Page 1

› Including Students with Disabilities

April/May 2013

› AD as Public Figure

› Faculty Meeting

Vol. XXV, No. 3

Game Changers New ideas for competition 1988





› Top 25 Outdoor Innovations


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Circle No. 100

Contents April/May 2013



Vol. XXV, No. 3


5 Leadership

Olympian in the program


8 Reaching Out

Presenting new NCAA rules


8 Sportsmanship

Shared code of conduct

Join Us

10 Fundraising

In celebrating our 25th year of publication!

Teaming with the drama club


Look for this special logo throughout the issue.



Looking for a way to spice up your teams’ competitions? These five athletic departments introduced new ideas that are bringing more excitement to their fans and student-athletes.



As an athletic director, it’s easy to stay behind the scenes. But being an effective leader means sometimes taking center stage.



Front & Center

Success with Students

You can view student workers as a necessary burden. Or you can train them to be athletic administrators of the future.




Leading the Way

Two years ago, Londonderry (N.H.) High School and some of its neighbors began creating unified sports teams for students with disabilities. A new national mandate urges all schools to follow their lead.


The Great Outdoors

Outdoor athletic facilities look much different than when we began publishing 25 years ago. In this article, we present our picks for the top 25 innovations over the last quarter century.



Meet and greet is a success

Game Changers

12 Faculty Relations

Outdoor Facilities

This section features our annual “Guide to Synthetic Turf,” as well as other outdoor facility components, including bleachers and scoreboards, and product information on sponsor and donor signage. On the cover When the University of South Dakota took on South Dakota State University last fall, the game had extra significance thanks to the implementation of the Showdown Series. Rethinking routine contests is the topic of our cover story, starting on page 24. PHOTO BY ROBBY GALLAGHER

5 Q&A

15 Richard Roy Fayetteville-Manlius (N.Y.) High School GAMEPLANS

19 Social Media By Chris Syme 21 Risk Management

By Dr. Richard P. Borkowski

72 Advertisers Directory 80 Next Stop: Web Site | APRIL/MAY 2013 1

Editorial Board VOL. XXV, NO. 3


Elizabeth “Betsy” A. Alden, PhD, President, Alden & Associates, Inc. Dan Cardone, Athletic Director, North Hills High School, Pa.

PUBLISHER Mark Goldberg

James Conn, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Health & Human Performance, Central Missouri State University Robert Corran, PhD, Director of Athletics, University of Vermont James Cox, Facilities and Events Coordinator and Adjunct Professor, Barry University Joan Cronan, Former Women’s Athletic Director, University of Tennessee Roger Crosley, Director of Communications, ECAC

EDITOR IN CHIEF Eleanor Frankel ASSOCIATE EDITORS Dennis Read, Abigail Funk ASSISTANT EDITORS RJ Anderson, Patrick Bohn, Kristin Maki, Mary Kate Murphy ART DIRECTOR Pamela Crawford

Bernie DePalma, Assistant Athletic Director/Head Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist, Cornell University Tom Douple, Commissioner, Mid-Continent Conference


Jay Gardiner, Commissioner, Southern Athletic Association


Dale Gibson, EdD, Chair, Dept. of Education and Sport Management, Tusculum College Tom Gioglio, EdD, Director of Athletics, East Stroudsburg University Mike Glazier, Partner, Bond, Schoeneck & King Steve Green, Deputy Director of Athletics, Northwestern University Kevin Hatcher, Athletic Director, Cal State San Bernardino Phillip Hossler, ATC, Athletic Trainer, East Brunswick High School, N.J. E. Newton Jackson, Jr., PhD, Associate Provost, University of North Florida


Dick Kemper, CMAA, Executive Director, Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Bob Knickerbocker, Athletic Equipment Coordinator, Michigan State University John Knorr, EdD, Professor of Kinesiology, former Director of Athletics, St. Edward’s University Donald Lowe, MA, ATC, Chairman of the Board, College Athletic Trainers' Society Robert Mathner, PhD, Assistant Professor, Sport Management, Troy University Tim Neal, Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Medicine, Syracuse University Fred Nuesch, Coordinator of Athletic External Affairs, Texas A&M-Kingsville Jamie Plunkett, Head Athletic Trainer, Allegheny College Chris Ritrievi, Vice President of Development, Indiana University

BUSINESS & EDITORIAL OFFICES 20 Eastlake Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850 Phone: (607) 257-6970, Fax: (607) 257-7328 e-mail: ADVERTISING SALES ASSOCIATE Diedra Harkenrider, (607) 257-6970, ext. 24 ADVERTISING MATERIALS COORDINATOR/ SALES Mike Townsend, (607) 257-6970, ext. 13

Matthew J. Robinson, EdD, Associate Professor/Director of Sport Management Program, University of Delaware Calli Theisen Sanders, EdD, Senior Associate Athletics Director, Iowa State University Terry Schlatter, EMC, Equipment Manager, University of Wisconsin Tim Slauter, CMAA, Assistant Principal, West Lafayette High School, Ind. Michael Slive, Commissioner, Southeastern Conference Donald Staffo, PhD, Professor, Health, Phys. Ed., & Rec., Stillman College Ellen Staurowsky, EdD, Professor of Sport Management, Drexel University William F. Stier, Jr., EdD, Director of Sport Management/ Coor­­dinator of Sport Coaching, State University of New York at Brockport Lou Strasberg, University Travel Coordinator, The University of Memphis E. Michael Stutzke, CMAA, Athletic Director, Sebastian River High School, Fla. Michael Thomas, Director of Athletics, University of Illinois Troy Tucker, Athletic Director, Northampton Community College

Athletic Management (ISSN 1554-2033) is published bimonthly for a total of 6 times a year, by MAG, Inc., 20 Eastlake Rd., Ithaca, NY, 14850. Athletic Management is distributed without charge to qualified high school and collegiate athletic program and athletic facilities personnel. The paid subscription rate is $24 for one year/six issues in the United States and $30.00 in Canada. The single copy price is $7. Copyright ©2013 by MAG, Inc. All rights reserved. Text may not be reproduced in any manner, in whole or in part, without permission of the publisher. Unsolicited materials will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Periodicals postage paid at Ithaca, NY, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Athletic Management, P.O. Box 4806, Ithaca, NY 14852-4806.

Michael Vienna, PhD, Athletic Director, Salisbury University Randy Warrick, Athletic Director, University of South Carolina at Aiken William Whitehill, EdD, ATC, Director, Athletic Training Curriculum, Middle Tennessee State University Sister Lynn Winsor, BVM, CMAA, Athletic Director, Xavier College Preparatory, Ariz. Tom Yeager, Commissioner, Colonial Athletic Association

2 APR/MAY 2013 |





n artificial turf installation is basically large rolls and/or several smaller pieces of turf joined together with an adhesive and/or by sewing to make one single piece that covers the entire surface. The joining process creates seams, which are historically the weakest link of a good synthetic turf installation. Seams result from side by side joining of turf rolls and/or are created by purposely cutting or shaving the turf, in order to insert game lines, hash marks, numbers, logos, different color turfs, etc.

Glue on long, wide seaming tape

Q: Two methods of seaming are Gluing and Sewing. Which do you prefer? A: We prefer gluing because the seam stress, over wide adhesive coated tape, is spread over a much larger joined area than sewing. Sewing holds the turf edges together with thread and the spaces between the stitches are not bonded. Just one thread cut by vandals can eventually cause the entire seam to fail, whereas, with gluing the vandals must cut the entire seam to cause failure. Q: What adhesive properties are necessary for a high quality turf installation? A: The adhesive should have proven long-term exterior durability after cure and a high green strength during installation (before cure). Both properties are essential. Q: We understand “durability”, but what is a “high green strength adhesive” and what is its importance for installing turf, as opposed to one without high green strength? A: High green strength adhesives have tack/grab/gripping properties during installation as opposed to most adhesives that are oily/slippery liquids, after application and before they cure. After cure, both types of adhesives are solid and tack-free.

Gluing a red logo insert

Gluing lines

Gluing number inserts

Norris Legue is a chemist and President of Synthetic Surfaces Inc. ( He invented the first urethane adhesive that was used successfully to install synthetic turf athletic fields. His company’s new generation of high green strength NORDOT® Adhesives are used worldwide to install synthetic turf. His peers have dubbed him the “Guru of Glue®”.

Q: Why are the tack/grab/gripping properties essential? A: High green strength adhesive overcomes the troublesome forces that plague turf during installation, such as “wind lift”; edge curl; creep; wrinkling; buoyancy from unexpected rain; expansion and/or contraction due to surface temperature changes from desert heat; freezing; sunlight; shadows; passing clouds; etc. Q: Why are oily/slippery adhesives often a problem? A: Low green strength adhesives, do not overcome the problems mentioned above. Additionally, when installing turf inserts such as: game lines, hash marks, numbers, logos and other turf inserts, installers suffer from turf curling, plus adhesive “squeeze out”, “oozing” and/or “foaming” through seams, caused by hand pressure or when rolled and/or accidentally stepped on. Q: What types of adhesives have been used to install synthetic turf? A: Hot melts, two-part, liquid solvent-free urethanes, one-part and two component solvent based urethanes, epoxy and solvent-free silicone based adhesives. Q: Of the above type turf adhesives, which ones have high green strength? A: To my knowledge, because it’s technically difficult to formulate for high green strength, the only ones are some one-part solvent based urethane adhesives. In spite of their higher price, that’s probably why they outsell all of the other type adhesives for installing turf. Circle Circle No. No. 101 101

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WarmUp Leadership

Golden Opportunity Last summer, the world watched as 17-year-old Missy Franklin swam her way to five medals—four of them gold—at the London Olympics. A month later, the big question was whether Franklin, a senior at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo., should swim on the high school squad. Regis Jesuit Athletic Director John Koslosky found himself in the middle of a situation with little precedence. His first step was thinking through all the ramifications of Franklin’s presence on the team. Convinced that the pros outweighed the cons and that he could manage some of the logistical headaches, Koslosky presented Franklin with a list titled: The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Swim for

Regis Jesuit. “I emphasized that she was only going to be a high school senior once, and that this was her last chance to swim in Colorado with her best friends,” he says. “The list focused more on the experiences she’d be missing if she didn’t return to the team, rather than winning. I tried to show her the big picture.” Koslosky also spoke to athletic directors and coaches from around the league. He found that most were supportive of Franklin’s return—many even said it would be an honor to compete against her for one more year—and Koslosky relayed this to his star swimmer. By focusing on the positive elements of competing for Regis Jesuit, Koslosky helped make

At some colleges and universities, student-athletes run in similar social circles and easily share inter-team friendships. At New York University, however, its urban campus makes such interactions a

At Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo., Athletic Director John Koslosky (left) was instrumental in ensuring his star swimmer, Olympian Missy Franklin (right), could enjoy her final high school season. Above, she speaks at a post-meet press conference.

“The whole thing was conceptualized, organized, and run by the SAAC, and it was a complete success,” says NYU Assistant Athletic Director Dominick Ciaccia. “The teams were especially gung-ho about dodgeball and tug-of-war.” The Violet Games also served as a fundraiser for Dynamo Camp, a summer camp in Italy catering to children with serious or chronic illnesses, which the men’s basketball team visited and worked with last summer. With each studentathlete donating $2, the SAAC raised over $300 for Dynamo Camp.

Program Pride

fun & games challenge. To counter this, the NYU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) brought together all of the Violets’ 21 varsity teams in December for a day of fun, bonding, and friendly competition. Dubbed the Violet Games, the contests included dodgeball, basketball, and volleyball, as well as tug-of-war, Twister, and chess. Winning teams were awarded points toward the Violet Cup, a year-long contest that also rewards teams for community service and good grades.

“The event allowed our studentathletes to discover common bonds with peers they may have never met otherwise,” Ciaccia says. “Out of that, support for each others’ teams has grown. You’re more apt to now see members of our golf team cheering on the basketball team or soccer players at men’s volleyball matches.”

There are talks of holding the Violet Games on an annual basis, but Ciaccia says that is up to the studentathletes. “As an administration, we definitely support doing it again,” he says. “But we also feel that it’s up to the SAAC to initiate and run the event, just like they did this time around.”

New York University student-athletes compete in tug-of-war as part of the school’s inaugural Violet Games. | APRIL/MAY 2013 5

WarmUp Franklin’s decision easier. “Two weeks after our meeting, Missy and her mother came to my office and told me, ‘You know what? We’re going to do it,’” he says. Koslosky’s next task was establishing ground rules for the

Overall, the media complied with Koslosky’s rules, even when they were denied access to the Olympian. “She texted me during the middle of her second meet—which was senior night and her last home contest—and told me, ‘Kos,

seniors, but Missy isn’t going to be doing any interviews,’” Koslosky continues. “She signed autographs, and then we had a police officer escort her to her car.” Koslosky also worked with the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) to ensure the state swimming meet would be a positive experience. “The CHSAA assigned someone to oversee Missy,” he says. “That person was the ‘bad guy’ who ensured she got from point A to point B without getting stopped every five minutes. Fans were free to talk to her before or after the meet, but I wanted her to be mentally preparing for her races, spending time with her teammates, and having a normal experience.”

“The press was required to sit in one spot and could only interview Missy after the meet, not before or during. She would speak to everyone at once, and they would all get the same quotes.” media to ensure Franklin could enjoy her competitions. “The press was required to sit in one spot and could only interview Missy after the meet, not before or during,” he says. “She would speak to everyone at once, and they would all get the same quotes.”

there are so many young kids here. Instead of talking to the media afterwards, I’d rather sign autographs and take pictures with the fans,’” he says. “So I texted some of the reporters that I knew and said, ‘Tell the rest of the press that I’ll send them some other

Franklin won every event she participated in during her

senior season, sometimes lapping other swimmers five times. Her dominant performances drew some criticism, and Koslosky made sure the negativity did not get to Franklin. “She understands that she’s not always going to hear positive things,” he says. “I compare her to LeBron James. Before he was a senior in high school, he was already a shoo-in to be the first pick in the NBA Draft. He didn’t say, ‘Oh, I’m so good, I should sit out and let other people have a shot.’ He played.” With the end of Franklin’s senior year rapidly approaching, Koslosky is savoring the experience of working with an Olympic athlete. “I’m trying to enjoy it while it lasts,” he says. “Once she’s gone, everything will go back to normal, and I think I’ll miss the excitement. It’s been unusual and fun and brought a whole new energy to my job.”

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Reaching Out

Presenting the new Ncaa rules With new NCAA Division I initial eligibility standards set to go into place in 2016-17, college coaches are concerned that high school administrators may not be up to speed on the changes. Northern Illinois University decided to be proactive about the issue, hosting its first Athletic Directors Resource Seminar last fall. Christian Spears, Deputy Director of Athletics at Northern Illinois, says his office is used to high school guidance counselors and athletic directors calling with questions regarding NCAA eligibility standards, but the school wanted to move beyond the traditional one-to-one communication model. “With the new rules coming, we thought it would be a good idea to address numerous schools at once,” Spears says.

NIU promoted the seminar through an e-mail blast to more than 400 local high schools, and followed that up with a fax to each athletic director. More than 100 high school guidance counselors and athletic directors attended. A large part of the presentation briefed the high school representatives on the new D-I rules. Beginning in 2016-17, athletes will be required to post at least a 2.3 GPA in 16 high school core courses. Previously, the minimum was 2.0. Athletes must also have completed 10 of their 16 core courses before the first semester of their senior year, and seven of the 10 must be in English, math, or science. Incoming student-athletes with high school GPAs between 2.0 and 2.3 will be required to take an academic redshirt year, meaning they will be eligible to

Sometimes fan behavior varies greatly among schools even within the same league. How do you get everyone on the same page? For the Southwest Washington 1A League (SWW1A), the solution was to collaborate on a Sportsmanship Code of Conduct. The idea for a league-wide code came from Bryan Bahr, Principal at Rainier (Wash.) High School, a member of the SWW1A, and was facilitated by Athletic Director John Beckman. They believed the statement would be best received

if it was developed by students and invited a group from each school in the league to Ranier for a summit. “A sportsmanship code means more when it comes from the student-athletes and reflects

receive athletically related financial aid and practice with the team during their first year on campus, but they won’t be allowed to participate in any competitions or travel to away events. Athletes with GPAs below 2.0 are considered nonqualifiers and cannot receive athletically related financial aid or practice during their freshman year. In addition, incoming freshmen will have to meet test score requirements based on the NCAA’s sliding scale. For example, a student-athlete with the minimum 2.3 core-course GPA will need to score a combined 1080 on the SAT math and verbal sections or a 93 on the ACT (the sum of the scores in English, mathematics, reading, and science). An athlete who posts an 820 SAT or 68 ACT, meanwhile, would need a 2.95 GPA. (The full sliding scale can be found at under “Resources”.) Spears says the seminar used PowerPoint slides created by the NCAA Eligibility Center to outline best practices and fully explain the rules changes. “We augmented the slides with real-life examples of how our staff at Northern Illinois has

what they want,” says Beckman. “There’s automatic buyin from the other members of the student body.” The day began with icebreaker activities, after which the students broke up into groups to discuss what they wanted to see in the code, using examples of other leagues’ statements as a reference. The groups eventually combined their ideas into the following: In order to demonstrate sportsmanship, citizenship, spirit, and pride in our schools, we must show respect and conduct ourselves in an appropriate manner. We shall refrain from profanity, derogatory comments, and other intimidating words or actions directed at officials, participants, spectators, coaches, and advisors.


8 APRIL/MAY 2013 |

“Several schools are printing it on the backs of their game programs or announcing it at the start of contests,” says Beckman. “At one of our Friday night football games, a cheerleader and her parent, a school board member, read the statement in front of the crowd, and it was really well received.” Elyssa Champlin, a sophomore who plays basketball and runs cross country at Ranier, participated in the summit and feels the new code is working. “The crowd isn’t as negative as it used to be,” she says. “We are hearing more positive cheering. And knowing the players on the other team as a result of working with them makes the games more fun. We’re still competing, but I don’t view my opponents as enemies. I see them as friends.”


tyler huey/nisqually daily news

Student-athletes from schools in the SWW1A discuss ideas for a league-wide sportsmanship code of conduct.

Accept both victory and defeat with pride, integrity, and composure.

WarmUp helped high schools through studentathlete eligibility issues, which really resonated with the audience,” he says. To emphasize the importance of offering enough core courses, NIU administrators did a little research beforehand. Once schools RSVP’d for the event, Spears went on their Web sites, gathered their core course listings, and printed them out to share at the seminar. He then “called out” schools that hadn’t had new course offerings certified by the NCAA. “Some of the schools hadn’t added any classes to their approved lists in close to a decade,” Spears says. “If a studentathlete needs to take 16 courses, but there are only 22 listed for their school, their options are limited.” After the presentation, the floor was opened up for questions. “Several of the visiting administrators asked how a high school can make all this information available to its student-athletes,” Spears says. “Our suggestion was to host a StudentAthlete Day at the start of every school year, where administrators can clearly explain the things a student-athlete needs

Continued on page 11

As part of their invitation to Northern Illinois University’s Athletic Directors Resource Seminar, high school adminstrators were guests at the school’s home men’s basketball game afterwards.

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Circle No. 105 | APRIL/MAY 2013 9




In our first year publishing (College) Athletic Management, one of our cover stories was titled

“Supporting the Non-Revenue Team.” Its author was Kathy Lindahl, then an Assistant Athletic Director at Michigan State University, who went on to become the school’s Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator, then Assistant Vice President for Finance and Operations in central administration. For our silver anniversary, we caught up with Lindahl, who retired from MSU this past December, and asked for her perspective on two issues: financial planning and career longevity. CELEBRATING


What advice does Lindahl have for athletic directors trying to balance their budgets? “Athletic departments need to be more open about their long-term vision and start planning five to seven years ahead,” she says. “They need to think about potential financial issues that could show up on their radar screens. They also have to be honest about considering the good, the bad, and the ugly.” Now enjoying retirement, former Michigan State University administrator Kathy Lindahl offers advice on athletics finances and career success.

