SMFA awards deadlines
Photo provided by SFMA

SFMA awards deadlines fast approaching

SFMA’s high profile awards, grants and scholarship programs all have application deadlines of October 15, 2023. Visit to find the applications for:

  • Field of the Year: For practitioners who exhibit excellence in field management practices. Awards are given in three levels: Schools and Parks, Colleges and Universities, and Facilities used by Professional Athletes. In addition, five sports are eligible: baseball, football, softball, soccer and sporting grounds (which is a broad category for sports such as lacrosse and rugby).
  • Founders Awards: Nominate a peer for one of SFMA’s highest honors, these four awards recognize those members who have made significant contributions to SFMA and to the profession. These awards are named in honor of SFMA’s four early leaders: Dr. William Daniel, George Toma, Dick Ericson and Harry Gill. Each award has its own criteria based on the founder’s characteristics.
  • Innovative Awards: Presented to one or more exhibitors who have introduced an innovative product, service or technology that enhances the sports turf manager’s effectiveness or makes the field surface safer. The Innovative Awards were established to honor SFMA commercial members whose innovation has made the sports field manager more effective or the playing surface safer. This prestigious award is given to one or more exhibitors at the SFMA Annual Conference.
  • SAFE Scholarships: Dr. James Watson Scholarships, sponsored by The Toro Company and the Dr. Fred Grau Scholarship, are for turfgrass students in graduate, four-year, and two-year programs, and the top student in a two-year program, respectively. The Paul Zwaska Scholarship, presented by Beacon Athletics, promotes diversity within the profession through an annual scholarship program for students from groups underrepresented in SFMA.
  • SAFE Grants: The Gary Vanden Berg Internship Grant is awarded to a member who worked as an intern in the preceding spring or summer season. The Terry Mellor Continuing Education Grant, presented by Turface, is to help fund a practicing sports field manager’s attendance at the annual SFMA Conference and Exhibition. All members of an SFMA affiliated chapter are eligible to win and must be nominated through a letter of recommendation by a national SFMA Member. The Leo Goertz Grant, presented by Pioneer Athletics, funds up to seven two-year memberships for non-SFMA members. SFMA national or chapter members or a fellow employee can nominate an individual. The grant also allows for self-nomination.