Greenplay puts nature back into infill products

Greenplay Organics LLC, the manufacturer and distributor of Greenplay second generation organic infill, comprised of a unique blend of specially sourced coconut fibers and cork, is extremely proud to be part of the revolutionary new synthetic turf playing surface at Benedetti Diamond. This isn’t just another ballfield, this is the pride of the Division 1 baseball legends of the University of San Francisco dating back to the 1950’s. It was time to finally look toward synthetic turf for consistency of play and ease of maintenance. A leap of faith was taken along with extensive research and the goal of installing the best performing and most grass-like baseball field in the entire USA. This leap of faith was based on extensive research on a national level to determine what would be the absolute best surface for this and proceeding generations of USF Athletics.

The decision was to identify and integrate the most advanced and trusted technologies that would shape the future of the finest athletic turf surfaces. USF Athletics identified the respective industry leaders of each component with the most proven experience and greatest success. AstroTurf Diamond Series 3D turf with grass-like, high micron monofilament fibers combined with durable slit-film fibers was identified as the best possible choice for the grass component. This latest generation of performance turf technology is the ultimate evolution of the very first synthetic turf introduced at Houston’s Astrodome in 1966. Brock International was identified as the leader of shock pad technology with the most comprehensive development and testing to provide the ultimate GMAX, HIC and concussion safety. The Brock PowerBase beneath the turf will provide the field with a firm, consistent surface while also guaranteeing safety and security for the life of the field.

With special attention being paid to the latest discussions about the safety of synthetic infills utilized between the blades of grass, the typical choices of SBR crumb rubber, plastics or sand left too many unanswered questions in regards to safety. As for playability, none came close to the performance required for a true game of baseball. The benchmark was natural grass, so the replacement field surface had to be even better than natural grass. Their attention was then directed to a second generation alternative infill material consisting of a specially sourced blend of coconut fibers and cork to complete the system.

Domenic Carapella, the “father” of organic infill and founder of Greenplay Organics, was brought in to develop a unique organic infill blend for this very special athletic turf system. Not only is Domenic the leading expert on organic infill, the first to introduce and champion organic infill in North America back in 2006, he and his team have persevered in the ten years since by installing many successful turf fields around the country with organic infill. These installations have been met with the highest acclaim by athletes, coaches, parents and officials. The success of these fields have provided the motivation and practical basis for the growing number of referendums around the nation, such as the Montgomery County MD Resolution 18-58 adopted in February of 2015 mandating the use of plant-based organic infills for all future synthetic turf installations.

The result of this team effort is a source of pride for all involved, especially the Athletic department of USF with all of the praise heaped on them from players and coaches. Reviews range from “extremely true ball roll and bounce with no variances throughout the field” to “truer than a pristine natural grass field”. As for safety, “foot stability and traction are better than grass…completely predictable” and “it’s not hard like dirt, it’s just right”.  The inherent organic properties and low abrasiveness of Greenplay enhance the turf to play and react like the best natural grass fields, which is the benchmark for which all of the Greenplay testing and data results meet or exceed. Another most important benefit the players won’t realize until the heat of the summer is that the turf temperature will be on par with natural grass due to the evaporative effect of the organic infill as it releases the cool moisture absorbed from the early morning fog. Domenic states that “we have never seen turf temperatures exceed twenty degrees Fahrenheit above natural grass in any of our installations the last ten years.”

The lower field temperatures in conjunction with the inherent low bulk density of the material will result in prolonged turf fiber life. There are no end of life disposal costs since the material is 100% recyclable and can be utilized on site as a dressing for natural grass or soil. Grooming is typical to the turf manufacturer’s specifications with standard maintenance procedures. Greenplay is guaranteed to last the life of the field in accordance with the turf manufacturer’s warranty. Greenplay resists mold, rot and fungus due to naturally occurring tannins.

The USF Benedetti Diamond turf field is truly a benchmark for the next generation of athletes and the word is quickly spreading through the leagues and around the country for all who are thinking about a new turf field.