From there, Lindahl believes athletic departments need to be more creative with making the most of what they have. “Universities as a whole are better at being efficient than their athletic departments, because they’ve had to cut costs in the recent economic climate,” she says. “This idea hasn’t yet really trickled down to athletics. I think athletic administrators assume efficiency means cutting programs, which isn’t necessarily true.”

acting as one When it comes to large fundraising projects, combining student-athletes from a couple of athletic teams often leads to success. Get the football and basketball teams together and the annual car wash triples its profit. Combine the wrestling and softball teams for a lift-athon and there is some great comradery. But how about partnering athletes with students involved in theater? At Hazel Green (Ala.) High School, that scary scenario turned into a fantastic fundraiser last October in which baseball players and drama students teamed up to create a haunted house Halloween attraction for the community. The event brought in over $9,000 and bridged gaps between two very different groups of students. T.J. Orr, Head Baseball Coach at Hazel Green, came up with the idea during a workout session with other teachers. “Clint Merritt, the head of our drama department, and I were at the gym, and fundraising came up,” he says. “We started

talking about how it would be neat to do an event together. The idea for a haunted house was mentioned, and it evolved from there.” The first step was getting the two groups of students to buy in to the idea of working together. “When we started planning, Clint and I didn’t think there would be any major conflicts between the kids,” Orr says. “But we soon realized their personalities clashed. The baseball players didn’t understand how to appreciate drama, and the theater students didn’t get the competitiveness and intensity of baseball.” In response, Orr and Merritt organized activities to help the two groups bond. “The baseball players did improv at the first meeting,” says Orr. “During a second gathering, the theater students completed a P90X workout with the baseball players. “The third meeting was the best,” he continues. “Clint had the students portray coaches and administrators from the school. He told the kids, ‘You’re

What career guidance does she have for those coming up in the field? “Don’t get yourself into what I call a ‘knowledge silo,’” she says. “Try to learn a little bit about a lot, as opposed to a lot about one thing. “Second, get into as many meetings as you can, because that’s where you learn about the challenges of decision making,” Lindahl continues. “How do you get into those meetings? You have to ask—there’s a 50-50 chance that they’ll say yes. But if you don’t ask, you definitely won’t get in.”


10 APRIL/MAY 2013 |

Hazel Green (Ala.) High School baseball player Cody Ernst portrays the Headless Horseman during a haunted house fundraiser that was jointly operated by members of the baseball team and the school’s theater department.


long-range advice

WarmUp Coach Orr, you’re [Assistant Baseball] Coach Weeks, you’re the principal, and you’re the athletic director. You have just caught a student skipping class. What do you do?’ They liked making fun of us and from that point forward everybody clicked.”

ticket packages to sell that would cover their contribution,” Orr says. “For example, if a sponsor donated $300, we’d give them $300 worth of tickets free of charge to sell in their business. If they sold all the tickets, they’d break even.”

From there, the group began planning the specifics of the attraction—what scenes would be included, what they would look like, how many actors each needed, how many tickettakers and parking attendants to find, and so on. Orr and Merritt soon realized they would need seed money to construct the scenes and turned to the students’ parents, who formed a Promotions Committee. By soliciting local businesses, the group brought in $4,500 in sponsorships.

A paintball facility offered its 100-acre wooded lot as the site for the event, which was dubbed “Haunted Woods in Howell.” Eleven live scenes were constructed and staffed by the Hazel Green baseball team and drama program. Many referenced popular horror movies like Saw, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Silence of the Lambs, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

“We gave every sponsor tickets for their personal use as a thank you for donating, but we also provided them with

Almost 1,500 people attended the attraction, which was open during weekends in October. After expenses, each group earned $4,600. Orr’s squad is putting the money toward building a new field, while the

theater department is using the funds for transportation to competitions. Encouraged by the community’s enthusiastic response, and no longer facing the burden of start-up costs, Orr is looking to repeat the event next October.

He’s confident his players feel the same way. “It was a little rough early on, but once the kids bought into working together, they had the time of their lives,” he says. “I expect this will be one of their great memories from high school.”

NCAA Rules continued from page 9 to know if he or she is looking to get a college scholarship.” High school athletic directors also asked about how to mitigate costs associated with testing and eligibility. “Schools all know there’s a cost for registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center and for ACT and SAT test prep materials, but not many of them were aware that the NCAA allows high school booster clubs to provide those opportunities, as long as they’re available for anyone who wants them,” Spears says. “When we mentioned that, quite a few eyebrows went up.” Spears says the seminar received a lot of positive feedback and benefitted NIU in several ways. “We invited all the attendees to our men’s basketball game afterwards, and since some of them hadn’t been to our campus in years, it was a great opportunity for them to see all the improvements we’ve made to our athletic facilities,” he says. “It also really helped us establish a connection with high schools in the area.”

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As is the case at many institutions, when recruits visit Miami University (Ohio), they will sometimes ask to talk with a professor in their intended major. In setting up such a meeting last fall, Craig Bennett, Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Support Services at Miami, was taken aback by a comment from a faculty member.

Faculty Relations

coffee klatch “The professor said, ‘I’m happy to help recruit, and I enjoy talking about Miami, but you know, I’ve never met the coach, and it’d be nice to meet him,’” says Bennett. “I thought to myself, why haven’t we done that?” From there, Bennett organized the school’s first “meet and greet” among coaches and faculty members on an October morning. Almost 60 people attended, including all 18 head coaches and representatives from most academic majors. The informal gathering was scheduled from 7:30-9 and guests were invited to mingle and chat over pastries, fruit, and coffee. “People were asked to come when they could and stay as long as they wanted,” Bennett says. “My goal was to have the faculty and staff interact with our coaches in a casual setting.” To organize the event, Bennett sent 100 invitations to both faculty he had previously worked with or those whom Miami student-athletes suggested. Athletic Director (at the time) Brad Bates committed to having the coaches attend. “Brad made an announcement at our staff meeting and said, ‘This is what we’re doing, this is why it’s a good thing, and I expect all head coaches will be present,’” says Bennett. “They all were, and several of them also brought along their recruiting coordinators.” The meet and greet ended up being a success in many ways. To start, it helped coaches become more aware of the impact faculty can have on the recruiting process. “Sometimes coaches focus so much on their sport that they don’t realDuring its first breakfast meet and greet, Miami University (Ohio) coaches and faculty members talked about recruiting, class scheduling, and how they can better help each other. 12 APRIL/MAY 2013 |

ize recruits also choose a school based on the interactions they’ve had with professors,” says Bennett. “The coaches frequently ask Student-Athlete Support Services to connect a prospect with an instructor, but that’s where their thinking stops. This event gave them a glimpse into the entire process.” As for the faculty, Bennett believes they gained an appreciation for Miami’s coaches. “After speaking with them at the gathering, the instructors learned that coaches aren’t just focused on winning, and that they also care about their players’ academic pursuits,” he says. “Several of our coaches spoke to the deans about scheduling and course offerings. They pointed out the difficulties student-athletes have in registering for classes, because many are only offered during practice times.” There were also beneficial one-on-one conversations. “One of the instructors from our nutrition department spoke extensively with our men’s basketball coach,” Bennett says. “She advised him on what his players should and should not be eating in the dining hall, and he invited her to a practice so she could speak directly to his team about the topic.” And when a football player missed the last week of classes because of knee surgery, his professors, four of whom had talked with the football coach at the meet and greet, allowed him to complete his final exams at a later date. “I’m not

saying they were lenient because of the meet and greet,” Bennett says. “But I do think it was helpful that his professors got comfortable with the athletic department staff.” To ensure conversations would continue long after the event concluded, Bennett distributed a packet containing biographies and pictures for every academic liaison in the athletic department to all faculty attending. “We wanted to make sure they knew how to reach out to us if they ever needed to,” he says. “Instructors often don’t know who to contact in athletics with questions and concerns. Hopefully, the packet will help in the future.” He also gave attendees a poster that showed photos of athletics and academics and had a tagline, “We’re all in this together.” “The idea is that the faculty member hangs the poster on their door and other instructors feel welcomed to contact us,” Bennett says. With such a good turnout and so many successful conversations, Bennett is looking to hold more meet and greets with an expanded guest list. “We recently had a volleyball recruit commit to Miami because we were the only school to involve our student organizations in her visit,” he says. “She was exposed to an activity she was passionate about, and the experience was a big part of her decision to come here. So, for our next event, I’d like to invite some of the student activity leaders and have coaches meet them. You never know what’s going to help in the recruiting process.”

WarmUp When Arizona launched a two-year pilot program for high school sand volleyball in 2011-12, one big question from athletic directors was: how do you start such a team? Xavier College Prep in Phoenix was one of five schools that fielded a varsity squad for the inaugural season—there will be eight this spring—and the Gators captured the state crown.

The impetus to start the sand team at Xavier Prep came from the school’s athletic director. “Our administration prides itself on providing new opportunities to girls,” says Head Sand Volleyball Coach Matt Rogers, who is an Assistant Coach on the school’s indoor squad. “In August of 2011, our athletic director asked me and Indoor Head Coach Tim McHale how we’d feel about starting a sand program. We were so excited, we must have jumped 20 feet in the air.” The caveat was that the team would need to function with Sand volleyball players at Xavier College Prep prepare for the 2013 spring season.

only a small amount of funding from the school. Rogers and McHale responded by volunteering to coach for one dollar Adding Sports each.

building in the sand

For a facility, the coaches turned to the community. A swim club donated its court, and a local landscaping company graded the court for free and donated 60 tons of sand. The coaches and athletes spent a few hours laying down lines and repainting the net poles. The school and players’ parents purchased uniforms.

Rogers says the sand squad is not a duplicate of the indoor roster. “Most of our sand players weren’t varsity indoor players, but freshmen and sophomores from the j.v. and club teams,” he says, adding that several of last year’s sand players have decided to play it exclusively in 2012-13. “It’s tough losing indoor players, but I want student-athletes to play the sport they are most passionate about. Sand can open doors at the college level, and if we want the sport to grow, it’s crucial that we encourage girls to try both and then decide for themselves which fits best.”

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Q & A





In 1991, Athletic Management added high school athletic directors to its readership and started covering issues in scholastic sports. One of those topics was funding, and we spoke with Richard Roy, Athletic Director at FayettevilleManlius (N.Y.) High School, which was constructing new revenue streams after a school budget defeat. In the article, he advised his peers to “plan ahead, because the need for supplemental income to athletic programs will soon become a reality.” Along with being accurate in this prediction, Roy was ahead of his time in many of the other ideas he instituted. Over the two decades following that interview, Roy added new teams to the F-M lineup, restructured the booster clubs, and helped implement mandatory eyewear rules for girls’ lacrosse players. His teams were highly successful, and the overall athletic program at F-M was ranked fourth best in the country by ESPN in 2012. Along with his work on the front lines, Roy served as President of the Onondaga High School League from 1995 to 1997 and President of Section III athletics from 2004 to 2006.

AM: As you look back on your career, what are you most proud of? Roy: The addition of athletic teams for seventh and eighth grade students in the mid to late 1990s, which resulted in close to 1,000 new opportunities. When I first got to F-M, seventh and eighth graders were competing against ninth graders for spots on freshmen teams. Usually those younger athletes couldn’t match up, so their first experience with sports in the district was getting cut. Some of those kids would get discouraged and give up on athletics altogether. In thinking about how much kids can develop physically from seventh to 10th grade, I realized that when those kids quit, we were losing athletes who could potentially help our varsity teams a few years down the road. Adding squads specifically for seventh and eighth grade students—we call them modified teams in New York state—gave those athletes a place to play and develop their skills, which helped our varsity teams achieve greater success in the future. I think modified sports are invaluable to an athletic program.

How did you sell the idea of adding more teams to the district? Parents were the key. One of the things I did when I arrived at F-M was to help create an Advisory Council of parents, which gathered regularly to discuss issues facing the athletic program. When I was looking to add modified teams, I did a study comparing our school

district with others nearby that showed many of them already had modified teams, and as a result, their varsity teams were more successful. When I took that information to the Advisory Council, the response was immediate. Once you tell parents their children aren’t getting something that other children are, they react quickly. So the next time those parents sent a report to the Board of Education, they recommended adding the modified teams, which helped make it happen.

Along with implementing student-athlete participation fees at F-M in 1991, how else did you bring in revenue? I worked closely with the boosters, and I quickly realized that we needed to disband the individual sport booster clubs and have one all-sports group instead. If we had continued with sport-specific clubs, we would have created a system of haves and havenots—with teams like football and basketball thriving while others like tennis and cross country struggled. So I pitched the idea of creating one booster club for all sports by stressing that we were committed to funding everything we could for our student-athletes. The parents got on board quickly, and we went to the one-club model the next year.

How has fundraising changed over the years? Every situation is unique, so the challenge becomes figuring out what you need at that


Last year, Roy retired after 35 years in education and has begun working as a consultant. We reconnected with him for this issue and asked him about establishing a parents’ advisory council, fundraising, and what he sees as the biggest challenge in high school athletics.

The F-M girls’ cross country team has won the Nike Cross Nationals for the past seven years. | APRIL/MAY 2013 15

Q & A particular time. When the economy was going well, it was easier for us to fundraise. A few years ago, when we were trying to raise $1.4 million for a synthetic turf field, it was more difficult because the economy was struggling, and people viewed a turf field as a luxury. One of the ways we were able to bring in the funds was to explain the benefits. Many of the schools that host sectional and state playoffs have synthetic turf fields. We wanted to make sure our kids were used to playing on those surfaces, so we pitched it as a way to help our programs succeed. We brought in a professional fundraiser to help us, and she told us that 90 percent of the funds would come from 10 percent of the people. But we really found that money came in from everywhere. I think that goes back to our success in establishing community-wide connections.

How do you get different constituents on the same page? The key is to reach out to the community. I stressed to our coaches that the community

fied sports are about developing studentathletes’ skills, junior varsity teams are about preparing them to play at the varsity level, and varsity sports are the commencement, which is where everyone wants to see success. That ranking tells me that we’ve accomplished our goals.

What are your thoughts on sport specialization? I consider specialization almost a curse word, and we sent home letters to parents discouraging it. The high school experience is so brief, and the odds of receiving a college scholarship are so long that there’s absolutely no reason to limit what a student-athlete can participate in. Additionally, specialization might give a school a handful of very good programs, but also several weak ones, because all the best athletes are concentrated in a few sports. Encouraging multi-sport participation can have benefits across your entire athletic department. Athletes are able to learn from different coaches and experience different ways of training. I was very proud of the fact that we had numerous high-quality programs.

“Being a coach has become more time-consuming, and they often work yearround, which leads to them burning out quickly. Athletic directors have to be prepared for that.” is a vital component to the health of their programs because it can offer a lot of support. Athletics is a very public domain, and that means that parents, alumni, and other community members are invested in seeing the programs succeed. They’re thirsty for a connection, and all you have to do is offer one. Then, I worked on making those bonds stronger by instituting coach-parent meetings where coaches could explain their policies and parents could ask questions. We also mailed a lot of newsletters, and as the technology progressed, posted things on our Web site to keep parents informed. That, combined with the increased success of our teams, is what built trust and support within the community.

What does F-M’s fourth-placed ranking in the latest ESPN Rise standings mean to you? It’s a barometer of where we are as a program, as well as proof that all the things we did in the 1990s to expand were successful. I’ve always viewed athletics this way: Modi-

16 APRIL/MAY APRIL/MAY 2013 2013 | |

In 2004, you added boys’ and girls’ crew, which is rare at the high school level. What goes into starting and maintaining a rowing program?

The first thing to understand is the cost. It’s an incredibly expensive sport, and it wouldn’t work here if we didn’t fund it differently than our other sports. Because it’s not recognized by the state as an interscholastic sport, we classify it as a club. This allows us to have a $250 co-pay from the student-athletes—New York state does not allow participation fees for sports. And the parents are responsible for paying the cost of the teams’ hotel rooms when they travel. It’s also a challenge to find good coaches. Fortunately for us, the Syracuse Chargers Rowing Club is nearby, so we were able to pull coaches from there. But athletic directors need to be aware that it might be difficult to uncover a coach.

Why did you lead an effort to mandate protective eyewear for girls’ lacrosse players? In the early 1990s, we had a girl at F-M get hit square in the eye with a ball during practice. She didn’t lose her eye, but she was badly hurt. The sport was relatively new for us at the time, and it was easy to foresee that this was going to be an issue. So I got a group of athletic directors together and we started looking at eyewear to protect athletes. There was some pushback from state administrators because no eyewear had been

approved for girls’ lacrosse, and they thought we were exposing ourselves to lawsuits. That struck me as a bad reason to not do it. Nothing had been approved because no one had ever considered it. But we knew eye injuries were a risk, so we kept on pushing, and eventually the state approved it and made it mandatory.

With five kids, how were you able to maintain a work-life balance? I brought my children to our games when I had the chance, and they appreciated that. At my recent retirement party, my son spoke about how when he was growing up, his sports heroes were the student-athletes he watched when he came to F-M. That was touching. As my kids got older and began playing sports at another school, I always made sure I had a coach covering for me here if they had a game the same night we did. I thought it would be hypocritical to say I supported thousands of student-athletes at F-M, but I couldn’t be there for my own children when they played.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in high school sports during your career? The stage keeps getting bigger. Twenty-five years ago, athletic directors simply sent scores to the local newspaper, but now games are being broadcast on television and over the Internet, and there’s more of a frenzy. Athletic directors have to work even harder today to get their programs noticed.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for high school sports in the future? Coach burnout. Being a coach has become more and more time-consuming, and they often work year-round, which leads to them burning out quickly. Athletic directors have to be prepared for that, because a lot of times it’s self-inflicted, so there’s little we can do beforehand. This also affects hiring because now we’re seeing fewer applicants for jobs. I found that I had to be more aggressive to increase my applicant pool. I even reached out to other athletic directors and asked them if I could talk to their coaches to help us fill positions.

What are you doing in retirement? I’m consulting. I’ve created a program called Athletic Resource Management to help high school athletic directors do their jobs better. I talk with them about every aspect of the position—from developing a mission statement and core principles, to managing different constituents, to how they hire and evaluate coaches, to budgeting and fundraising. What you learn in college covers about five percent of what an athletic director needs to know, so I’ve created this business to cover the rest.

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How do I monetize the video board, manage new sponsors, and ensure inventory is executed? Organization and communication is important when executing sponsorships. What inventory is available to sell, who is sponsoring what inventory, and what inventory has been executed are questions that organizations face on a daily basis. TSE has designed three powerful tools—ScriptPRO, SponsorPRO, and PromoPRO—which work hand-in-hand to streamline the process from sold inventory to execution. You can generate custom proposals and track inventory sold with SponsorPRO. ScriptPRO helps build, organize,

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GamePlan GamePlan Risk Management Social Media

Sportswriter Darren Rovell wrote a thoughtful piece titled, “Coaches Ban of Twitter Proves College Sports is Not About Education.” In the article, he said, “There’s also another message the coaches are sending: We’re confident you can come through for us on the field, but we’re not so sure off of it … This isn’t about freedom of speech. It’s about proving that the biggest college sports can really be a teaching opportunity instead of just a multi-billion [dollar] enterprise in which everyone capitalizes except for the kids themselves.”

dan baxter

Protectors in 2 colors to replace get-back line.

A Tweetable Moment

Should athletic departments ban or monitor their student-athletes’ use of social media? One school is teaching the art of tweeting instead. By Chris Syme Student-athletes live in a world of rules: school rules, team rules, compliance rules, family rules, and the list goes on. Most of their behavior is defined by what they cannot do. And social media is no exception.

with social media as it relates to their athletes. There are issues of control, training, and education. Waiting too long to answer these questions can result in confusion, negative fallout, and/or legal problems.

Schools everywhere are putting together policies that regulate student-athletes’ use of social media, and some are also monitoring it. An area that studentathletes may feel is their own domain now has rules attached to it.

Controlling Use

Not that athletic departments can be blamed for their heavy hand. Studentathletes have been making headlines recently by posting photos that should be kept private and tweeting negative, racially insensitive, or uninformed thoughts, causing public-relations nightmares for their schools. Athletic departments face tough questions right now in how they should deal

A Fieldhouse Media report says that 73 percent of college student-athletes have a Twitter account. The number of college coaches banning athletes from Twitter rises each year as they are rightly concerned about the potential negative effects an inappropriate tweet can have on the reputation of the athlete and the school. But is forbidding your student-athletes from tweeting the right move? Social media is a part of students’ lives, and banning them from using it can send the wrong message. It conveys that, ultimately, you feel they are irresponsible. You don’t trust them to represent the school.

A step down from banning Twitter is to monitor student-athletes’ use of social media. Some schools ask athletes to “friend” an application on their personal computers from companies like UDiligence and Varsity Monitor. These types of applications allow athletic personnel to monitor and delete posts that flag key words or topics in the athlete’s personal social media posts. The problem with this idea is that it is already illegal in several states and is quickly being outlawed by other state legislatures around the country. Social media lawyer Bradley Shear predicts that all states will have a law prohibiting this type of forced monitoring by employers and schools in the near future. Shear also warns that monitoring can create legal problems for athletic departments. For instance, evidence that schools had access to a student’s private account that contained communications concerning a criminal act or threat could result in liability for the school.

Education is a Win-Win Instead of banning or controlling the use of social media, what if schools took Chris Syme is Principal of, an agency that specializes in crisis communications and social media training. A former sports information director and adjunct instructor, she can be reached through her blog and Web site at: | APRIL/MAY 2013 19

GamePlan Social Media the time to train student-athletes on how to use social media well? Imagine if student-athletes were taught to develop their own personal brands, which would help promote the school at the same time. That’s the goal of the University of Washington’s Featured Athlete program. Daniel Hour, Manager of New Media and

media. To start, athletes must make it through an approval process and sign off on the rules. They then take a short course on how to use social media responsibly. This includes instruction on what to post and what not to post, how to represent themselves in the best light, how often to post, and their responsibilities in the program.

