For several years, STMA Boards of Directors have been discussing how the word “turf” has been taken over by the synthetic industry. That prompted a focused effort three years ago to change how we refer to our fields – no longer turf — but by more informative words, natural grass and synthetic turf. STMA asked members and the industry to use these terms to describe the applicable playing surfaces. During this time, STMA became the owner of the name SportsField Management, and the official publication, SportsTurf, transitioned to this new name. In addition, the association is often mistaken for an organization that is involved with synthetic turf.
Due to these developments, the 2021 board is exploring a name change for the association that aligns better with our current state of the industry and specifically the association. The first step in the process is assessing members’ opinions on this issue.
All STMA members were sent a survey to gauge if there is a willingness to advance the process to explore a name change. The results are not yet final, and the board will report those out to the membership. To date, the data shows that there is support to advance the exploration process with more than a 35% response rate. If the board determines it is in the best interest of STMA to continue with the process, the next steps will be to involve chapters, peer associations and other green industry organizations to test the concept. Legal advice will also be sought to determine the various options for the association. Membership will continue to be engaged if the exploration advances. The board anticipates it to be a six-to-12-month process.