The Sports Field Management Association (SFMA) Innovative Awards program recognizes SFMA commercial company members who have developed a product, service, equipment or technology that “substantially enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the sports field manager and/or makes the playing surfaces safer and/or more playable for athletes.”
Chosen by SFMA’s Innovative Awards Task Group, entries are evaluated on a wide range of qualities including whether or not they fill a need, are creative, save time and resources, are cutting-edge, make a task easier or more productive, improve quality, protect the environment and improve efficiency.
The 2023 SFMA Innovative Award winners are SGL for its LED50 lighting unit and Sports Labs for the ProPitch online portal. Details regarding both award-winning products are as follows:
The newest addition to SGL’s LED lighting product line, the LED50 is equipped with energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures and infrared heating elements. This design enables sports field managers to control light and temperature independently. Giving the control of the growing environment to the sports field manager allows for a wider range of use. The LED50 is effective on both warm-season and cool-season surfaces for year-round use.
The LED50 is fitted with the most effective and energy efficient light spectrum, along with an integrated Smart Control System. These features combine to maximize growing conditions. Users are able to set a desired surface temperature, which will be maintained while the unit is operating. The LED50’s independent control of light and temperature provides sports field managers the ability to maintain ideal growing conditions anytime during the growing seasons.
Covering 540 square feet of playing surface, the LED50 is perfectly suited for those specific areas that endure the most wear and tear during practice or on matchday. Its compact build makes the LED50 easy to operate and store by a single person.
The introduction of the LED50 follows the industry’s strong demand for sustainable grass grow lighting and offers clubs the required tools to maintain a high-quality and safe playing surface, while strengthening the transition toward sustainability.
“With sustainability high on the global agenda, we feel we need to carry our weight in the transition to a more sustainable athletic field management industry,” said Nico van Vuuren, founder of SGL. “The LED50 enables sports field managers to acquire the high-quality grass growth they strive for throughout the year, in the most sustainable way possible. Winning the SFMA Innovative Award with our LED50 confirms that we’re on the right track. Although it’s an honor to receive recognition for our strive for innovation from such a highly regarded authority within the pitch management industry, we realize there’s still a lot to be gained. Therefore, we keep innovating so we can help our customers with the best service and products.”
Sports Labs Pro Pitch online portal
The ProPitch online portal and automatic traffic light reporting system is a performance testing dashboard that synchronizes live with the ProPitch IOS and Android app, allowing users to carry out self-assessment tests and scoring against industry standards. The portal allows users to create their own field passport and manage their fields.
ProPitch allows field managers, owners, maintenance crews, or any field stakeholder to monitor and document their surface. The software, with input from a user, will track various data points from moisture, coverage, lighting, usage, cut height, performance and safety of the surface. The portal will, over time, track data points and provide graphs and charts to see the performance of a surface so key decisions can be made to improve performance and adjust maintenance practices. In addition, the portal allows users to generate reports to share with key stakeholders so an open and transparent tracking of the field’s performance can be viewed and the correct decisions made.
Used by elite soccer clubs around the world, ProPitch is an ideal tool to get the best out of your fields.