Imagine if student-athletes were taught to develop their own personal brands, which would help promote the school at the same time. That’s the goal of the University of Washington’s Featured Athlete program. Recruiting Services at UW, started the program with just a couple of volunteer athletes. The group has now grown to 30. The Featured Athlete program goes beyond giving student-athletes a list of do’s and don’ts by providing a training program and integration with UW social

After going through the training, the student-athletes get a branded avatar on the Huskies Web site, a #FeaturedAthlete Twitter hashtag when mentioned in media releases, and retweets from the @UWAthletics account (which has over 25,000 followers). In addition, their tweets are used on the UW recruit-

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ing site and featured during in-game PA announcements, and they are listed in the UW social media directory. This initiative has helped UW market its athletic program in new ways by connecting fans directly with the athletes through a “student-athlete” tab on the department’s Web site. The tab highlights the student-athlete experience and the Featured Athlete page. At the same time, it has helped student-athletes learn to use social media in a professional way, providing them with potential job skills. In addition, Hour meets with all UW teams individually to discuss social media. He talks about both good and bad uses of the tool, citing examples of how athletes have hurt their reputation—and potential earning power at the pro level— from social media missteps. While the increasing power of social media can seem like a huge headache, it can also be thought of as an educational and publicity opportunity. “It is our belief,” Hour says, “that social media, when used properly, can be an advantage in recruiting, marketing, and team chemistry, and it can enhance the student-athlete’s personal brand.”

GamePlan Risk Management 1988




Before bashing the legal system, remember that lawyers do not sue anyone unless they have a client. Secondly, lawsuits have helped our profession realize we have a duty of care toward every child in our athletic programs. The legal system has made us more sensitive to safety. dan baxter

What’s the best helmet to use for football (lacrosse, ice hockey, baseball, etc.)? Any helmet that is certified by the governing body of that sport is acceptable protective headgear. However, one only needs to read the warning label to know a helmet does not guarantee freedom from minor to catastrophic injuries.

More Answers

In 1995, we began running columns in Athletic Management. One of our initial authors was Dick Borkowski, and he’s been offering advice on sport safety in these pages ever since. By Dr. Richard P. Borkowski For the past 40 years, I have attempted to answer a lot of questions about how to lower the chance of injury in sports. In my first article for Athletic Management, I wrote about some of the most frequently asked questions on sport safety and my responses to them. The article was entitled “A Gym Bag Full of Questions and Answers.” Since then, many other questions have come up regarding safety for players and lawsuit avoidance. Some are new topics and concerns, and some are due to more recent research or litigation. In this silver anniversary article, I’ve compiled the best questions I’ve been asked

recently, and hopefully some helpful answers. They are in no order of importance. They are all important. Why are there so many lawsuits today? Are we unprepared and uncaring about the safety of our players? There is no single answer, but it is not because present day coaches and administrators are less skilled or caring. No era has had better equipment, training, knowledge, and medical support. We are a litigious society. The contingent fee system, the number of lawyers, the number of participants, and varying high-risk physical activities contribute to the explosion of lawsuits in sport.

No helmet can prevent all head injuries. But how this piece of equipment is handled can go a long way in ensuring it works to its fullest capacity. Athletes must be fitted with the right size helmet and taught how to wear it and use it. Emphasizing the rule about not using a helmet as a weapon is critical. Coaches or equipment managers must check helmets on a regular basis and have them recertified when needed. What is the correct coach to player ratio? In my opinion, there should not be hard and fast rules about coach to player ratios. Supervision is not a matter of how many coaches are present. It is about knowing the activity, knowing how to supervise, and the experience of the athletes. It is realizing when you need additional supervision. The focus should be on quality not quantity. Richard P. Borkowski, EdD, CMAA, is a sport and recreation safety consultant and the former Director of Physical Education and Athletics at the Episcopal Academy in Merion, Pa. His most recent book is Game Plan for Sport Safety and he can be reached at: | APRIL/MAY 2013 21

I testified in a case that involved a swim practice where there was a 2-to-16 ratio of coaches to athletes. The head coach could not swim. His assistant coach was sick and replaced by a substitute teacher who also could not swim. A near-drowning occurred and was prevented by the

Each school should consider constructing specific policies based on its facilities. For example, if your gym has limited space behind the basketball end line, make this area off-limits to the media. Distribute these policies to the media prior to each season, and have a representative

The concept of unequal competition should not be confused with instruction ... To offer appropriate coaching in wrestling, coaches must be hands-on. The key is that the movements of those bigger, stronger, or more skilled is “controlled.” bravery and skills of a fellow swimmer. Neither adult entered the water. Are there guidelines for the media? While we love the coverage, media members feel they have access to all areas of the field or court. We’ve had one camera operator knocked into a wall.

at each contest to remind reporters, photographers, and camera personnel of their responsibilities. A general statement can be similar to this one used by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association: Persons cable casting, telecasting, photograph-

Circle No. 112 22 APRIL/MAY 2013 |

ing, videotaping, or webcasting (video streaming) a contest shall not interfere with the visibility and comfort of spectators, shall not present a safety hazard to spectators, and shall not disrupt, disturb, or interfere with the competition or with an individual competitor. Why can’t my wrestling coach wrestle with his team? Why can’t graduated wrestlers come back and roll around with present team members? The concept of unequal competition should not be confused with instruction. To have your former all-state wrestler turned assistant coach go head-to-head with new members of the team—to show them how it’s done—is not safe. However, demonstration and controlled activity with players has always been a staple of coaching. Field hockey coaches scrimmaging with their players are not competing, they are teaching. To offer appropriate coaching in wrestling, coaches must be hands-on. The key is that the movements of those bigger, stronger, or more skilled is “controlled.” This has become an issue because there are rare times when a player is injured working with a coach, and a lawsuit is

GamePlan Risk Management filed. That gets the attention of the school district. There have also been lawsuits where graduates have injured present day team members. If you permit such practice experiences, I would suggest you do so under very strict controls. The returning wrestler must understand his or her role and that the goal is not to win, but to teach. Because of indoor space limitations, I have a baseball, softball, and boys’ lacrosse team piled into one gym during inclement weather. We’ve had a few close calls, but no injuries during my three years at the school. I am getting concerned.

a base mat. There are tests to evaluate whether mats meet the accepted shockabsorbing standard, which you can find through the ASTM. How do I motivate my staff to be more concerned about safety issues? I have good coaches, but they have full plates and safety issues take a backseat. This is the question I am asked more frequently than any other. Most coaches know what to do. They understand that safety comes down to a few guiding principles—caring about people, preparation,

and vigilance. But sometimes these principles get pushed aside in the busyness of coaching. This is where the athletic director is critical. He or she must be the one to keep safety front and center. Place safety issues on every coaching meeting’s agenda. Bring in a speaker, give checklists to each coach, and show a how-to video. Most of all, get out of your office! Watch your programs in action and talk to coaches about any unsafe things you see. If the athletic department leader doesn’t advocate safety, neither will the coaches.

You should be concerned. Outdoor teams practicing indoors are a major risk management issue. Lacrosse balls, swinging baseball bats, and flying softballs in a limited space with windows, lights, and walls offer many challenges.


Consider dividing the practice session into three separate time slots. This permits each team full use of the space and each head coach to set up practice in a safe manner. The other teams can have meetings while they wait to practice or even a team homework time. Many schools in this situation rotate the starting times. The team that has the gym first has it last the next time. The team in slot two moves up to slot one.

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Other tips include these: Avoid people walking in during practice, limit the skills being practiced, work on plays at half speed, and make sure everyone is going and throwing in the same direction. Keep people away from doors and glass, even if it is so-called safety glass. Does warning signage really help?

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Signage does not ensure freedom from harm. But it does lower the chance of harm. We recently converted a storage room to a large state-of-the-art wrestling room with padded walls. I’m told the room is unsafe because I don’t have a base mat under my wrestling mats. If your mats sit on a tile or cement floor, a wrestling base mat will enhance the shockabsorbing quality of the mat. My assumption is that your mats are on another type of surface, such as wood, and that is why base mats are not needed. If the new mat does sit on cement or tile, call your salesperson about purchasing


• Circle No. 113 | APRIL/MAY 2013 23

When the University of South Dakota took on South Dakota State University last fall, the game had extra significance, thanks to the implementation of the Showdown Series. Photo by Robby Gallagher



CHANGERS Looking for a way to spice up your teams’ competitions?

These five athletic departments introduced new ideas that are bringing more excitement to their fans and student-athletes.

By Mary Kate Murphy

The athletic calendar is naturally repetitive—winter sports follow fall, spring sports follow winter. Summer break, then repeat. It’s reasonable for scheduling to become equally as automatic after many years of playing the same teams in the same places. Rocking the boat when it comes to planning competitions might seem like the last thing an athletic director would want to do. Why create more work and a lot of potential headaches? As it turns out, adding a little variety to contests can not only improve the performance of an individual squad, it can also rejuvenate an athletic department or bring school spirit to an entire community. It’s also a great way to enhance the student-athlete experience. In this article, we highlight five unique competition ideas—from reviving a century-old rivalry to moving a contest to a very public space—that shook up established routines. Administrators involved share their strategies for planning and execution, as well as the reason their event was worth the effort. SHOWDOWN IN SOUTH DAKOTA

The rivalry between South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota goes back over 100 years. It was interrupted for almost a decade when SDSU began the transition from NCAA Division II to Division I in 2004. USD didn’t follow until 2006, recently finalizing the move at the beginning of the current academic year. Now not only are both in D-I, they compete against each other in the Summit League and their football teams square off in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. With those pieces in place, SDSU Athletic Director Justin Sell and USD Interim Athletic Director David Herbster sought to reinstate the rivalry in an official and statewide capacity. | APRIL/MAY 2013 25

“As we entered the D-I era at both schools, we wanted to find a way to combine the intensity of past competitions with the new directions of our athletic programs,” says Sell. “This rivalry has meant a lot to the fans of both schools, so we wanted to build on that history and generate excitement across the state.” The result is the inaugural South Dakota Showdown Series, in which each school accumulates points throughout the academic year in two ways. Both SDSU and USD each have 17 varsity sports, and one point is awarded to the winner of each regular-season contest between the two schools, except for football, which is worth two points. For sports that don’t meet head-to-head, such as swimming and diving or track and field, the point is awarded to whichever school finishes higher in the conference meet. There is also an academic component to the competition. Each school receives three points if its combined student-athlete GPA Mary Kate Murphy is an Assistant Editor at Athletic Management. She can be reached at:

is 3.0 or greater at the end of the academic year. The highest possible point total is 24 (21 points in athletics plus three in academics). The school with the most points at the end of the year is awarded the South Dakota Showdown Series trophy, a glass cup depicting an open cornhusk. In the event of a tie, the winner of the football game is the Series champion. To bring in some revenue from the Series and boost community involvement, two partners were brought on board. The South Dakota Corn Utilization Council serves as a title sponsor, allowing the organization to publicize its cause and promote the state’s corn farmers. Feeding South Dakota—a nonprofit organization that supplies food to 21,000 people each week in an attempt to end statewide hunger—also has a presence at each contest, and fans are encouraged to bring donations. After lying dormant for nearly a decade, the rivalry is rekindling quickly thanks to the Showdown format. Most of the contests have been sellouts, and the student-athletes have been excited about the competitions. “Athletes at both schools grew up with the

SDSU vs. USD rivalry, but this is the first time they’ve participated in it,” Sell says. “So far, the response has been tremendous.” A key to the rivalry’s success is each area of operations playing a role. “There are a lot of groups in the athletic department that need to come together such as marketing, sports information, and media relations,” says Herbster. “For example, our facilities and operations staffs are responsible for putting up South Dakota Showdown Series banners at the venues and in press conferences. Because there are a lot more eyes on what we’re doing, there’s a little more work.” While numerous people are working behind the scenes, the athletic directors are already planning changes for next year’s Series. “I’d like to make it easier for fans to donate to Feeding South Dakota,” Herbster says. “Right now we have collection jars set up at every concessions terminal, which isn’t very practical from an accounting standpoint. Instead, we hope to have customers donate by rounding their purchases up to the nearest dollar or five dollars.” For other athletic directors looking to amp up a rivalry, both Sell and Herbster

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recommend keeping the focus on the student-athlete and fan experience, not the results. “We’re in it for the students, and you need to think of them first,” says Herbster. “You have to ask yourself, ‘If we do this, how will it benefit our student body and make our competitions better?’ Don’t let the focus be on which school is going to have more points at the end of the year.” KEEPING IT LOCAL

There are six high schools in Bay County, Mich., but many of their athletic teams do not normally compete against each other. With wide varieties in size and being members of different conferences, the schools are neighbors that don’t easily cross paths. For a handful of sports, that scenario was rectified 20 years ago with the start of the Bay County Championships for wrestling, boys’ and girls’ golf, cross country, bowling, and track and field. This year, the schools’ athletic directors decided the county championships should expand and voted to add baseball, softball, volleyball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, and boys’ and girls’ tennis for 2013-14. “Our county high schools compete in

three different conferences, and two are independents,” says Mike Thayer, Athletic Director at Bay City Western High School in Auburn. “There are two Class A schools—those with the highest enrollments—three Class B schools, and one Class D. Even though we’re all close to each other geographically, we don’t compete because of our conference or enrollment. The Bay County Championships change that.” With the expansion, all six schools will compete in a one-day tournament for each of the new sports, and the host sites will rotate. “Each school has a chance to host each tournament,” says Pinconning High School Athletic Director Jennifer Thunberg. “So although that school is going to take on the expenses of that tournament, it also gets to keep the gate and show off its facilities.” To ensure the competitions among schools of varying sizes are fair and meaningful, the six teams will be split into two pools. “One pool is composed of one Class

A school and two Class Bs, while the other is one Class A, one Class B, and one Class D,” says Thunberg. “Each pool plays three games to determine the standings. Then,

When his wrestling team wanted to do something to promote the sport, the idea the coaches came up with took Athletic Director Bill Bays by surprise. They asked to hold a match at the local mall. the first-place teams from each pool face off, and the same goes with the second- and third-placed teams. This way, each team’s final game of the day should be against equal competition.

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“The larger schools excel in some sports simply because they have more depth,” she continues. “So we want to make sure no teams think they are wasting their time— either because they are too good or not good enough for the games to be competitive.” Still in the planning stage is what the winning squad will take home. “We’re

whole trophy. I think it would be exciting for any team to be able to take home a trophy.” One roadblock has been finding a spot in the schedule for the new events. “Coaches have teams they like to play and tournaments they like to go to,” says Thunberg. “Coming up with dates that everybody agreed on was one of the more challenging aspects. But I respect these coaches and know how much time and effort they give, so I could understand them being a little cautious about scheduling.” Student-athletes have found the existing tournaments very exciting, particularly those from the independent high schools, and Thunberg thinks this will carry over to the new sports. “It gives the athletes something additional to play for,” says Thunberg. “For teams that don’t have a chance to compete for a conference title, the season can be unrewarding. But now that we’re expanding the championships, more teams will get to take pride in saying, ‘We’re the county champions!’”

“We also have to decide whether to include the tripleheader in our season ticket package or do it as a one-off. The event will be single-entry, so fans will buy one ticket to watch all three games.” thinking about getting traveling trophies for some of the sports,” says Thayer. “The winning school would be responsible for bringing the trophy to the following year’s tournament, and it would be cost-effective because we wouldn’t have to replace the

The involved athletic directors are expecting an equal outpouring of support from the local community, particularly at the baseball and softball tournaments, two very popular sports in the area. “We’re hoping to get a lot of interest from casual fans, people who like to come out and watch an afternoon of high school athletics,” says Thayer. “They love their local teams, win, lose, or draw.” Thayer has found the process of working with other local athletic directors in the county professionally rewarding and urges others to think locally. “Don’t forget about your neighbor,” he says. “Get together with the athletic directors in your area and share concerns and ideas. You’ll likely have the same interests and needs even if you are in a separate league, and together you can look out for each other.” SHOP & DROP

After years of declining participation and fan interest, the Edmond Memorial (Okla.) High School wrestling team wanted to do something to promote its sport. The idea the coaches came up with took Athletic Director Bill Bays by surprise. They asked to hold a match at the local mall. “At first, I didn’t think it was a good idea,” says Bays. “I was focusing on the negatives:

Many athletic programs have faced funding shortages in recent years, so the idea of hosting a unique event might seem financially daunting. But creating new competitions for your student-athletes doesn’t have to drain the budget. Drawing from their own experiences, athletic directors who have started new events provide tips for making them both innovative and cost-effective.

1. Keep it local. One of the reasons the six high schools in Bay County, Mich., voted to expand their county championships to include seven more sports was that hosting a local tournament would cut transportation costs. “With the price of travel going up, we thought it would make sense to take advantage of the competition in our own backyard,” says Pinconning (Mich.) High School Athletic Director Jennifer Thunberg. “Plus, your fan base is already established, and the host school can keep the revenues they generate from the ticket and concession sales.”

2. Get a sponsor. The South Dakota Showdown Series was formed to solidify the rivalry between South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota, and only became possible after the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council agreed to serve as title sponsor. The partnership ended up being a win-win. South Dakota Corn had the chance to expand its reach to consumers in the state,

while the Series benefited from the financial support. “When you look at the Series from a budget standpoint, having a sponsor to help is really worth a lot,” says SDSU Athletic Director Justin Sell.

3. Utilize volunteers. The Pink Halo Project, a fundraiser for cancer awareness that pits the basketball teams from St. Clair (Mich.) High School and Marine City (Mich.) High School against each other, has raised $35,000 since its inception five years ago, but not all donations have been monetary. “This area has been hit pretty hard by the economy, so although a lot of people in our community can’t support us financially, we never have trouble getting volunteers,” says Jeff Cook, Athletic Director at St. Clair. “This is the largest fundraiser our school district does and, our community really takes pride in coming together to pull it off.”

b u d g e t fa c t o r s 28 APRIL/MAY 2013 |


How would we make something like that happen? And would the district even approve it?” Some additional convincing from the wrestling coaching staff helped Bays sign off on the idea. “Wrestling used to be very big in Oklahoma, but its popularity has recently declined,” he says. “Our coaches thought the mall match would bring attention back to the sport, and they were really passionate about the idea. Because I couldn’t find any major problems with it, I gave them the go-ahead.” An opponent was found in Putnam City North High School from Oklahoma City and the location would be in front of one of the mall’s anchor stores. The date was a Tuesday evening. The next challenge was some tricky logistics due to Edmond Memorial’s busy winter sports schedule. The evening before the event, the wrestling team hosted a double-dual meet. Immediately after that match, some of the equipment had to be driven to the mall. Coaches and athletes also had to transport mats and the scoring clock from the high school to the mall after school the next day. “We’ve never had to deal with a scenario like that before,” says Bays. “But the team was excited about the event, so they were willing to put in the extra work.” Because Bays had to work a home basketball game the night of the mall match, he relied on others for feedback from the event. “I knew it was a success when I started getting texts from those in attendance saying what a neat experience it was,” he says. “Some people in our community had doubts about the match beforehand, but they had a much different perspective afterwards.” The event drew a large crowd and Bays thinks the team accomplished its goal. “Our wrestling program is pretty good, but the local newspaper article about this event was the most attention our squad received all year,” he says. “I think the match not only promoted our program but the sport in general.” Bays is interested in holding another mall match in the future, albeit with some changes. “From an administrator’s standpoint, I would like to make money off it,” he says. “We didn’t have a gate this year because, frankly, we weren’t sure how to do so in such a public setting. “The trick is to figure out how to make a profit on the event without turning people away,” Bays continues. “Many of the spectators stumbled upon the match and stayed because they were curious and it piqued their interest. That’s what made it so unique, and we wouldn’t want to lose that aspect of it.” Bays encourages other athletic directors

to learn from his experience, and to consider every idea that comes their way. “I think we can be quick to say, ‘That’s not the way we do things,’ when approached with a new idea,” he says. “We should listen and be open to anything that could help our programs.” BAY STATE BASKETBALL

Two years ago, the six NCAA Division I schools in Massachusetts—Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, Harvard University, College of the Holy Cross, and the University of Massa-

chusetts-Amherst—started holding a men’s basketball media day together. At the first event, the six head coaches, realizing their close proximity and similar competition levels, asked, “Why aren’t we playing each other?” Out of a day dedicated to answering questions about star players and conference championship aspirations came the idea for a triple-header involving the state’s D-I men’s basketball programs. All six teams will converge on TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics, for a one-day event to kick off the


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season and create excitement for a sport that is sometimes overshadowed by ice hockey in the state. Planning for the event is still in its early stages, with athletic directors determining when their schedules will allow for the triple-header. “Everyone is taking a closer look at their future commitments and open dates to see if we’d be able to schedule the event next season or if it will have to wait until 2014-15,” says Peter Roby, Athletic Director at Northeastern and a former Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Harvard. “There are also a few events that the TD Garden may need to move around.” Making the athletic directors’ lives easier has been the complete support of all the head coaches. “Oftentimes, coaches don’t want to play against certain teams, but we are very lucky to have six individuals who are interested in helping college basketball in our state,” says BU Athletic Director Mike Lynch. “I think they see the big picture of how this event can help everyone involved.” Lynch believes the camaraderie of the coaches was also important. “They’ve gotten to know each other, and they understand Boston,” he says. “They’ve seen the challenges we face in an urban area in terms of getting people to our games, and they want to help.” One of the next steps in planning is determining match-ups. Some schools, like Northeastern and BU, already have longstanding basketball rivalries, and Lynch is hoping this event will create new ones. “We have a rivalry with Boston College, and we’d love to see that develop for basketball,” he says. “And UMass is on the outside looking in geographically, so I think they’d like to establish some competition in the Boston area.” Another factor the athletic directors will consider is how to split the gate. “Some schools are thoughtful about their number of home, away, and neutral-site games,” says Roby. “So in the case of an existing series, we have to consider what host schools will be giving up from a revenue standpoint and what the potential financial implications of that might be. “We also have to decide whether to include the triple-header in our season ticket package or do it as a one-off,” he continues. “The event will be single-entry, so fans will buy one ticket to watch all three games. However, pricing is an issue. We want to encourage all of our students to come, but if we make the event too expensive, they won’t.” Although the process is far from over, both Lynch and Roby advise other athletic directors to talk through all the competition’s ramifications when undertaking an event of this magnitude. “There are a lot of people 30 APRIL/MAY 2013 |

involved—your fan bases, coaches, administrators—and they may have different viewpoints about something like this,” says Lynch. “So it’s important to gather information and get buy-in from all of your constituents before going forward with the idea.” PRETTY IN PINK

Many schools host a cancer fundraiser at least once a year. St. Clair (Mich.) High School and Marine City (Mich.) High School have turned that idea into a community-wide event. In January, the rival schools host a daylong competition that has raised over $35,000, drawn thousands of spectators, and just celebrated its fifth anniversary. “It started with me, both schools’ basketball coaches, and a few members of our local Rotary Club,” says Jeff Cook, Athletic Director at St. Clair. “We wanted to do something to raise money for Coaches vs. Cancer, so we started brainstorming.” The idea that stuck eventually became the Pink Halo Project, a 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. event. It takes place on what Cook now calls “Super Saturday,” the last Saturday in January, and is composed of six basketball games between all levels of the St. Clair and Marine City boys’ and girls’ teams, a blood drive, raffles, contests, and cancer awareness and education activities. Games start every two hours until the boys’ varsity game at 7 p.m., and many spectators stay the full 12 hours. “We try to organize a lot of activities between contests so people don’t get bored,” Cook says. “There are shooting games on the basketball court and raffles and silent auction items in the lobby. We also host an American Red Cross blood drive and set up information tables staffed by our Relay for Life partners who answer any health questions our guests may have. And of course, we keep our concession stand stocked so it can serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” Along with bringing their competitive spirit to the court on Super Saturday, the St. Clair and Marine City players do their part by getting an individual or local business to sponsor their jersey, which requires a donation of $100 to 200. “The backs of all the jerseys either have the name of someone who passed away from cancer or someone who is currently fighting the disease,” says Cook. “Each player wears that jersey during the game and then presents it to their sponsor afterwards.”

