpost, SportsEdge

SportsEdge, a manufacturer of sports construction products, introduced its rotating football goalposts to help solve the problems associated with multi-use soccer and football fields. This goalpost can easily be rotated 180 degrees facing away from the field of play during soccer games, and rotated back for football games. Operation is extremely simple; it takes less than a minute to rotate the goals completely, and can be done by one person. Only 25 pounds of pressure rotates the goal with the use of the 4-foot rotation handle. The goal post locks securely in place in either position. Two pad locks per goal provide tamper-proof security and safety. These rotating goals sit in a 5-foot deep sleeve and can be removed relatively easily if necessary.  

Chris Cucchiara, product manager for SportsEdge, came up with the idea in response to complaints from soccer coaches about rebounds off the football crossbar, interference with corner kicks, and bad calls by officials who could not always distinguish which crossbar, football or soccer goal, the soccer ball deflected off.

“I brought the idea to Kress Query of our sister company, ABT Metals, whose experience in metals and metal fabrication goes back 45 years. Kress’s design is exceptional for ease of operation as well as strength and stability,” Cucchiara said.

View a video demonstration at, download the brochure you find there, or call 800-334-6057.

RPR, regenerating perennial ryegrass, Barenbrug USA

RPR turfgrass was recently re-categorized as a subspecies within perennial ryegrass, Lolium perenne subsp. Stoloniferum. First cited in 1836, no varieties have been recognized as a Lolium perenne stoloniferum since!

RPR comes out of the breeding program of Barenbrug USA. Barenbrug breeder Dr. Joseph Wipff bred RPR in Virginia. “The RPR germplasm was a jewel at our Virginia breeding location. Under very harsh conditions the RPR plants were aggressive and expanding. While I tried to make it as hard for them as I could with wear and tear with our wear machine and the help of Mother Nature with hot and cold weather,” said Dr. Wipff.

Barenbrug USA launched the RPR program after more than 10 years of breeding. The regenerating perennial ryegrass has proven a great performer in wear and traffic tolerance while also being a high quality turfgrass. Its characteristics include pseudo-stolons that allow for the regeneration, enhanced with endophytes for resilience, and exceptional drought tolerance.

A number of sports turf managers and golf course superintendents have tried RPR and are very satisfied with it. “We have seen a lot of re-orders from Turf Managers who tried this in the spring,” said Christiaan Arends, Barenbrug turf product manager. “We hear a lot of positive feedback from sports turf managers. They just love the product.”

Dr. Wipff said, “I am very pleased and honored that a product I worked on for so many years has gotten this kind of recognition. When breeding turfgrass varieties, you need to be very patient and it is great when it gets recognized with an award like this.”

Field Rover, Bush Sports Turf

Steve Bush, CSFM, said, “The Field Rover is an idea I have had for several years. I wanted a way to rapidly and accurately measure the surface and conditions of sports fields. The robot uses GPS and a series of on-board sensors to both autonomously drive the field and take surface elevation measurements at the same time. We can measure and grade in 3-d with mm accuracy and gather 60,000 measurements on a field in an 8-hour day.”

“This allows us to document all surface irregularities with coordinates’ and a photo reference. We can verify if a field is smooth and show any damage caused by events or say concerts,” Bush said. “The grade information can then be evaluated, corrected and loaded into our on board grading equipment. This technology will allow us to build the smoothest, truest, safest fields possible. We can use the crated files then to grade the field precisely year after year.

“We want to bring technology to turf. We have the sod father; we want to be the Edison of turf. It is a true honor to receive the Innovation Award in its inaugural year,” he said.

“The rover was designed to fold into its shell and be transported easily on an airplane. We are going to provide this precision measuring and grading as a service. We can be contacted through our website at”