Proceeds from the sponsors, ticket revenue, and T-shirt sales are split between Coaches vs. Cancer, in association with the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan, and the oncology center at the local hospital, which uses the money to buy infusion chairs for patients to sit in while receiving chemotherapy treatments. “Donating to the hospital really hits home for our student-athletes because they realize they’re helping someone in their own backyard,” says Cook. The winner of the most games on Super Saturday gets to take home the Pink Halo

“Even though it’s a rivalry game, the teams high five and hug each other at the end. This event shows kids that they can do something bigger than themselves, and I think that is one of the best life lessons we can teach our student-athletes.” Project Trophy. St. Clair has won every year, but Cook is convinced his student-athletes get more out of the event than bragging rights. “The teams view it as the biggest game of the year, and they all wear pink shoes, shoelaces, arm sleeves, and jerseys to support the event,” he says. “And even though it’s a rivalry game, the teams high five and hug each other at the end. This event shows kids that they can do something bigger than themselves, and I think that is one of the best life lessons we can teach our student-athletes.” Besides years where snowstorms threatened to cancel the event, causing Cook to phone in snowplows at 5 a.m., each year gets easier and better. Cook says he owes that to careful planning and utilizing his community’s resources. “We always say, ‘Plan your work, and work your plan,’” he says. “You have to have strong communication to ensure all the little pieces come together to make the day a success. “It’s also key to partner with an organization of influence in your community,” Cook continues. “We worked with our Rotary Club, and they helped us spread the word about what we were doing and why it was important. Once you get people carrying the message for you, you’ll be surprised by how many others want to be involved.” n


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Last year, the Cornell wrestling team battled with Penn State for the national title at the NCAA Championships in Philadephia, finishing as the runner-up for the second consecutive year matching its best finish ever. This season, the squad finished fourth at the NCAA championships—and for Rob Koll, it was a more satisfying national tournament than the previous year. “Last year we scored 93 points, placed second, and I was crushed,” said head

coach Rob Koll. “This year [Cornell tallied 102.5 points,] I couldn’t be happier.” The primary reason for Koll’s pleasure: for the first time ever, the Big Red had three NCAA wrestling champions. Junior Kyle Dake became the first wrestler to earn three NCAA titles at three different weight classes. During this year’s championships, Dake was crowned national champion at 157 pounds. He notched a double leg takedown 50 seconds into the bout and rode out Derek St. John of Iowa for the remainder of the first period. The junior chose down to start the second period and escaped after 32 seconds, winning convincingly. He ended his season with a 35-0 record. Senior Steve Bosak scored a takedown in sudden victory to win his first NCAA title, defeating defending national champion, Quentin Wright, of Penn State in the 184-pound weight class. “I’ve worked on that technique a long time in practice—it’s


g r a b i v y a n d e i Wa t i t l e s


t has almost become synonymous with early spring. Cornell wrestling wraps up an Ivy League title, captures the EIWA crown and marches on for a top 10 finish at the NCAA championship. But it isn’t that easy. Every championship requires much hard work, dedication, and a belief in one’s ability.

one of my go-to finishes,” he said about the move. His mind raced, “Let’s not take this to double-overtime, let’s finish it now.” He and Wright are familiar with each other since childhood, as they both hail from State College, Pa., which is also Koll’s hometown.

Cornell continued its dominance against conference foes, achieving a perfect 5-0 record to claim its 10th consecutive Ancient Eight crown. Behind two-time Ivy League Wrestler of the Year senior Cam Simaz (197 pounds), Cornell extended its winning streak against Ivy foes to 53 consecutive dual meets. Eight student-athletes earned All-Ivy accolades. Simaz was joined on the All-Ivy first team by classmates Frank Perrelli (125 pounds) and Steve Bosak (184 pounds). Noticably absent from the All-Ivy first team was defending two-time national champion junior Kyle Dake (157 pounds), who missed all but one conference match due to injuries.

Senior Cam Simaz (197 pounds) won his first national title, as the No. 1 seed. He dominated an exhausted Chris Honeycutt of Edinboro, 7-5. The victory capped an impressive career for the four-time AllAmerican who accumulated the third-most wins (140), the second-most wins by fall (47) and the most wins by bonus points (98) in school history. Senior Frank Perrelli capped off his stellar Cornell career with a fourth place finish at 125 pounds, while unseeded sophomore Mike Nevinger battled his way to AllAmerica honors with a seventh-place finish at 141 pounds.

For the sixth consecutive year, Cornell and head coach Rob Koll claimed the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association title and defeated a strong Lehigh team by 2.5 points. It marked the first time that a team won six straight titles since before World War II. Simaz became the 11th wrestler in history to win four consecutive EIWA titles with his 2012 championship. He was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler and also earned the John Fletcher Memorial Trophy for the wrestler that has earned the most team points in his EIWA career. Perrelli and Dake also won titles at their respective weight classes. In all, nine wrestlers qualified for the NCAA championships, matching a school record set in 2005, 2009, and 2011. Joining Simaz, Perrelli, Dake and Bosak in qualifying for

“This was supposed to be a rebuilding year and we had three national champions— that’s pretty impressive,” beamed Simaz.

nationals were sophomores Nick Arujau (133), Mike Nevinger (141), Chris Villalonga (149), and Marshall Peppelman (165); and senior Maciej Jochym (HWT). Jochym earned a wild card selection for the championship. Dake, in search of his third consecutive national title (all at different weight classes) entered the NCAA tournament following an outstanding regular season. In addition to winning his second EIWA title, he won individual titles at the Southern Scuffle, the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, and the Body Bar Invitational. He entered the NCAA championship with a perfect 30-0 record, having allowed only one takedown.

Koll’s many talents have transformed Cornell wrestling into a national power. Its reputation grew in 2012 with dual meet wins over Minnesota, Lehigh, Iowa State, and Purdue en route to an 11-1 record. The 2012 season was Cornell’s 25th consecutive winning season in dual meet competition dating back to the 1986-87 campaign. Since 2000-01, Cornell has posted a 114-44-2 record, a .719 winning percentage. While the current team has been impressive, the program has generated buzz outside of the collegiate world as well. Mack Lewnes ‘11 qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials after placing second at 84 kg at the Men’s Freestyle Olympic Trials Qualifier, and will compete for a spot on the national team at the Olympic Team trials in Iowa City, Iowa, April 21-22. The three-time All-American and four-time EIWA champion is the all-time winningest wrestler in Cornell history with 150 victories and also holds the record with 55 career falls.



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t an event I recently attended, I met a person who engaged me in a conversation about sports at her children’s high school. As we talked, I told her I knew the athletic director at the school. Her reply was, “He is a nice person, but people don’t think he does a very good job.”

The comment stung, and I had to resist making an angry, sarcastic response. I explained that few people truly understand the time, passion, and effort that an athletic administrator invests in a school and its students. I also said that I know this person well and know he does a great job. The same week, I heard from an athletic director and friend who was struggling. He told me that parents, administrators, and

students were trying to get one of his head coaches fired and bypassing the athletic director’s office. His efforts to communicate with everyone were going nowhere. Those of us who have worked in this field for any length of time can relate to both of these stories. No matter how much effort we give or how much success we orchestrate, there will always be people who think we are not very effective or important.

ap photo/ bob wellinski

In New Carlisle, Ind., New Prairie High School Athletic Director Brian Williamson (left) offers some words and a plaque to Head Football Coach Russ Radtke after his 300th career victory.

Front & Center

As an athletic director, it’s easy to stay behind the scenes. But being an effective leader means sometimes taking center stage.

By Kevin Bryant | APRIL/MAY 2013 33

In many ways, high school athletic directors are like the wallpaper in a house. The wallpaper is there but people don’t notice it—unless there’s a problem. If the paper is falling off the walls, people suddenly see it. Our jobs entail mostly behind-the-scenes work, which only comes to the forefront when something goes wrong. But is this the way it should be? High school athletic directors are responsible for leading their communities toward unity and their student-athletes toward personal growth and athletic success. Let’s face it, we can’t accomplish these tasks while being wallpaper. To be our best, we need a greater public presence in our schools and communities.

A few days later, teachers and students were outside the school with signs protesting any cuts to athletics. I was in the middle of the pack doing my part to make sure all the needs of athletics were communicated. My motivation for being there was not saving my job. Instead, my presence there was to represent the life-changing opportunities high school sports offered student-athletes. This was not a time to be silent or absent in support of the thing I believed in most. But my presence also reminded people that I was not a silent leader. If my job was to be cut, I would no longer be there with them and for them. While one representative saw the job of athletic director as dispensable, I’d like to think that many other people knew differently—because they saw me as a leader with an important role and one who would stand up for their needs. On a more day-today level, a significant reason to have a public presence is that it will make you a more effective athletic director. When parents and community members know their administrators, they tend to listen to and respect them. People want and need a leader, but they can’t know who we are without some effort on our part. When there is a strong person visibly orchestrating athletics, there is more support for the department. Community members, parents, coaches, and student-athletes will respect the rules you lay out. They will show up when you put out a call for help. They will listen to your opinion. They will open their pocketbooks more generously. As a result, the athletic director can initiate programs, ideas, and policies that benefit student-athletes. Theodore Hesburgh, President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, once said: “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” At a time when school budgets are being cut to the bone, high school athletic directors must not “blow an uncertain trumpet” as they lead their departments. At the same time, we need to be careful that we are not seeking publicity for our own egos. We must represent our schools to our community, but the motive should never be about our own glory.

It was amazing how this small step granted me a huge sense of respect and authority with parents. Because I shared my ideas and time, parents saw me as the athletics leader instead of the guy setting up the field. WHY DO IT?

I admit that the idea may seem counterproductive at first glance. Why would athletic directors want to expose themselves to additional feedback, criticism, or hostility? However, there are several reasons this can be a positive in the long run. During my time as an athletic administrator at Aloha (Ore.) High School, I heard some chilling words I will never forget from our Beaverton Education Association representative. As the district was facing budget shortfalls, her very clear comment to me was that, “You had better find a new job because you surely will be the first to be cut.” Kevin Bryant, CMAA, is Senior Facilities Manager of the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex in Hillsboro, Ore., and the former Associate Principal for Athletics and Activities at Tigard (Ore.) High School. He also served as Athletic Director at Aloha (Ore.) High School. A past President of the Oregon Athletic Directors Association, he was named the group’s 2005 Athletic Director of the Year, and he has received an NIAAA Distinguished Service Award and NFHS Citation. He can be reached at:

34 APRIL/MAY APRIL/MAY 2013 2013 ||


So how do you have a more public presence when most of your work is done outside the limelight? The hill I chose to plant my flag on was our parent meetings—I made time to be at every meeting for every sport in every season. I spoke briefly with the overall goal of exhibiting my leadership, nipping problems in the bud, and fulfilling three specific objectives: > I wanted each parent to know who I was. > I wanted each parent to understand from me directly what was expected parent behavior. This included how they should act in the stands, toward our coaching staff, toward officials, and toward studentathletes. > I wanted to make it clear as glass that I had my coaches’ backs. Through my words and my presence at the meetings, parents understood that I trusted and supported the coaches. It was amazing how this small step granted me a huge sense of respect and authority with parents. Because I shared my ideas and time, parents saw me as the athletics leader instead of the guy setting up the field. They also saw my passion and understood I was all about doing what’s best for their children. Later on, parents would begin conversations by saying, “We are having a problem with the coach. My son/daughter has talked to him and so have I, but we’d really like to talk to you …” They followed my rules about communication, and they also wanted my ear. Those are both good things. Along with being at parent meetings, I tried to attend as many contests as possible. You are expected to be at varsity games, but a high school athletic director really stands out at a freshman or junior varsity event where attendance is made up mostly of the families of the participants. People in the stands talk about the athletic director being there. I often received compliments from parents about being at sub-varsity games, because they knew how busy I was, yet I was there supporting their child. One of my most memorable fan experiences came during my time at Tigard (Ore.) High School. The principal and I traveled 90 minutes to watch our water polo team compete in the state playoffs. It was fun to sit amidst parents who greatly appreciated any encouragement their children received in what is considered a “low profile” sport. This bought me support from parents for years afterwards. Finally, shock everyone by appearing at a non-athletics event, such as a concert, play, or public meeting. This shows in a very real way that you are not just about the athletic


program on your campus, you are about supporting the entire school. You don’t need to make a report or organize anything, just show up. Results will be immediate. A third way to become more public is to get involved with the booster club. When I first arrived at Tigard, I did not give the booster club much attention. It seemed like a well-oiled machine, and they did not need me to jump in. But these were the most committed and involved parents at the school—the movers and shakers of the community who were passionate about all students’ participation, not just their own children. They were dedicated, community oriented people who followed through on promises made, and showed up every time. I realized that they might not need me, but I needed them. Together, we were a powerful team. I was able to help provide leadership, input, vision, and encouragement to the boosters. They did an amazing job raising money for our programs. These folks became my “parent team” and were able to vouch for me and my desire to see all of our students become successful on the athletic field and in the classroom. It can also help to create a public presence outside of parent groups, through community organizations such as the Rotary club or the chamber of commerce. Such groups are often eager to rally around the local high school’s athletic program. Being a part of clubs like these expands the influence of the athletic department and shows the community that the athletic director is thinking about more than his or her own program. In addition, developing connections with local groups can lead to better fundraising opportunities. We often ask so much of our beleaguered business communities. When these people see the local high school athletic director giving back, it goes a long way toward continuing their support of local resources. And this giving back can go beyond just serving on a Rotary club. How about initiating a free pancake breakfast to donors, parents, and community members served up

by the booster club and coaching staff some Saturday? You will also turn heads by volunteering your time to a community project, such as reading to children at an annual book fair or helping clean up a local park. Another avenue to explore is using the media to your advantage. While President of the Oregon Athletic Directors Association, I wrote an article for publication in news-

One final way to boost your public support entails choosing to improve ... Try introducing a new program or getting that CMAA. Parents and community members will recognize your passion and be impressed with your actions. papers across the state about the role of the athletic director in secondary education. My hope was that it would offer a glimpse to community members about what we do on a day-to-day basis and the challenges we face. One final way to boost your public support is much less obvious. It entails choosing to improve. A hunger for improvement and a desire to do things differently will make people take notice. Try introducing a new program or getting that CMAA to place after your name in all correspondences. Parents and community members will recognize your passion and be impressed with your actions. Stepping up your game also becomes contagious. You don’t need to preach improvement to your staff, you can show them what it looks like instead. It starts with each of us admitting that we can get better in some areas and continues with us tackling those challenges. WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH

So far, I’ve talked about the easy ways to be a leader—attending events and meetings where everyone is smiling. But having a public presence also means being front and center during more difficult situations. We do not maintain our credibility if we hide from the negative aspects of our job: the parent who never fails to give us heartburn, apologizing for a mistake, or answering ques-









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tions about an unpopular decision. We earn significant respect in a community when we are professional enough to show up amidst the challenges of a particular problem. We also earn respect by engaging with those we may never see eye-to-eye with. This can be tough. I have always tried to do three things when faced with a difficult situation. > I try to have an honest awareness of my weaknesses. > I try to suspend my fear of criticism. > I focus on doing what is best for the student-athletes. While I was an athletic administrator at Tigard, we had a significant eligibility issue that caused us to forfeit football and basketball games. It was difficult to be the leader of the athletic program once this mistake became known. I felt like hiding. But my love of our students and respect for my coaches pushed me through the embarrassment. It challenged me daily to show up, do my best, and continue to support those

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who motivated me to originally seek the leadership position. AMONG STUDENTS

When we think about increasing our public presence, we tend to focus on being seen and heard by adults. But we also need to be known among students. This may seem simple—we are around them all the time! However, they frequently don’t really know what we’re about. My path to affecting student-athletes was to start a student-athlete advisory group. We met twice a month for an hour before school. We ate donuts, planned community service projects, and talked and wrote about our athletic experience. My goal was to develop a community of student-athletes with a mission. We talked about what our department might look like if we supported one another at our own games and events. We made up shirts that had a design developed by a student-athlete, and we wore them on the days we met. The process also allowed me to connect


Our answer needs to be clear and unequivocal. School sports are not about the few that will go on to participate in intercollegiate sports. Educational-based athletics are for those who believe sport is a life-changer for all participants, not an escalator for the elite few. Interscholastic athletic administrators are the ones who need to take the lead in each of their communities to continuously make this message known. It is equally important that we consider the best possible ways to get this message across to our constituents.


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Some ideas on how to do this include talking about the athletes who don’t make the headlines, such as those who succeed through a personal best in track or swimming, those at the sub-varsity level, or those who have overcome adversity. Providing data on how athletes do better academically than non-athletes is another way.

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This is not an area where we can be silent. It is important that all athletic administrators across the United States join together to support one another and the athletes we serve.

another reason

ne more reason for developing a public presence is to help in the fight for funding educational athletics. With the increasing encroachment of club sports in our communities, there are continual arguments that interscholastic athletics are unnecessary. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: Club teams are the more important expression of sport because that is where college coaches are recruiting the best student-athletes.


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with student-athlete. They came to trust me and understand my vision, as well as my role. There was more support from student-athletes when I had to make an unpopular decision or issue a reprimand. Another way to get involved with student-athletes is to share an activity or passion with them. If you’re a runner, maybe Screen printed

We do not maintain our credibility if we hide from the negative aspects of our job: the parent who never fails to give us heartburn, apologizing for a mistake, or answering tough questions. you can join the cross country team on their long-distance workouts. How about organizing a community service project where you work side-by-side with student-athletes? Be as creative as you want to be, but connect with student-athletes in life-changing ways and your life will be impacted. I know because mine was. BEST JOB EVER

My daughter came home from playing a soccer game years ago and told me that her teammate’s father remarked I had the best job ever because I “got paid to watch games.” It is true that for 10 years as a high school athletic director, I loved watching student-athletes perform. It is one part of the job that kept me sane and centered—the pure joy of athletics on display. But I was alarmed by this parent’s perception of my job. Could he not see me organizing game set-up, talking to parents, evaluating coaches, and mulling that last e-mail I received from my principal? Well, of course he couldn’t. And that’s why we need to continually explain and promote our role. We are so very fortunate that we are not paid to “watch games.” We are paid to make a difference in our communities by investing in the lives of student-athletes through the medium of interscholastic sport. In the words of motivational speaker Mary Anne Radmacher, “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, ‘I’ll try again tomorrow.’” Being an effective leader as an athletic director requires listening to that voice. n

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Success with Students

You can view student workers as a necessary burden. Or you can train them to be athletic administrators of the future.

By Tim Sceggel

Student employees at Covenant College work a home basketball game.

It was a Saturday in February, and we were hosting the very first game in our brand new baseball facility here at Covenant College. Simultaneously, we were running a high school basketball triple-header in one facility and a 15-team club volleyball tournament in another. I was the only full-time staff member involved in overseeing all of these events. How did we pull it off? By utilizing an outstanding staff of student employees who covered everything from getting water bottles for the umpires to immediately communicating with me when two spectators in the basketball gym started getting confrontational.

Like most small colleges, our athletic department relies heavily on student workers. They’re involved in sports information, facilities, home event management, athletic training, office work, and team management. Overall, we have 20 full-time staff members and 75 student employees. While some schools choose to not spend a lot of energy on student workers and give them only the simplest of jobs, we have found success following the opposite path. We take the time to carefully hire good students, train them, mentor them, and give them thorough direction so they can take on more and more responsibility. And that has allowed us to make our athletic department the best it can be.

Student workers cannot be expected to perform like full-time employees. But they should not be treated like typical part-time employees. Instead, they need a distinct type of supervision and leadership that will cultivate passion and productivity. This can be achieved with an intentional effort and a structured system. NOW HIRING

They can be your biggest headache— who hasn’t had a student worker show up without the proper attire, late, or not at all? And they can be saviors—I need someone to run as fast as possible back to the office to get the set of keys on the green lanyard! | APRIL/MAY 2013 39

So how do you find student workers who always show up on time and repeatedly say “I’ll do it” when those unexpected but important tasks crop up? The first step is to put time and thought into the hiring process. I have found when you invest energy on the front end, less time will be required of you after the hiring is completed. For help locating solid workers, we turn to our best current student employees and ask them to recommend other students who would fit well in the athletic department. These workers know what we are looking for, and people tend to have friends with similar work ethics. We communicate to these employees that we trust their judgment and want to make their jobs better by hiring their friends to work alongside them. They always appreciate that we are involving them in the process. We also publicize the jobs using traditional methods. This includes posting openTim Sceggel is Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Operations and an Adjunct Instructor for Sport Management at Covenant College. He can be reached at:

ings on my office door, bulletin boards in the gym, and our athletic Web site. Anyone who is referred to us or responds to the posting is sent an e-mail about the job. This letter includes a list of general characteristics we are looking for in student employees such as: > People who exemplify good customer service and professionalism > People who are both reliable and proactive > People willing to work hard and do whatever is asked of them > People who will turn their timecards in on time. We also relay the benefits of working for us: > We have very clear job descriptions, so you will know exactly what is being asked of you. > We will meet once a week as a work study staff to review and prepare. > You will be able to learn management and leadership skills through the projects we assign. This initial e-mail also contains a link to the official job description and an

attachment that contains the application. Those students who fill out the application thoughtfully and carefully are chosen to be interviewed. We interview candidates either in person or over the phone (if the hiring is happening over the summer) starting with the following questions: > Why are you interested in this job? > How would you rate your performance at your last job? > Describe a conflict you had with another person and how you resolved it. > If you were a supervisor, how would you handle someone who continuously tries to bend the rules? > What type of supervisor do you work best under? Next, we pose questions that can uncover the student’s potential. We have found that a student’s willingness to learn is much more important than their actual work experience. Therefore, we ask questions that attempt to reveal whether they will be able to pick up job assignments quickly and motivated to take on new tasks, such as: > What are you passionate about and what motivates you in the workplace?


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> Describe a situation when you didn’t know how to do an assigned task and how you handled that. > What have you enjoyed the most about past jobs? If a student has not held a job before, we pose similar questions that relate to extracur-

If a student responds that they do not like to be pressured or do not work well with tight deadlines, they are probably not going to be successful in our fast-paced environment. The second question asks them to define a good day on the job. I have gotten many entertaining answers, but what I am looking for is this: A good day is getting everything done along with a little extra work. Such a response shows the individual understands the value of completing assignments and is willing to do more than is required. We also check out a candidate’s activity on social media. If we can locate them on Facebook or Twitter, we try to identify signs of immaturity. Some students feel this is an invasion of privacy, but in reality, social media are public forums. Our hiring decisions are not based solely on what we find on social media, but it can provide a fuller picture of a candidate. The next step is to ask for references. As

Having time to discuss work is important. We accomplish this through weekly meetings, which provide opportunities for participative management from students. ricular activities. For example, we may ask about their relationship with their high school basketball coach or how they handled a difficult situation as an editor for the yearbook. Two final questions really help us in making our hiring decision. We ask the student at what pace he or she is comfortable working.

athletic administrators, we would never think to overlook checking references when hiring a full-time employee, so why are we tempted to skip this when hiring our student staff? There are three topics we cover with each reference. First, we ask them to rate the candidate’s job performance. Then we inquire about the student’s attitude: “How did they respond when they were assigned a task they did not want to complete?” Our final question centers on the student’s willingness to learn: “How did this student handle a task they did not know how to perform?” While trying to uncover if the student candidate will be a solid worker, we are also thinking about what job will be a good fit for them. To do this, it’s important that each job’s duties are well-defined. Although the task of creating job descriptions can be daunting, it is a worthwhile endeavor. We created ours in consultation with our Human Resources office, with the goal of giving a clear picture of the major job duties. This allows us to more easily assess what specific skills the student may need to succeed in the position. It also ensures there are no significant surprises by the hired student when they begin working.


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Even after hiring students with great attitudes who are eager to learn, they still need a lot of direction when they get started. First of all, most won’t have much experience with the specific job. Second, they are balancing a lot in their lives including schoolwork, other activities or obligations, and their social lives. And sometimes, they are just not all that focused. In addition, most students are only beginning to learn how to appropriately function in the workplace. The most common issues we have encountered are a lack of communication, failure to follow up, and problems with organization. Students can be unsure of when and how to ask questions. They may not realize the importance of acting in a professional manner, and their ability to troubleshoot may be non-existent. The solution to these issues is providing a very structured system. This system begins with relaying clear expectations, and we have done this by creating handbooks, specific to each area of operations, for student employees. Our handbooks are somewhat similar to a class syllabus, which we’ve found

works well for students. They contain general information such as dress code, policy for changing schedules, grounds for termination, emergency procedures, and so on. They also supply more job-specific information for each student employee position. For example, our office workers’ handbook includes instruction on how to send an e-mail on behalf of the athletic department, procedures for answering the phone, and the mail pick up process. Finally, we include one or two industryrelevant articles at the end of the handbook. This is to show the student that some of the standards for their position are not just coming from their director or supervisor. For example, in our facility supervisor handbook, we include two articles: “Fitness Center Safety: Assumption of Risk” by Dr. Peter Titlebaum and “Operations and Maintenance: Fitness Facilities” by Tammy York. The handbooks have been a great tool for us, as they have cut down on the amount of time we need to spend training student employees. They have also eliminated a number of questions by making all the basic information easily accessible.

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Another resource we provide is a daily checklist. This is something that each student must complete and turn in at the conclusion of their shift. For example, student employees staff our athletic events with one full-time staff member overseeing their work. Their checklist contains items that are to be completed before, during, and after the game. Because expectations are clearly defined, our events run extremely well. These resources do take time to create, but the return on investment is huge. Along with written materials, having time to discuss work is important. We accomplish this through weekly meetings with each group of student employees. In our home event staff meetings, we talk about our goal for the year (to run the best events in our conference), what went well in the last week, and areas that can be improved. These discussions have been a big part of our success, as they provide opportunities for participative management from students, which helps them take ownership of their jobs. The final part of our structure is an end-ofyear review for each student. This gives them specific feedback so they can improve, and it

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helps prepare them for a full-time job. It also lets them know their work is important. Since this can be a time-consuming process, I start at the midpoint of the year by making brief notes about employee performance. I have a


document on my computer with the name of every student that reports to me. Whenever a student does something noteworthy (positive or negative) I will type a quick note in this document. When we meet to review their

While student workers usually occupy the bulk of athletic departments’ part-time positions, they don’t fill them all. In our third issue of (College) Athletic Management, we ran an article specifically on supervising nonstudent part-timers, and its advice still holds true today. Authored by Dr. William F. Stier, Jr., Distinguished Service Professor and a former department chair and Athletic Director at the State University of New York College at Brockport, who has been awarded numerous times for his research and writing, “Doing Their Part” offered these ideas: 2013



evaluation together, this allows me to provide specific examples to the student. This evaluation also helps us identify which students can take on more responsibility. Upon being hired, a student is asked

➔ To find part-time workers, network with alumni, booster club members, high school coaches, relatives of current staff members, and members of local organizations.

➔ Retirees can be excellent part-time employees, but it’s important to make them feel a part of the staff and give them meaningful work.

➔ All part-time workers should be given a full list of responsibilities. ➔ For jobs like post-game cleanup and manning the concession stand, consider asking a local service club to provide workers, with the athletic department giving a donation or offering to publicize the club in return. Another form of compensation could be allowing the group to use your facilities for free.

➔ Make sure part-timers are treated with respect and deemed an integral part of the program.

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to develop three goals and write them down. This pushes them to take ownership of the job and decide what they want to get out of working in athletics, and we review them at the end of the year. Accomplishing the goals is a sign they should be considered for promotion. One more area that relates to structure is deciding how many students should report to one full-time staff member. I have directly overseen as many as 35 at one time, but we have found that the ideal number is 10 to 12. This allows the supervisor to be able to exercise supervision and personal investment without being overextended. INFORMAL MENTORING

Along with the formal side of student employee management, the informal aspects are equally as important. This starts with providing a lot of positive feedback to student workers. Since this generation thrives on verbal affirmation, many students are accustomed to spoken praise. But it is important to learn the specific type of feedback that your employee best responds to, which will be key to motivating him or her.

There will also be times when corrective input must be given. A quick, harsh rebuke is usually counterproductive, and it is better to take the time to correct a student after a mistake has occurred and away from others. This will provide for the best possible learning environment, as both parties are able to remove themselves from the situation. Be as specific as possible so your expectations are clear, then be sure to praise them the next chance you get. In addition, it is important to document the occurrence even if you are not giving the student a written warning. This will be useful if you have to address the same issue with the employee again. Try to also go beyond talking only about the job. As you work alongside students, learn about their personal backgrounds as well as their interests. This information will allow you to find common ground and the student will begin to see you not just as “my boss,” but as someone who cares about them and seeks to meet their needs. Showing interest in students typically leads to them working harder and being more invested in their job. Other ways that we have reached out to student employees has been by offering

career advice such as reviewing resumes and conducting mock interviews if a student is preparing for a full-time position elsewhere. I try to take students to lunch whenever possible and use the time as a relationshipbuilding experience. LASTING BENEFITS

By using the above ideas, both the athletic department and the students we supervise have benefited. The students are gaining work experience, and we are getting productive employees. One more plus is that we constantly have a list of internal people to hire for any full-time entry-level job opening. Just this summer I hired a former student who worked for me as part of his work study. Because I invested in him, he already understood how our department worked and my expectations. This has allowed for a very smooth transition. We are all in the business of education and coaching. Managing student employees in ways that cultivate production and passion allow us to accomplish not only the goals of our department, but also the goals of our educational institution. n

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n January, the U.S. Department of Education made an announcement that could change the responsibilities of every high school athletic director in the country. After finding that students with disabilities were not being afforded an equal opportunity to participate in extracurricular athletics, it mandated that athletic departments revisit and upgrade their policies in this area.

The directive covers many considerations, from making modifications for students with physical disabilities to ensuring coaches do not stereotype athletes with learning disabilities. It also discusses the need to provide separate opportunities for students who cannot participate in traditional athletics—and in that area, here in New Hampshire, we are ahead of the game. Two years ago, the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA) implemented a Unified Sports program in

which students with intellectual disabilities partner with mainstream students to form competitive high school teams. The teams are fully recognized varsity sports that represent their schools in league and state championship competition. Along with serving on the NHIAA Unified Sports Committee, I have helped start a comprehensive unified sports program at Londonderry (N.H.) High School. We began by offering unified basketball two winters ago, and added unified soccer and unified track

Leading the Way

Two years ago, Londonderry (N.H.) High School and some of its neighbors across the state began creating unified sports teams. A new national mandate urges all schools to follow their lead.

By Howard Sobolov

Londonderry’s unified basketball team poses with opponent Alvirne High School after a game this winter. | APRIL/MAY 2013 45

and field this year. Without spending a dime of school district funds, we have expanded opportunities for disabled students, and they have responded with enthusiasm and passion. The extra organizational work on my part has been worth every minute. Across the state, the schools participating in the program have provided extremely positive feedback. “The impact has been significant in the schools involved,” says NHIAA Executive Director Patrick Corbin. “It is a life-altering opportunity for the unified athletes, their parents, and their peers.”  The immersion of disabled students with able-bodied students has also been important. “The unified athletes’ interactions and camaraderie with the general student population has taken many of these youngsters out of their sheltered peer groups and made them an accepted part of the school community,” says Corbin. “And for the partners, the impact is equally life-altering.” FIRST STEPS & FUNDING

The seeds for the statewide unified sports program were planted several years ago. In 2009, the NHIAA put a directive in place to develop opportunities for student-athletes who had never participated as part of its strategic plan. Because this included students with disabilities, Corbin reached out to Special Olympics New Hampshire (SONH). “I contacted the director of SONH with a radical notion that we could have these youngsters represent their schools much like any other student-athlete,” says Corbin. “Special Olympics had a unified model but their director and I wanted to raise the bar and make it comparable to regular sports. The national organization became intrigued and funded us with money they had received in 2008 from a Department of Education grant.” The new unified sports division would provide the same opportunities and seasonal structure as other NHIAA sports. “The two organizations began their collaboration with a unified soccer trial during the 2010-11 school year,” explains SONH spokesperson Bridget Carleton. “The following year, three seasons of unified sports were introduced into high schools throughout New Hampshire.” The funding from the national Special Olympics organization has been used to cover the start-up costs at NHIAA mem-

ber schools. It supplies a school with up to $2,000 for each unified team it fields, with a maximum of $6,000 per year. Without this funding, most schools could not afford to start new programs in the current economic climate. With secure financial backing, there were still many other details to work out. The NHIAA formed a Unified Sports Committee in 2011, and I was fortunate to be selected to it. Our assignment was to create a full slate of policies and procedures for unified sports that would provide a meaningful athletic and educational experience, balance competition with fair play, and stress good sportsmanship. One of the main issues we tackled was defining the make-up of teams. We decided that all NHIAA unified sports would be co-ed and consist of both unified athletes, which the committee defined as “a student with an intellectual disability who, based on their IEP, is expected to be in school until they are 21,” and partners, who were defined as those without. The only restriction placed on partners is that they “are not currently participating in the same sport.” We also determined which sports to begin with. The committee felt that offering soccer, basketball, and track and field for the first year would be a good start, not only because these sports would offer a three-season opportunity for unified athletes, but also because they are among the most popular and well-known. The soccer and basketball games would be played separately from mainstream varsity sports, while the vast majority of track meets would be embedded in varsity meets to help create a great atmosphere for the event. Another important issue was rule modifications. In soccer, the field is shortened and smaller goals are used. The games are 48 minutes instead of 90 and broken into four quarters to allow for more rest time. The mouth guard rule is waived for players who cannot keep mouthpieces in place. For basketball, the game includes four 12-minute quarters with a running clock that only stops for time outs and substitutions. For track, there are fewer events than for a varsity meet: 100-meter dash, 200meter dash, 4x100-meter and 4x200-meter relays, long jump, and shot put. Both the soccer and basketball seasons are six games long, and track has four regular season meets. The same percentage of uni-

Howard Sobolov is Athletic Director for the Londonderry (N.H.) School District and was the 2010-2011 New Hampshire Athletic Directors Association Division I Athletic Director of the Year. He has also served as Athletic Director for the Goffstown (N.H.) School District and as Head Football Coach at both Goffstown and Alvirne High School in Hudson, N.H. Currently the President of the New Hampshire Athletic Directors Association, Sobolov is chair of the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association Sports Officiating Committee and a member of its Field Hockey, Classification, and Unified Sports Committees. He can be reached at: Circle No. 132 46 APRIL/MAY 2013 |


fied teams qualify for the state tournament as in other sports. For example, in unified soccer, four of 12 teams (33 percent) made the tournament this season. The finals for soccer and basketball are on the same date and at the same location as the varsity finals. There is a unified state track meet in the central part of the state, which is separate from the varsity meet. In terms of the partners, SONH advocates that all athletes compete equally on the court to work as a team, so we did not implement any competitive restrictions on partners. However, many coaches are concerned that the partners could dominate play and they use them more in a facilitator role to pass, rebound, and keep athletes on task with verbal cues. I believe that most coaches in the state are not totally comfortable letting the partner players score. With rules in place, we began the 201112 school year with four unified soccer teams. This past fall, we expanded to 12 soccer teams. Basketball grew from 16 teams last year to 24 this year. The track program has stayed stable with eight teams, and the NHIAA is adding volleyball this spring.

Along with an increase in participation, the quality of play and level of competition have greatly improved in just two years. STARTING A TEAM

Here at Londonderry, we decided to make a unified basketball team our first offering. Our school already has an interactive (unified) physical education program that pairs disabled students with partners. Ann MacLean, a physical education instructor who has taught interactive PE since its inception at Londonderry and a longtime field hockey coach, quickly agreed to coach our unified basketball team. Other schools in the state found coaches through special educators who were interested in the position, by contacting local Special Olympics coaches, and by recruiting coaches of other sports. Like any NHIAA coach, unified coaches needed to be CPR and first-aid certified,

“The unified athletes’ interactions and camaraderie with the general student population has taken many of them out of their sheltered peer groups and made them an accepted part of the school community. And for the partners, the impact is equally life-altering.”



take the NFHS “Fundamentals of Coaching” course, attend a preseason sport-specific coaches’ meeting to review the policies and procedures, and take an online NFHS concussion awareness course.

From there, we easily obtained our principal’s endorsement, and I then met with our special education director. She believed there would be great interest among the


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ederal law requires educational institutions to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in athletics. On Jan. 25, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made headlines by contending that schools have dropped the ball on this responsibility.

“Unfortunately, we know that students with disabilities are all too often denied the chance to participate, and with it, the respect that comes with inclusion,” he wrote. “… While it’s the coach’s job to pick the best team, students with disabilities must be judged based on their individual abilities and not excluded because of generalizations, assumptions, prejudices, or stereotypes.” To help educators with these legal responsibilities, the Department of Education (DOE) released a 13-page letter of guidance. Along with explaining the law—Section 504 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973—the document provides advice on how to accommodate studentathletes with disabilities.

The Rehabilitation Act defines a person with a disability in the following way: “one who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such an impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.” It mandates that these students be given the chance to play sports, making reasonable accommodations as needed. The exact meaning of “reasonable accommodations” has been athletic directors’ big> To read Duncan’s statement and gest question. access the guidance released “Unfortunately, there is no by the Department of Education, cut-and-dried definition of visit: and what a reasonable accomsearch for “We Must Provide modation is, but the law Equal Opportunity in Sports to does state what it is not,” Students with Disabilities.” says Jones. “It is not something that causes an undue financial burden for an athletic department, nor is it a change that would alter the inherent nature of the game, such as adding a fifth base in baseball.” The new guidelines hope to clarify this question, and they provide several examples. In one scenario, a track and field student-athlete with a hearing impairment is

48 APRIL/MAY 2013 |

The document also provides scenarios about accommodating students with learning disabilities. One would permit a student to wear a radio receiver in his or her ear when competing so coaches could provide immediate explanation of game rules and protocols. Another shows that a lacrosse coach would be in violation of the law if he chose not to play a learning-disabled student because he believed she would be unable to participate successfully. “Oftentimes, people approach students with disabilities from the protective mindset of, ‘They physically or intellectually can’t do this, and I don’t want them to be disappointed, so I won’t even see if they can participate,’” says Jones. “The guidance stipulates that schools are not allowed to operate under such generalizations and assumptions.” Jones clarifies that the law does not mean disabled student-athletes are guaranteed a spot on a team. Requiring a level of skill to participate is permissible. And should an impaired player be on the roster, a coach is not legally obligated to enter him or her in every game, as long as the coach is using the same criteria used for other team members. The guidance also offers ways to think outside the box. If, for example, a student-athlete who wants to play wheelchair basketball approaches an athletic director, but there are not enough students at that school to form a team, developing district or regional teams may be a possibility. Sometimes, accommodating a student simply takes a new perspective. At Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah, Head Wrestling Coach Chris Babinski welcomed a student with Down syndrome on his team this winter. Babinski taught the athlete wrestling skills and discipline, and other team members played an invaluable role in his socialization. He competed in meets and picked up a win. Many athletic directors may look at the DOE announcement with trepidation, but Jones urges them to think of the possible positive outcomes. “It’s a great opportunity to educate staff about this issue,” she says. “And it’s a great chance to come together, see the big picture, and come up with creative ways to solve the problem.” — Mary Kate Murphy

a closer look

Following the announcement, there were some misconceptions that new legislation was being implemented. “The document is not a change in the law and it doesn’t come with new requirements,” explains Lindsay Jones, Senior Director for Policy and Advocacy Services for the Council for Exceptional Children. “It simply aims to clarify the law and provide some guidance about treating disabled student-athletes equally.”

allowed to use a visual cue to begin races, while the rest of the field relies on the starter pistol. In a second example, a high school swimmer born with one hand would not be held to the “two-hand-touch” rule when finishing a race.


interactive PE students, and we put together an e-mail to send to the parents of all students who would qualify as unified athletes. We followed that up with an informational meeting to explain the program, its requirements for participation, and tentative practice and game schedules. Unified athletes would need to commit to two days per week of after school practice and one game each week, as well as follow the Londonderry and NHIAA athletic policies. Another goal of the meeting was to answer any questions that the parents or athletes had. One big one was: how do unified sports differ from the Special Olympics? We explained that unified school-based athletics only includes students currently attending high school. We also wanted to convey that unified squads would mirror other varsity athletic teams in terms of facilities, uniforms, and representing our school. We had six athletes quickly on board. Coach MacLean recruited six partners from her interactive PE class by reaching out to students she felt would work well with the athletes. Some partners played other varsity sports and some did not.

Our next steps were to figure out the logistics and details of practice times, purchase uniforms and equipment, create a game schedule, hire referees and game management personnel, and make sure we had transportation for the away games—all the same things I have been handling for many years as an athletic director. With a little creativity, we were able to cover the entire cost of the unified basketball program with the $2,000 grant that was available to us from SONH. We provided two after school time blocks per week for practice. The educational assistants who work with the unified studentathletes during the day made sure they got changed and to practice on time. From day one, the athletes and partners were very excited and Coach MacLean developed a perfect practice plan that was fast-paced with a mix of individual and team drills. From Coach MacLean’s perspective, the team jelled quickly. “Unified sports are a lot like coaching a varsity team because the athletes want to be there to practice and improve their skills,” she says. “They enjoy being a member of a team and contributing

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to their school. They learn discipline and how to demonstrate good sportsmanship. I love to see the improvements they make and how proud their parents are of them.” One of the main ideas of unified sports is that teammates of different abilities all contribute to the success of the team through their unique skills and by performing the best they can. “We have a great balance of athletes and helpers that leads to the success of the program,” MacLean says. “This combination ensures that all team members play an important and meaningful role and become more a part of the community.” That doesn’t mean there aren’t some challenges. “Athletes sometimes have issues with sharing, demonstrating good sportsmanship, and even discipline,” MacLean explains. “And some of our athletes have emotional difficulties so at any given minute they could break down and have problems completing the task at hand. “But any challenges that we face as individuals or as a team work themselves out with patience, understanding, and consistency,” she continues. “Coaching unified sports is such a great experience for me

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because I get to see the combination of students with intellectual disabilities and those without working towards a common goal.”

director, I drove the bus and accompanied our team on its historic five-mile journey. The excitement in the air was palpable on the ride over. The athletes, who were well-prepared and excited to represent Londonderry, wore their royal blue and white shirts with “Londonderry Lancers” emblazoned across the front and beamed with pride as the newest varsity team at our school. When we walked into the cavernous field house at Pinkerton, a school twice the size of ours, our student-athletes were awed to see the gym set up just like it is for a varsity game. The team chairs and scorer’s table were neatly in place along the sideline, and the scoreboard was counting down the minutes until game time. Just prior to tip-off, the coaches met with the game referee to discuss the rules and the variations that would be used. Unified rules specify that there are to be three athletes and two partners on the floor at all times, and Coach MacLean had a well-orga-

In one of my many roles as athletic director, I drove the bus and accompanied our team on its historic five-mile journey. The excitement in the air was palpable on the ride over. The athletes beamed with pride as the newest varsity team at our school. READY FOR ACTION

After a few weeks of practice, the time had finally arrived for our first game, which would be against our archrivals, Pinkerton Academy, from the neighboring town of Derry. In one of my many roles as athletic

nized substitution pattern designed to allow maximum playing time for all of our participants, maximum competitiveness, and enough rest so that the players could finish the game as strong as they began it. When the buzzer sounded, we were ready and got off to a fast start, leading by a score of 18-6 after the first period. The substitution pattern worked well as different combinations of players were putting points on the scoreboard. This was an up-tempo game, which seemed destined to be a high scoring affair. Fans that couldn’t be at the game could follow the score updates on Twitter just like every other Londonderry sport. At halftime, we led 34-12, and maintained that lead through three quarters 46-24. But, as with so many of the epic Londonderry-Pinkerton games, a seemingly insurmountable advantage turned into a game that came down to the wire. During the fourth quarter, Pinkerton came storming back to make the first unified basketball game a memorable one. Londonderry ended up holding on for a 5452 victory. Needless to say, the bus ride back to the high school was very spirited.

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The season progressed with competitive games and improving levels of play. Londonderry finished the regular season with a 3-1 record and qualified for the single-elimination playoffs, losing in the first game to Alvirne High School in Hudson, to end a highly-successful foray into unified sports. MOVING FORWARD

In its second year as a fully recognized interscholastic varsity program in the NHIAA, the unified sports program continues to expand and thrive. It has become clear that participation in the NHIAA unified sports program provides the same education-based athletic experience as other sports, while providing the opportunity for more student-athletes to participate in interscholastic athletics. Our administration has found the program overwhelmingly successful. “I believe our mainstream students get a tremendous experience in working with our unified stu-

dents, who have a tremendous experience in participating in a school-sponsored and NHIAA-recognized sport,” says Jason Parent, Principal at Londonderry. “It has had a wonderful impact on Lancer Nation, where everyone is able to contribute in a positive manner.” Coach MacLean echoes those sentiments. “Offering these programs in a school environment provides year-round sports training and athletic competition,” she says. “Developing fitness, demonstrating courage, experiencing the fun and excitement of participating on a team, and contributing in the school environment are just some of the benefits that athletes gain. The program also helps to educate those who do not know or understand intellectual disabilities and prevent negative attitudes within the school environment.” Although it has been a huge success, the NHIAA unified sports program is still a work in progress. The committee continues to evaluate, revise, and make changes—like

with every other sport—to improve the educational experience that New Hampshire’s student-athletes gain through participation in interscholastic sports. “The biggest challenge has been from SONH people and staff who are uncomfortable raising the bar for these students and want to preserve the SONH model that everyone is a winner,” says Corbin. “By crowning a state champion we are drastically altering that approach and the change is still very uncomfortable for many.” But the NHIAA believes its model is working and is proud to have put one part of the mandate from the U.S. Department of Education in place. As the snow and ice begin to melt here in Londonderry and throughout New Hampshire, disabled student-athletes are getting ready to start their spring sports seasons along with traditional student-athletes. The pride from everyone involved is amazing, and we look forward to the day when other schools across the nation have joined us. n

> A link to the NHIAA’s policies and procedures manual for unified sports can be found at:

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An AD has to worry about so many things. But game programs is not one of them if you work with Athletic Management.

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from businesses and individuals who were recognized in the program. Copies of the program were sold at games for $2 apiece. “Athletic Management is willing to go the extra mile to produce a quality program at a very fair price, and take away all the hassles for the athletic director or coach,” Garvis said. “You don’t have to worry—it’s going to be a tremendous game program that’s delivered on time.

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“The program is more than a source of revenue for our athletic department,” Garvis continued. “It’s such a great PR piece, and it’s helped us build support in our community. “We can’t thank Athletic Management enough for helping us create a phenomenal game program for our fall sports teams. After the first weekend’s games, the program sold out. It more than exceeded our expectations.” Circle No. 139


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Making the top 25 list for outdoor facility products are synthetic turf, efficient lighting, video boards, natural turf systems, and stadium seating.

The Great Outdoors

Outdoor athletic facilities look much different than when we began publishing 25 years ago. Here are our picks for the 25 biggest innovations over the past quarter-century.

By Dennis Read

Whether it’s a wind-blown fly ball in baseball, a football game played in pouring rain, or soccer fans enjoying a sun-filled day in the bleachers, the weather often plays a role in outdoor sports. So when we determined the top 25 innovations in outdoor facilities to help celebrate our 25th year, we found that

many of the changes involved overcoming the elements. The biggest advances have come in playing surfaces. Modern synthetic turf systems have given athletic directors a very effective weapon against the weather, allowing teams to play in almost any conditions. In northern states, synthetic turf has meant fall teams

can enjoy clean and safe playing surfaces well into November while spring sports can get started even when the snow is still flying. At the same time, natural turf has seen advances of its own that have extended playing seasons and reduced weather-related cancellations. And all surfaces have benefited from new drainage systems that can handle | APRIL/MAY 2013 55

copious amounts of rain, keeping track meets running and letting baseball games resume shortly after a downpour stops. Of course, other areas have also enjoyed great advancements over the past quartercentury, many related to fan amenities, such as entertaining and informative scoreboards and more comfortable seating. We hope you enjoy reading our picks for the 25 advancements in outdoor facilities over our 25 years of publishing. It was developed in consultation with veteran athletic directors at the high school and college levels who helped identify the biggest trends and rank which were most significant.

1 Rise of synthetic turf

A quarter-century ago, synthetic turf (then known as “artificial” turf) faced a crossroads. Synthetic turf fields were commonly viewed as a luxury item for large colleges and universities. Yet concerns over the quality of these playing surfaces were leading some schools to return to grass. The industry responded by developing new types of synthetic turf that feel and per-

form more like natural grass and cost far less, to the point where they are now commonly seen at high schools. These products have allowed athletic administrators at all levels to get more use out of their facilities and in some cases, even brand their program by using colors never seen in natural turf.

2 Natural grass turf systems

Hand-in-hand with better synthetic turf have been improvements to natural turf fields, which are quite different than those of the late 1980s. New hybrid grass seeds produce turf that is more resistant to wear and requires less water to thrive. Soil science and pest management have also progressed tremendously, offering facility managers better ways to keep natural grass fields healthy and ready for action.

3 Large-scale video boards

Not that long ago, scoreboards showed the score, time remaining, and a few other numbers. Today, sports fans expect to also be entertained by a media center that has

Daktronics offers the most complete line of scoring and timing systems, electronic message centers, sound systems and video displays. Our scoreboards provide several scoring options for all levels of play.


Circle No. 141 56 APRIL/MAY 2013 |

grown from the simple scoreboard. With the largest models covering more space than a basketball court, video boards provide fans with a view of the entire game, the chance to watch instant replays, and diversions during lulls in the action. In addition to firing up the crowd, video scoreboards offer unprecedented exposure for sponsors, helping schools at all levels generate revenue.

4 Efficient Lighting

While it’s obvious that the only way to play outdoor games at night is with artificial lighting, not all the gains made in sports lighting are as easy to see. New bulbs provide brighter light, while advancements in lighting fixtures and increased use of visors mean more of that light is directed to the playing surface. This allows athletic directors to save money by using fewer lights, spend less on power, and reduce complaints from stadium neighbors. In addition, new ballast Dennis Read is an Associate Editor at Athletic Management. He can be reached at:


5 Safer soccer goals

When they inadvertently tipped over, outdoor soccer goals caused numerous deaths and thousands of serious injuries. Today, portable soccer goals are designed to be easily anchored to the ground, which is crucial to protecting both student-athletes and unauthorized users.

6 drainage systems

Public enemy number one for outdoor sports teams is rain. And while Mother Nature is still unbeaten, advancements in drainage systems have allowed athletic administrators to even the score a bit. The increased use of sand bases under natural and synthetic turf fields with piping systems that can drain away large amount of water allows outdoor facilities to remain playable despite heavy rains. Tracks are now fitted with perimeter drainage systems to prevent pooling and avoid flooding adjacent areas.

7 Fencing safety

Today’s outdoor fields are safer than those of 25 years ago thanks to many innovations, including fencing products. New portable fencing is much sturdier than the orange warning/snow fencing used in years past and can be easily set up and taken down. This has allowed fences to be added to everything from baseball and softball fields to tailgate areas. In addition, plastic fence guards are now commonly seen atop most athletic field fencing, reducing injuries to athletes who run into them during play.

8 Synthetic turf infill, adhe-

sive & PAdding products The ultimate in “behind-the-scenes” products, improvements in infill, adhesives, and underlayment are partly responsible for the success of today’s state-of-the-art synthetic turf. Typically composed of sand or rubber, current infill systems provide additional comfort and safety to athletes while helping the turf itself perform better by keeping the blades more upright. The materials used in adhesive do a better job at adhering the turf to the base, prolonging the life expectancy of fields. And new underlayment systems result in softer surfaces that can improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.

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9 Portable scoreboards

For a long time, outdoor scoreboards were structures anchored to one spot with sturdy poles. Today, top-quality portable scoreboards are available that can be transported from field to field as needed, while still offering attractive easy-to-see electronic displays. Many even include remote control devices. To enhance portability, rechargeable batteries are a common feature.

10 Infield conditioning

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products Turf tends to get all the attention, but baseball and softball infields can be just as difficult to maintain properly. Over the past 25 years, advances in many products are helping deliver a consistent playing surface. Red clay has become especially popular among baseball coaches. New methods for processing clays have resulted in drying agents that greatly reduce the number of rain-outs.

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A quick look at the top 10 innovations in outdoor facilities over the past 25 years. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Rise of Synthetic Turf Natural Grass Turf Systems Large-Scale Video Boards Efficient Lighting Safer Soccer Goals Drainage Systems

7. Fencing Safety 8. Synthetic Turf Infill, Adhesive, and Padding Products 9. Portable Scoreboards 10. Infield Conditioning Products

ThE Top 10 | APRIL/MAY 2013 57 Circle No. 142

©2013 The Toro Company. All rights reserved.

systems mean lights can be powered on more quickly, and remote control systems allow administrators to turn the lights on and off from almost anywhere.

And infield conditioners retain moisture better than ever, reducing the amount of water needed to maintain proper soil conditions.

11 Line-marking machines

& materials It’s easy to overlook the importance of field markings, but their visibility is key for players, officials, and spectators. Administrators and field maintenance staff have a wide variety of new tools to make these lines look sharp while reducing labor time. The biggest advancements include equipment that attaches to other field maintenance machines, more self-propelled devices that increase ease of use, and laser-guided equipment to make more precise lines. The lines themselves have also undergone changes with new environmentally friendly materials that are better for the turf and athletes alike.

12 Windscreens

Long a staple of tennis courts, windscreens are now commonly seen at many outdoor facilities, including baseball, softball, soccer, and lacrosse fields. New

materials and manufacturing techniques developed over the last 25 years have produced screens that are lighter and more durable than ever, making them more

While there may be nostalgic appeal to the hand-operated scoreboards of old, modern LED scoreboards offer athletic administrators unprecedented opportunities for providing information and entertainment to their fans through message boards and video. cost-efficient and easier to manage. They are also designed to handle higher wind speeds, freeing up staff to focus on other

needs after storms. And they’ve improved aesthetically as schools imprint them with custom logos and designs.

13 Synthetic turf

maintenance products While reduced maintenance is one of the benefits of synthetic turf over natural turf, the importance of properly taking care of synthetic fields has become better understood and has been aided by advanced technology. There are now devices designed specifically for synthetic turf maintenance, including brushers, aerators, rakes, and sweepers that will increase the performance of the field and extend its useful life.

14 Natural turf maintenance

Caring for outdoor grass fields has become a science. Advances in machinery, including better mowers and groomers, more efficient blades, and easy-to-use brushers and aerators, have cut down on the amount of manual work needed to keep fields in top shape. Meanwhile, the increased emphasis on environmentally

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friendly products and materials has led to the need for specialized training and education for field managers.

15 Stadium seating

In addition to railings and other safety features that have become standard on outdoor bleacher systems, the last quartercentury has seen increased seating comfort for fans at outdoor stadiums. New materials have made seats more environmentally friendly as well. Athletic directors have also been able to take advantage of the advent of portable personal bleacher seats that fans bring to games by imprinting them with their own logos and selling them as fundraisers.

20 Pole vault padding & pits

of a synthetic playing surface as well. Recent advancements in irrigation systems have allowed schools to take better care of their facilities while reducing water and labor costs. Technology enables operators to control the watering of all their fields from one central location. In addition, new sensor systems can automatically start watering turf based on the soil or weather conditions. Today’s sprinklers also accommodate pressure changes better and provide more accurate water distribution regardless of the conditions.

While there will always be risk involved in pole vaulting, today’s vaulters are protected better than ever thanks to improved landing areas. New regulations call for soft padding over all the areas near the pole vault pit, and modern construction techniques have produced lighter weight pads that offer greater protection while still holding up to the elements.


16 Temporary lighting

For schools at all levels, temporary lighting has become a viable way to play at night when permanent lighting fixtures are not an option. Whether it involves lighting a stadium for a one-time special event or using lights to extend outdoor practice times during the short days of late fall, temporary lighting systems provide athletic directors a convenient way to turn night into day. And portable systems are available that can easily be transported to different locations as needed.


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17 Track surfaces

While it was not unusual to see cinder tracks in the late 1980s, today they are made out of polyurethane, which offers a far more consistent surface. Recent advancements in polyurethane have resulted in tracks that are faster, while easier and less expensive to install. They also last longer than those of a quarter-century ago.

18 Safety netting

With athletic administrators trying to get every bit of use out of their fields as possible, protective netting has become a major factor in keeping athletes safe by limiting the chance of balls, or other equipment, from flying into places where they don’t belong. Modern netting systems can be easily set up where needed and then taken down when the season is over. Today’s netting also keeps fans safe while still allowing them a clear view of the game. Nowhere is this more obvious than the netting now commonly installed behind football goalposts.

19 Irrigation Systems

Water is the lifeblood of natural grass athletic fields and it’s become increasingly important for getting the most out


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Circle No. 145 | APRIL/MAY 2013 59


21 Luxury and press boxes

While braving bad weather is part of the outdoor sports experience for many people, more and more fans prefer a climate-controlled atmosphere. Luxury boxes are a way for major college programs to raise additional revenues, and now even high schools are offering the opportunity to enjoy these premium seating options. Advancements in construction techniques allow schools to build combined structures containing both press box and luxury box accommodations at an affordable price.

22 Field covers

Protecting key parts of playing fields from overuse and the elements has always been a challenge, but today’s field covers make it easier than ever. New materials allow light and air to get through while still protecting the surface underneath, meaning the tarps and covers can be left in place for longer periods of time. Athletic directors can cover up high-traffic areas such as

field crossovers and those around batting cages and once uncovered, find the ground underneath in its original condition. They even protect the tracks that surround many football fields from the abuse of an army of cleats that cross over them throughout the fall. Modern field covers are also lighter and easier to handle, while new weighting systems built into the covers keep them in place through high winds.

23 LED scoreboards

While there may be nostalgic appeal to the hand-operated scoreboards of old, modern LED scoreboards offer athletic administrators unprecedented opportunities for providing information and entertainment to their fans through message boards and video. In addition to making video scoreboards possible, LEDs enhance the operation of traditional scoreboards. They also make the numbers easier to read, both in daylight and at night, while reducing energy costs.

24 Collapsible goalposts

Nothing will halt the joy of a big football victory more quickly than an injury due to fans tearing down the goalposts. Past incidents have left schools liable for damages and athletic directors in search of a solution. As a result, some schools have turned to collapsible goalposts that are taken down in seconds immediately after the final whistle, before fans can get to them. These posts are easily reinstalled after the crowd clears.

25 Portable Tent Systems

When watching a busy track and field meet, it’s hard to imagine a time when popup shade tents didn’t dot the landscape. In many sports, teams use these tents as a home base, offering athletes and coaches a shared location to get out of the sun or rain while staking a piece of turf as their own. Now schools are extending this idea to fans, adding large canopies over seating sections to shade them from the sun. n

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TOLL-FREE: 877-835-1332 Circle No. 147 Circle No. 147








NORDOT® Adhesives have a long history of successful worldwide outdoor use installing synthetic turf fields and other sport and recreational surfaces. These easy-to-use one-part urethanes can be applied in sub-freezing to hot desert-like temperatures. NORDOT® Adhesives have exceptionally strong “green strength” (grab) and outstanding long-term durability, even in harsh conditions. Synthetic Surfaces Inc. will continue to develop new and

advanced NORDOT® Adhesives, such as the recently introduced “4-Series” that feature low-VOC, low odor and faster green strength development in cold weather. Plus, they have the same user-friendly handling properties and excellent end properties that are characteristic of all NORDOT® Adhesives. Visit to find out more.

Circle No. 500 A-Turf® is recognized as a leader in the synthetic turf industry,

backed by a strong corporate group. A-Turf is launching A-Turf Titan, featuring some of the industry’s most-proven premium Mono and XP fibers in the same stitch. A-Turf is also introducing an industry-leading 12-year warranty. A-Turf will continue to raise the bar to meet the needs of high schools, colleges, and universities by providing exceptional and proven synthetic turf systems, backed by outstanding customer service and its commitment to quality. Buffalo Bills chose A-Turf for Ralph Wilson Stadium and you can, too. Visit for more information.

Circle No. 502

Since introducing its first sports product in 2004, Wind Weighted® Baseball Tarps, Aer-Flo, Inc. has added new products every year since. Now a market-leader in turf and track protectors, and growing steadily in sports facility padding, Aer-Flo is also one of the largest manufacturers of sports windscreens in North America. While continually expanding its product manufacturing capabilities, Aer-Flo, Inc. will concentrate on new product development, product quality improvement, and customer service enhancements. Understanding the budgetary limitations at many institutions, the company will continue to provide its dealers with quality products that are value-priced. For more information, visit

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G2L® Window Systems is the first frameless, sliding window

system developed for sports venues. The company has been able to supply its system in every time zone and climate in the United States. G2L® continues its extensive research and development strategies to better serve clients. Over the past five years, the G2L system has offered its client base three system upgrades. For the years to come, the company’s potential and returning customers will be able to appreciate viewing sports activities without visible impairment. For more information, visit

Circle No. 501 Gold Medal, a family-owned and operated concessions equipment and supplies manufacturer, is celebrating its 82nd anniversary. A worldwide leader, it receives numerous industry awards thanks to dependable products, consistent customer and technical service, and outstanding advancements. Distribution is in 150+ countries, including 11 Gold Medal branches and dealers in the majority of U.S. cities.

Gold Medal will continue listening to feedback and working with school athletic managers, administrators, and booster programs to improve efficiency, profit and fundraising potential, ease of use, and customization. For more information, visit

Circle No. 503

Over the past several decades, Coversports has continued manufacturing in the U.S., and is adding more manufacturing jobs in Philadelphia. CoverSports has responded to the dynamic marketplace, specifically by adding its printing capabilities. The trend in the market is brand awareness, so the company is offering its customers the option to add lettering and logos in order to promote their school or team. CoverSports will continue increasing its Internet visibility and add dynamic e-commerce functionality. That’s just one example of how the company is looking to advance its operations in areas that respond to customers’ needs, while maintaining an innovative approach. Plus, the company will continue looking for the most durable and highest-quality fabrics at cost-effective prices, maintaining its position as a high-quality low-cost provider/manufacturer. For more information, visit Circle No. 505








In 2005, Musco introduced new technology that revolutionized the sports lighting industry. This technology cut operating costs by half, reduced spill light by 50 percent, and included system monitoring, and remote on/off control services—all while providing constant light levels. The Musco team continues to drive advances that increase product performance and raise industry standards. As available technology continues to improve, you can rely on Musco to provide high-quality solutions for lighting. For more information, contact Musco at 800-825-6030 or visit

AstroTurf® invented synthetic turf almost 50 years ago, and it

continues to be a market-leader. Since then, AstroTurf has been the trusted resource on turf. The company has driven the market, introducing the world to conversion systems, premium baseball products, environmentally progressive turf systems, heat-reducing AstroFlect™ technology, and the RootZone® infill stabilization solution. Perhaps the most important turf innovation in the last decade is the RootZone® infill stabilization system. Invented by AstroTurf, the RootZone offers numerous benefits—it reduces infill fly-out, helps attenuate shock, lowers torque levels, and enhances field durability. The RootZone® is a game-changing innovation that sports enthusiasts will continue to discuss for years to come. To learn more, visit

Circle No. 506 Daktronics has kept up in the transition from incandescent tech-

nology to LED video and scoring displays in the marketplace. In turn, being recognized as the number-one LED display manufacturer tops the company’s list of achievements. Other accomplishments include integrating scoring, video, audio, and rigging for fully integrated systems; establishing local service personnel worldwide; and becoming publicly traded. A fast growing and popular trend involves Moments of Exclusivity where all displays—LED and LCD—throughout an entire facility are completely integrated, making it possible to show a single message on every display at the same time for one complete visual experience. To discover more, visit

Circle No. 539

In 1996, Southern Bleacher donated a 1,500 seat roofed baseball grandstand with pressbox to Graham ISD, the company’s local school district, for Southern Bleacher’s 50th Anniversary. In 2009, Southern Bleacher gave another community gift to Graham ISD, a 750 seat roofed softball grandstand with pressbox. Southern Bleacher is a family business and has gone third generation in recent years. Looking ahead, Southern Bleacher is looking forward to utilizing decorative railing alternatives to give your grandstand a custom appearance. Southern Bleacher developed a recent alliance with Intelligent Engineering’s Sandwich Plate System. SPS is a structural composite of two metal plates bonded with a polyurethane elastomer core, but when used as an alternative to concrete, SPS offers comparable performance. To find out more, go to Circle No. 540 has evolved to become a nationwide leader in event and sports marketing graphics. Over the past 20 years, the company has worked with hundreds of sports organizations that wanted brand amplification, such as Red Bull, NASCAR, The National Hot Rod Association, and The Atlantic 10 Conference. will continue to grow in the next 25 years, focusing on extending your brand in ways that will maximize impact. The company’s staff is constantly improving themselves to implement the highest level of quality for their clients. Contact them at

Circle No. 542

Circle No. 541 GreensGroomer Worldwide has long been considered a leader in synthetic turf maintenance equipment. With growth in infilled systems, many turf managers rely on the technology GreensGroomer WorldWide provides­­—ensuring synthetic turf safety, playability, and aesthetics. GreensGroomer provides maintenance solutions that save time and provide efficiencies through simple product design, low mechanical complexity, and high reliability.

Standard maintenance techniques are quickly being improved to address field safety concerns. Whether it’s combating surface hardness or microbial populations, GreensGroomer has the right equipment with the GREENZAPR. Most significant is the use of germicidal UVC to eliminate dangerous pathogens such as HIV, MRSA, Staph, and e-coli. GreensGroomer offers simple, effective solutions for these risks--without the use of harmful chemicals. For more information, visit

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The Toro Company is a leading worldwide provider of innovative turf maintenance and precision irrigation solutions. With sales of more than $1.9 billion in fiscal 2012, Toro’s global presence extends to more than 90 countries through strong relationships built on integrity and trust; constant innovation; and a commitment to help customers enrich the beauty, productivity, and sustainability of the land.

Toro continues to focus on productive and durable equipment and irrigation solutions that meet the broad needs of high school and college athletic departments. Intelligent uses of labor, fuel, water, and other resources are key to future success. Toro also reinvests in educational programs and scholarship opportunities for students as well as mentorship initiatives at high profile events like the Superbowl and major golf tournaments. To find out more, visit Circle No. 566

Since opening its doors for business in 1991, Eco Chemical has manufactured only water-based, non-toxic paints and coatings. From 2000 through 2003, Eco worked with the Seattle Seahawks to address a problem plaguing managers of synthetic turf. The industry needed a turfmarking paint that could stand up to wet weather and player wear and tear, but also remove easily when the field needed a fast changeover. The Eco TempLine Turf Marking Paint and Removers were the first products developed specifically for the unique challenges of the synthetic turf, multi-purpose athletic field. In 2012, Eco Chemical’s TempLine division was recognized by the Association of Washington Businesses for Environmental Excellence. Eco Chemical is a family-owned business with personal, friendly service—you will get to know the people who handle your order and customer support. To find out more, visit Circle No. 568

For more than 17 years Southern Athletic Fields has developed infield products that are both aesthetically and functionally beneficial at all levels of play. SAF has utilized the experience of employees along with the wide range of support staff in professional organizations, parks and recreation departments, and high school and college institutions. In an effort to continuously provide its customers with the services needed, SAF uses a hands-on approach when it comes to athletic field needs. The staff at SAF feels that the best way to answer the questions of customers is to meet with them, listen to their problems, and then give recommendations to address the problems at hand. The company takes great pride in working with its customers to achieve the best athletic field possible. To see more, visit Circle No. 570 APRIL/MAY2013 2013| | 64 FEB/MAR

West Coast Netting makes sports netting and equipment

used by professional and recreational participants alike. WCN is a leader in manufacturing and installing indoor and outdoor protective netting systems. WCN is one of the few USA manufacturers of netting. The company does engineering for installing and redesigning facilities throughout the Americas. It is the manufacturer of knotted and woven netting twine in sizes: 18, 21, 36, 42, 60, and 96, in various mesh sizes. WCN will continue to be a leading manufacturer of sports, amusement park, and commercial netting. WCN is the most comprehensive netting manufacturer, in business since 1951. With its diverse capabilities, the company is a turnkey provider for manufacturing, engineering, and installing of any netting project. To see more, visit Circle No. 573

Stabilizer Solutions’ flagship product, Stabilizer®, created the Stabilized Infield Mix category, saving teams thousands of hours of downtime from weather extremes. StaLok Fiber Reinforced Turf brought the same stabilization ideas to natural turf. Finally, Hilltopper Polymer Coated Soil is the revolutionary technology that makes waterless infields and warning tracks for baseball and softball fields, essentially eliminating downtime. Stabilizer Solutions, Inc., will continue to advance the per-

formance of natural materials wherever greater performance is needed. The company is currently developing new technologies to accompany its waterless product line for existing baseball and softball infields, as well as new maintenance techniques to accompany that technology. To learn more, visit Circle No. 569

As part of a family-owned business for more than 25 years, Varsity Scoreboards is proud to continue its tradition of providing highquality scoreboards at factory-direct pricing. Varsity Scoreboards offers scoreboards for all sports with some of the shortest lead times in the industry. The company offers pricing as low as any in the industry. Varsity Scoreboards continues to change the way scoreboards are purchased by eliminating the middleman and passing the savings on to consumers. With thousands of scoreboards in use across the U.S., Varsity Scoreboards has become a go-to manufacturer for the high school and college athletic markets. For more information, visit

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Guide to Synthetic Turf

Durability Meets Aesthetics

For 40 years, Synthetic Surfaces Inc. has specialized in developing and supplying one-part high “green strength” urethane adhesives for installing outdoor synthetic turf and other recreational surfaces. NORDOT Outdoor Adhesives have earned an excellent worldwide reputation for their ease of application under widely variable and sometimes harsh weather conditions; exceptionally high “green strength” (grab) to overcome unwanted turf movement during installation; and a reputation of long-term sturdiness and outstanding water resistance.

Primary Advantages:

Fields installed with NORDOT Outdoor Adhesives are less prone to buckling, stretch marks, or separating seams in the turf. They maintain a good appearance even after many years of aging and weathering. When applied properly, NORDOT Outdoor Adhesives reduce or eliminate seam hazards.

Recent Installations:

For decades, NORDOT Outdoor Adhesives have been used throughout the world on thousands of outdoor sports and recreational surface installations. These include football fields; soccer, baseball and multipurpose fields; tennis courts; professional stadiums; college, high school and municipal fields; playgrounds; putting greens and driving ranges; landscaping; dog runs; swimming pools, waterslides and wave pools; and other specialized uses.

Synthetic Surfaces Inc. 908-233-6803 See ad on page 3 • Circle No. 507

Leading Global Manufacturer

new dimension to syntheic turf

Armacell, the largest supplier of technical foams in the U.S., is the only manufacturer in North America producing elastomeric and polyethylene profiles, elastomeric roll goods and buns, and PE cross-linked roll goods and buns. Armacell has more than 50 years of experience as an innovator in closed-cell foam technologies and is a leading-edge global manufacturer.

AstroTurf®, founded in 1965, invented synthetic turf and continues to be a leader in the sports turf market with continual improvements to player protection and product innovation. The nylon RootZone, the hallmark of the 3-D system, is perhaps the most important turf innovation in the last decade—it adds a whole new dimension to synthetic turf.

Primary Advantages:

Primary Advantages:

Recent Installations:

Recent Installations:

Duke University Columbia University Ohio State University University of Maryland University of Richmond

Boston College UCLA Utah State University Indiana University The Liberty Bowl Episcopal School of Dallas

The ArmaSport® Turf Underlayment pad cushions the playing surface, providing consistent shock attenuation across the entire field surface for optimal playing conditions. Its state-of-the-art drainage system ensures efficient water removal. The ideal material weight, long roll lengths, and turf-carpet widths are all designed to make installation fast and easy. And, synthetic fields installed with an ArmaSport Turf Underlayment may be able to use lower levels of infill material.

Armacell 800-992-9116 See ad on page 6 • Circle No. 508

AstroTurf’s 3-D system features heavy fiber density and lightweight infill. Optimal fiber density doesn’t just make for a lush looking field, though. Independently funded research at Michigan State University shows that AstroTurf’s nylon RootZone reduces torque (the twisting force that results when players plant their feet and turn). High fiber density and a lightweight infill mix promote proper cleat release, reducing the risk of cleats locking in the infill.

AstroTurf® 800-723-TURF See ad on page 54 • Circle No. 546 | APRIL/MAY 2013 65

Guide to Synthetic Turf

The Changing Face of Field Sterilization Since 1996, GreensGroomer products have been designed with the turf manager and athlete in mind, keeping the operation and maintenance simple while providing an optimum, safe turf surface for athletes. To date, GreensGroomer has provided turf conditioning equipment to more than 8,000 natural and synthetic turf venues worldwide. After five years in development, GreensGroomer launched the GreenZapr® and miniZapr®. Designed around the proven power of germicidal UVC technology, the GreenZapr destroys the DNA of harmful microbes such as Staph, Influenza, MRSA, and HIV.

Primary Advantages:

Synthetic turf sanitation is currently addressed through applied chemicals. With the GreenZapr and miniZapr, UVC technology now enables the maintenance professional to perform sterilization on an immediate pre/ post event basis and as a regular part of weekly maintenance processes. By avoiding the high cost of chemical applications and the dangerous nature of the chemicals themselves, the GreenZapr and miniZapr provide the most effective and lowest cost option for field sanitation.

GreensGroomer® WorldWide, Inc. 888-298-8852 See our ad on page back cover Circle No. 550 66 APRIL/MAY 2013 |

Performance & Aesthetics A-Turf® is an experienced sitework contractor and synthetic turf athletic field-builder. The company has built hundreds of recreational, practice, and competition fields for all types of sports and levels of play coast to coast. Buffalo, N.Y.-based A-Turf is part of Pa.-based Ecore™ Group, North America’s largest processor and user of scrap tire rubber.

Primary Advantages:

The A-Turf Titan is one of the plushest surfaces, featuring blended premium XP parallel long-slit film and Monofilament polyethylene fibers in the same stitch. Not only is Titan a great combination of performance and aesthetics, it also delivers the best safety rating, paralleling perfectly conditioned natural grass. When installed with a resilient ShockPad, Titan delivers one of the industry’s lowest G-Max ratings throughout the system’s life, making it one of the safest synthetic playing systems on the market.

Recent Installations: Buffalo Bills, Ralph Wilson Stadium SUNY College at Cortland Sahuarita High School, AZ Bluffton-Harrison High School, IN Camden High School, NY McDonogh School, MD

A-Turf Inc. 888-777-6910 See ad on page 11 Circle No. 558

Turf Maintenance Equipment Wiedenmann North America LLC is the distributor of Wiedenmann natural and artificial turf maintenance equipment in North America, focusing on machines for turf regeneration, collection and removal of grass and leaves, turf sweepers, blowers, deep tine aerators, and sand spreaders and groomers. Artificial turf products consist of the Terra Clean M, Terra Groom, and Terra Brush.

Primary Advantages:

The Terra Clean efficiently collects debris on the surface and can also be adjusted to reach the top layer of infill. The infill is then separated from the debris with a vibrating sifter and is redistributed back onto the field. The debris is collected in an easily removable hopper. The design and placement of the brushes on the Terra Groom and Terra Brush allow for consistent distribution of sand, rubber, and other top dressing materials. Optional rake fingers located in the front of the brush loosens the rubber infill, thus allowing for even distribution of the rubber crumb.

Wiedenmann North America LLC 866-790-3004 See ad on page 36 • Circle No. 575


fabric structures


A superior environment for training, competing and recreational sports. Low in cost per square foot. Natural daytime lighting. Easy to relocate. Expandable.

Call one of our ClearSpan specialists today at 1.866.643.1010 or visit Circle No. 148

Product Launch

Elite Seat with Backrest Southern Bleacher Company 800-433-0912 Circle No. 509

Unique features:

• Mechanically fastened to the aluminum bench and aluminum backrest • Available in several colors

Colorfusion Sublimated Jerseys TeamLeader 877-365-7555 Circle No. 556 Unique features:

Benefits for the user:

• Affordable enhancement for new or existing grandstands • Comfortable option for all-day events

• These cutting-edge jerseys are Colorfusion sublimated • Endless options for the custom sublimated jerseys • Customized jerseys are created from scratch

Benefits for the user:

• Sketches or ideas are brought to life--in jerseyform--in 48 hours • Use one of TeamLeader’s ideas, or one of your own • Made from the highest quality performance fabrics | APRIL/MAY 2013 67

Outdoor Facility Components Helps Reduce Energy Usage

Saves Fences from Damage

Musco Lighting • 800-825-6030

Aer-Flo, Inc. • 800-823-7356

Control-Link® is the reliable, cost-effective system that helps control, monitor, and manage your recreational facility lighting. Whether for a new lighting system or an upgrade to existing lights, the Control-Link System includes Musco’s Control-Link Central™ team, available 24/7; the on-site Control-Link equipment; field usage data by facility and user group; and an industry-leading warranty. Control-Link can help reduce energy usage by operating lights and equipment only when needed. Circle No. 510

Remarkable Coating

As a leading supplier of modern, lightweight, heat-reflective rain covers, Covermaster® now brings the newest coating technology to the baseball infield cover. It’s called ShieldTek™ and it provides 300-percent higher flex crack resistance, 10 times higher abrasion resistance, and 150-percent improved seam strength as compared to covers without this coating. ShieldTek™ is available on the company’s best-selling white/silver RAINCOVERPlus™ and its newest RAINCOVERMax™ models. Covermaster will gladly send you a sample with all the particulars regarding this remarkable new coating. Covermaster • 800-387-5808

Circle No. 511

The newly patented Tuffy ® Ballasted Windscreen can save chainlink fences from high-wind damage. Each unit attaches only at the top, while the bottom edge is weighted to keep the screen vertical in low winds. When wind velocity exceeds 20 miles per hour, downwind sections begin to billow out, allowing damaging wind to escape through. This screen was engineered to save fences in winds up to 90 miles per hour. It is available in 20 Vipol® colors and with ChromaBond® multi-color imprinting.

Ideal Ball Field Fencing

Regardless of the size of your ball field, CoverSports’ newly patented Grand Slam Fencing™ product line clearly establishes the boundaries and keeps the ball in the yard. The one-piece product is perfect for baseball and softball. Along with its easy installation and being removal, it is durable, soft, and easy to handle. The Grand Slam Fencing is available in red, blue, and green—and it comes in four- or five-foot heights (green only). The distance banners are sewn to the fence, while foul pole kits and ground sockets are optional. CoverSports • 800-445-6680

Design-Build Solutions

Customized Graphics

ClearSpan • 866-643-1010

Fathead • 877-328-4323

ClearSpan Fabric Structures provides design-build solutions for athletic and recreational structure needs. ClearSpan buildings feature abundant natural light and spacious interiors without support posts. With minimal foundation requirements, the structures can be permanent or temporary, and are easy to relocate. Visit ClearSpan’s Web site for building profiles, customer success stories, and recent projects—or to request more information. Circle No. 512

Circle No. 514

Circle No. 515

You might recognize Fathead as a leader in high-definition licensed wall graphics, but beyond these offerings, Fathead can transform any space from ordinary to amazing. With in-house design capabilities, Fathead customizes interior and exterior graphics with capabilities across a variety of materials—from removable vinyl to aluminum and acrylic. From an entire building to a single wall, Fathead has you covered. Circle No. 543

A Window of Opportunity

Helps Maintain Turf

G2L Window Systems • 479-444-6214

Wiedenmann North America, LLC • 866-790-3004 Circle No. 520

If your facility has suite space or perhaps extra press box space going unused, or if you are in need of a creative revenue-builder, why not upgrade to a frameless, sliding glass window system? G2L Window Systems offer local businesses the opportunity to bring in clients, hold meetings, assist with social gatherings, and more—all in the confines of a sleek, open-air, unique game-viewing experience. Bringing in natural surroundings while entertaining is a sure revenue-builder for companies using G2L suite system.

68 APRIL/MAY 2013 |

Circle No. 513

The new Terra Clean 100 grounddriven sweeper can offer many solutions for artificial turf maintenance. The rotary brush of the Terra Clean 100 brings debris and some crumb rubber or infill onto a vibrating screen that separates the debris from the crumb rubber. The crumb rubber is redistributed back onto the field, and the debris—such as rocks, jewelry, sunflower seeds, or metal objects—is collected in an easily removable hopper. This machine can be used either indoors or outdoors with just about any type of tow vehicle.

Outdoor Facility Components Exclusive Bermudagrass

Established in 1996, the TifSport Growers Association is comprised of 23 domestic and international TifSport growers. TifSport Bermudagrass—featuring a rich green color, and excellent footing and traffic tolerance—is protected by a USDA patent. As a further safeguard, it can only be grown and sold as certified sod or sprigs, and only by licensed TifSport Growers Association members. TifSport is in wide use on many university and professional practice and game-day fields.

TifSport Growers Assoc. • 706-552-4525

Circle No. 516

Everything For Your Infield BEAM CLAY® has supplied products to every MLB Team, most minor league and college teams, and thousands of towns and schools from all 50 states and worldwide. BEAM CLAY® supplies special mixes for infields, mounds and batter’s boxes; red warning tracks; infield conditioners; drying agents, plus more than 200 other infield products from bases to windscreens—including regional infield mixes blended for every state and climate from bulk plants nationwide.

BEAM CLAY • 800-247-BEAM

Circle No. 517

Significant Advantages

Light-Structure Green , Musco’s complete foundation-to-poletop lighting system, provides significant advantages for your budget and the environment. With it, operating costs are cut in half through reduced energy consumption. Plus, 100 percent of the maintenance costs are eliminated for 25 years—including lamp replacements—through Musco’s Constant 25™ product assurance and warranty program. Also, off-site spill lighting and glare are reduced by 50 percent, and constant light levels are guaranteed. ™

Musco Lighting • 800-825-6030

Circle No. 518

Maintains Healthy Grass

More than 90 percent of all NFL and MLB teams rely on Covermaster® for turf protection needs. The EVERGREEN ™ turf blanket is the groundskeepers’ answer to maintain healthy natural grass. The weave of the fabric creates a “greenhouse” type of effect. Plus, with SmartEdge™ technology, hems or grommets are not required—EVERGREEN ™ will not unravel. The blanket is ideal for new construction or repairs, earlier green-up in spring, greener grass late in fall or to quickly establish new sod. Covermaster, Inc. • 800-387-5808

Circle No. 519

Extraordinary Durability

NORDOT® Adhesives are used worldwide for the outdoor installation of synthetic turf athletic fields, playgrounds, and other recreational surfaces. Nordot one-part curing urethanes are wellknown for their ease-of handling and exceptionally high “green strength” (grab). They can be applied in a range of temperatures—from subfreezing to hot and desert-like—and deliver extraordinary durability over time in all types of climates and conditions. Pictured is NORDOT Adhesive being applied to seaming tape with a stand-up trowel. The turf will be unrolled onto it to create a sturdy, water-resistant seam. Synthetic Surfaces Inc. • 908-233-6803

Circle No. 521

Goes Everywhere

The Donkey portable press box is popular in soccer, football, and other sports for its ability to be the all-in-one scoring center, check-in station, broadcast booth, concession stand, and more. Best of all, it’s portable, so it goes wherever you need it--on the track or fields. With several models available, varying by height and options, you can customize The Donkey to become the ultimate platform and gain unparalleled flexibility for your entire athletic program. Visit AAE online for options and pricing. Aluminum Athletic Equipment • 800-523-5471 Circle No. 522

Resists Wear and Tear

Enjoy the performance and ease of use you expect in a quality turf marking paint, while significantly reducing your impact on the environment. Eco TempLine offers field marking paints and removers for both synthetic turf and natural grass fields. TempLine paint is highly resistant to player wear and tear, but also easy to apply with any conventional sprayer, easy to remove, and safe for both your field and athletes. Eco’s water-based, removable synthetic turf marking paints—preferred by many teams in the NFL and CFL—are designed for fast changeovers on synthetic fields. Eco Chemical Paint • 800-677-7930

Circle No. 559

Many Hurdling Options

The 2013 “Everything Track & Field” Catalog features a selection of the world’s finest high school, prep school, and college hurdles—including favorite models from UCS, Gill, and First Place. For the high school facing a budget crunch, M-F suggests its First Place Rocker Hurdle with a one-piece 16-gauge welded steel base. This hurdle comes with a five-year guarantee and adjusts easily to heights ranging from 30 to 42 inches. Special low prices are available on orders of 10 or more hurdles. M-F Athletic • 800-556-7464

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Outdoor Facility Components Super-Premium Windscreen

The Tuffy ® Windscreen lasts for years, because it’s made with Aer-Flo’s exclusive VIPOL® Matrix. Plus, with its five-year warranty, thousands of high schools and colleges—as well as MLB and NASCAR— have put them to the test. This windscreen is available in 20 standard colors, and with super-durable Chroma-Bond® Imprinting for multi-color logos that will not fade like digital printing. The Tuffy is the Official Windscreen of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association. Super-premium but surprisingly value-priced for school budgets, this windsreen is sold only by Aer-Flo Authorized Dealers. Aer-Flo, Inc. • 800-823-7356

Circle No. 523

Good Enough for the Pros

C&H Baseball has been supplying quality equipment to professional teams since the 1960s. The company’s products have been on the field for more than 40 years, which shows a commitment to quality. C&H manufactures portable batting cages, field screens, field products, padding, netting, and the “original” ball caddy. Buy direct from the manufacturer and provide your team with some of the longest-performing field equipment on the market today. The company also provides field maintenance equipment, tunnels, installation services, backstop systems, barrier netting, replacement nets, and more.

C&H Baseball • 800-248-5192

Circle No. 551


West Coast Netting’s line of L-screens and batting screens offers professionalgrade protection. WCN designs and manufactures custom sizes and configurations to meet your needs. They also manufacture infield screens, tri-fold screens and softball pitcher’s screens. All models are portable and can have foam padding on the frames. WCN screens and netting are manufactured in the USA, offering a cost efficient and high quality product for your baseball or softball facility. West Coast Netting • 800-854-5741

Circle No. 553

Resources and More

The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is a national organization for builders, designers, and suppliers of materials for tennis courts, running tracks, synthetic and natural turf fields, and indoor and outdoor synthetic sports surfaces. ASBA publishes Buyer’s Guides with information on the process of selecting a site, choosing a contractor, identifying a surface, and more. Visit the ASBA’s Web site for a searchable database of members. American Sports Builders Association • 866-501-2722 Circle No. 548

Infiltrates Quickly

Southern Athletic Fields has introduced Game Changer, with KT technology that delivers a premium three-stage surfactant blend to your infield mix, promoting fast infiltration of applied water or rainfall. This product eliminates the need to make additional application with sprays or injectable products; it is included in the normal application of your conditioner. Independent third-party research showed that the addition of the surfactant blend improved the infiltration of applied water to the infield “Dirt’s” ability to take moisture much more quickly. Southern Athletic Fields • 800-837-8062

Circle No. 562

Gentle on Turf

The new Toro® Reelmaster® 3550-D is gentle on turf, while still delivering a high level of performance and productivity. At just 1,985 pounds in the base configuration, the Reelmaster 3550-D has a lightweight design is gentle on turns, and minimizes compaction and tire tracks. The Reelmaster 3550-D has a maximum mowing speed of 7 miles per hour and an 82-inchwide cut. The higher speed and wider cutting swath allow operators to finish jobs faster for higher productivity. Toro Commercial Division • 800-803-8676

Circle No. 563

Heavy-Duty Frames

The “Everything Track & Field” Catalog is available for coaches and athletic directors free upon request. Major track specialties such as vaulting poles and pits, throwing implements of every type, hurdles, and starting blocks—as well as roll-out runways, benches and bleachers, barriers and take-off systems, and cages—are conveniently indexed and grouped for easy access and comparison. Call or go online to request your copy.

The new Douglas® Double Batting Tunnel Frames share center poles to allow side-by-side installation eliminating the need for extra poles and ground footings. These heavyduty frames feature the same high-quality craftsmanship as the single Douglas® frames constructed from four-inch square heavy steel with a black powder coat finish to add extra resistance to the elements. Adjustable crossbars feature Allied’s® Superior zinc Flo-coat ® galvanization process for maximum protection. This product boasts a five-year warranty.

M-F Athletic • 800-556-7464

National Sports Products • 800-478-6497

Catalog Available

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Circle No. 565

Circle No. 580

Outdoor Facility Components Meeting Your Specs

Loaded With Information

Memphis Net & Twine makes its products in the U.S., and offers batting cages and backstops to meet customers’ exact specifications. The company also fabricates custom windscreens out of vinyl-coated polyester in 11 different colors. These windscreens can be made to any height or width. Memphis Net & Twine also sells benches, stadium bleachers, and tip-n-roll bleachers.

Memphis Net & Twine Co., Inc. • 800-238-6380

Circle No. 552

Multi-Level System

ACO Sport’s System 9000 provides simple all-weather seating and standing areas for spectators in various venues, including football, baseball, basketball, and hockey fields; tennis courts; outdoor swimming pools; race tracks; parks and amphitheaters; and school courtyards. The all-weather bleacher seating comprises of polymer concrete, interlocking units that fit together to form a multi-level terrace system with step and seat options.

ACO Sport • 800-543-4764

Circle No. 574

Quick and Dependable

National Sports Products, a division of Douglas Industries, Inc., is a leader in supplying superior windscreens for any sports facility. With the company’s advanced printing technology, four-color unlimited printing opportunities are offered. Environmentally friendly, UV curable inks that will withstand the elements are used. Windscreens are custommade for your specifications and of course Douglas’s meticulous reputation guarantees superior workmanship for a reliable finished product. Dependable customer service and fast lead times will get your windscreen project completed on time.

National Sports Products • 800-478-6497

Circle No. 576

Cages and Netting

West Coast Netting is the largest installer and manufacturer of indoor and outdoor batting cages in the U.S. The company can design your cage, build from your design, or simply provide materials and/or installation. In addition, WCN offers a wide range of batting cage netting for indoor/ outdoor use. WCN manufactures knotted and woven netting twine, in various mesh sizes, from light duty to heavy-duty netting. Framing and hardware are also available.

West Coast Netting • 800-854-5741

Circle No. 577

Advanced Natural Soil

Stabilizer Solutions, Inc. is advancing the evolution of natural soil for baseball and softball fields. The company offers advanced mound clays, as well as infield and warning track mixes, in both its Stabilizer® organic and Hilltopper ® waterless product lines. Used at the Baseball College World Series, Stabilizer® “Pro Red” Infield Mix and Hilltopper ® Waterless Mound Clay save time while providing protection from the elements. Stabilizer Solutions, Inc. • 800-336-2468

Circle No. 582

Handles Synthetic Fields

The Eco TempLine equipment was designed to handle the challenges of synthetic sports fields. It was specifically made for use with Eco TempLine’s Removable Turf Marking System. The highly specialized TempLine Hydro Extractor—the choice of NFL teams with fast changeovers on synthetic fields—extracts paint and dirt from synthetic infill turf with the ease of a zero-turn riding lawn mower. The Scrub Bug is a hydraulic power unit that removes turf-marking paint quickly and easily. And the Water Bug is a versatile tool for a variety of tough pressure-washing jobs throughout an athletic stadium. Eco Chemical Paint • 800-677-7930

Web News

Circle No. 564

Continental Girbau’s Web site is loaded with content specific to users in the athletic industry looking for laundry equipment. Users can view case studies and video testimonials from professional, college, and high school athletic departments across the country. Visitors can immediately locate information by product type—washers, dryers or ironers—with immediate access to brochures, specs, CAD drawings, sizing information, and green product information.

Stay Up-To-Date

Gold Medal Products is constantly updating its Web site to provide the most up-to-date information. The site has an events calendar, a news section, and a new products section to help keep you current. It also features all of Gold Medal’s equipment and supplies, showing you the item number, a picture, and a brief description. You can sign up to receive a free catalog and specific newsletters pertaining to your industry or special offers that may be going on. If you are new to an industry, Gold Medal’s site has a section that lists products and setups that would be a perfect fit. The site is a great resource for watching demonstration videos and finding out more about the company’s quality products. Log on today to see for yourself. | APRIL/MAY 2013 71


Advertisers Directory Circle #. Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #

Circle #. Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #

Circle #. Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #

106 . . A-Turf® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 104 . . AAE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 118 . . ACO Sport. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 102 . . Aer-Flo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 105 . . American Public University. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 112 . . American Sports Builders Assn.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 103 . . Armacell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 140 . . AstroTurf®. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 110 . . Athlete’s Guide to Nutrition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 108 . . Athletic Management E-Newsletter Service. . . . . 14 139 . . Athletic Management Program Services . . . . 52-53 136 . . Austin Plastics & Supply. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 150 . . BEAM CLAY®. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 151 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC 133 . . Blueprint for Better Coaching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 115 . . C&H Baseball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 148 . . ClearSpan Fabric Structures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

145 . . Covermaster®. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 124 . . CoverSports (FenceMate® TuffPrint™). . . . . . . . . . 37 130 . . CoverSports (gym floor covers). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 141 . . Daktronics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 120 . . Digital Publications. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 146 . . Eco Chemical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 127 . . Fathead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 107 . . Future Pro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 143 . . G2L® Window Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 111 . . Gold Medal Products. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 152 . . GreensGroomer® WorldWide. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC 138 . . Kay Park Recreation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 134 . . Memphis Net & Twine Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 100 . . Musco Sports Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IFC 122 . . National Sports Products. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 126 . . Parents’ Guide to Sports Concussions. . . . . . . . . 38 113 . . Perform Better. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

121 . . Rogers Athletic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 135 . . SafeSoccer Goals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 132 . . Samson Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 114 . . Southern Athletic Fields. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 125 . . Southern Bleacher. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 119 . . Stabilizer Solutions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 131 . . Stadium Chair Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 137 . . Sturdisteel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 101 . . Synthetic Surfaces Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 117 . . The Halo (Mission Competition) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 128 . . TifSport. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 142 . . Toro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 144 . . Triad Technologies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 109 . . TSE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 147 . . Varsity Scoreboards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 116 . . West Coast Netting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 123 . . Wiedenmann North America. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Circle #. Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #

Circle #. Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #

Circle #. Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #

502 . . A-Turf® (Leaders in the Industry). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 558 . . A-Turf® (synthetic turf) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 581 . . AAE (BallStoppers). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 522 . . AAE (Donkey press box). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 574 . . ACO Sport. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 504 . . Aer-Flo (Leaders in the Industry). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 514 . . Aer-Flo (Tuffy® Ballasted Windscreen) . . . . . . . . . 68 523 . . Aer-Flo (Tuffy® Windscreen). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 536 . . American Public University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 548 . . American Sports Builders Assn.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 508 . . Armacell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 539 . . AstroTurf® (Leaders in the Industry). . . . . . . . . . . 63 546 . . AstroTurf® (synthetic turf). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 555 . . Austin Plastics & Supply. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 517 . . BEAM CLAY®. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 529 . . (bleacher-back banners). . . . . . . . 76 542 . . (Leaders in the Industry) . . . . . . . . 63 534 . . (wall graphics). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 526 . . Bison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 551 . . C&H Baseball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 512 . . ClearSpan Fabric Structures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 519 . . Covermaster® (EVERGEEN™). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 511 . . Covermaster® (ShieldTek™). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 515 . . CoverSports (Grand Slam Fencing™). . . . . . . . . . 68 537 . . CoverSports (GymGuard® Plus). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 505 . . CoverSports (Leaders in the Industry). . . . . . . . . . 62 525 . . Daktronics (collegiate sports). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 540 . . Daktronics (Leaders in the Industry). . . . . . . . . . . 63

524 . . Daktronics (product line). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 559 . . Eco Chemical (Eco TempLine). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 564 . . Eco Chemical (Eco TempLine equipment). . . . . . . 71 568 . . Eco Chemical (Leaders in the Industry). . . . . . . . . 64 543 . . Fathead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 527 . . Future Pro (goalposts). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 557 . . Future Pro (Weatherbeater bleachers). . . . . . . . . 76 513 . . G2L® Window Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 501 . . G2L® Window Systems (Leaders in the Industry).62 503 . . Gold Medal (Leaders in the Industry) . . . . . . . . . . 62 535 . . Gold Medal (Sno-Kone® machines). . . . . . . . . . . 78 549 . . GreensGroomer® (Leaders in the Industry). . . . . . 63 550 . . GreensGroomer® (synthetic turf). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 533 . . Kay Park (fiberglass players’ benches). . . . . . . . . 76 531 . . Kay Park (“SPEEDY BLEACHER 108”). . . . . . . . . . 76 565 . . M-F Athletic (catalog). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 560 . . M-F Athletic (First Place Rocker Hurdle). . . . . . . . 69 552 . . Memphis Net & Twine Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 510 . . Musco (Control-Link®). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 506 . . Musco (Leaders in the Industry). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 518 . . Musco (Light-Structure Green™). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 580 . . National Sports Products (Batting Tunnel Frames). . 70 576 . . National Sports Products (windscreens). . . . . . . . 71 579 . . Rogers Athletic (Pendulum rack). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 578 . . Rogers Athletic (TredSled). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 561 . . SafeSoccer Goals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 538 . . Samson Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 562 . . Southern Athletic Fields (Game Changer). . . . . . . 70

570 . . Southern Athletic Fields (Leaders in the Industry).64 532 . . Southern Bleacher (Benton School District). . . . . 76 541 . . Southern Bleacher (Leaders in the Industry). . . . . 63 509 . . Southern Bleacher (product launch). . . . . . . . . . . 67 569 . . Stabilizer Solutions (Leaders in the Industry). . . . 64 582 . . Stabilizer Solutions (Natural Soils). . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 544 . . Stadium Chair (SidelineChairs). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 545 . . StadiumChair (StadiumChairs). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 530 . . Sturdisteel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 500 . . Synthetic Surfaces Inc. (Leaders in the Industry).62 521 . . Synthetic Surfaces Inc. (NORDOT®) . . . . . . . . . . . 69 507 . . Synthetic Surfaces Inc. (synthetic turf). . . . . . . . . 65 556 . . TeamLeader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 516 . . TifSport. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 566 . . Toro® (Leaders in the Industry). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 563 . . Toro® (Reelmaster® 3550-D) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 554 . . Triad Technologies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 547 . . TSE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 567 . . Varsity Scoreboards (HandiScore). . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 571 . . Varsity Scoreboards (Leaders in the Industry). . . . 64 572 . . Varsity Scoreboards (Smartronics). . . . . . . . . . . . 74 577 . . West Coast Netting (batting cages). . . . . . . . . . . . 71 553 . . West Coast Netting (L-screens/batting screens). . 70 573 . . West Coast Netting (Leaders in the Industry). . . . 64 575 . . Wiedenmann (maintenance equipment). . . . . . . . 66 520 . . Wiedenmann (Terra Clean 100) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Products Directory

72 APRIL/MAY 2013 |

Case Study

A Dynamic Neck Workout


hile traditional neckstrengthening machines enable users to work on flexion and extension, there aren’t many options for developing rotational strength. Last spring, however, William Hicks, Assistant Athletics Director for Athletic Performance at Syracuse University, saw a new product—the Halo—invented by Mike Jolly at Mission Competition Fitness Equipment. The circular device weighs 11 pounds, fits completely around an athlete’s head, and provides a dynamic workout experience. “Everyone uses manual resistancetype exercises, but the Halo adds a different dimension,” Hicks says. “Training the neck in all planes is important, and the natural, fluid way the Halo allows athletes to do that appeals to me.” One of the Halo’s unique aspects is an air-filled bladder that inflates to fit any athlete’s head perfectly—much like a football helmet. It also has a chinstrap, ensuring that the Halo will stay on, regardless of the movement performed. This is a major benefit, says E.J. “Doc” Kreis, a former strength and conditioning coach at UCLA, Colorado, and Vanderbilt, who also is the co-founder of the CSCCa, and currently trains athletes at an Olympic training center in Southern California. “It really frees you up to do a number of different sport-specific exercises,” he says. Another benefit is that it allows athletes to progress slowly. “You can start with a light horizontal resistance and progress at a speed that’s comfortable for you,” Kreis says.

The Halo uses horizontal resistance by attaching to an adjustable cable machine, or a bungee cord, as a series of functional rotary movements are performed to simulate what an athlete experiences on the field, mat, or court. Kreis says the Halo can provide an optimal workout. “You don’t have to strap on a leather harness and hang 50 pounds from your head to work out your neck,” he notes. “You can get a complete workout in about eight minutes.” Neck workouts are an important part of Orange athletes’ strength and conditioning, and Hicks says his players have seen immediate benefits. “While we don’t just use the Halo, in the time since we’ve started using it, we’ve seen players’ neck circumferences go up and their injuries go down,” he says. While the research on neck strength’s role in concussions doesn’t draw definitive conclusions, Hicks believes strong necks are vital for athletes. “You’re doing the right thing by getting it stronger,” he says. “There’s really no drawback—if we can help one player not suffer a serious injury due to having a stronger neck, it will be well worth it.” Likewise, neurosurgeons agree that force dissipation is key in protecting the valuable cargo in our craniums, and a stronger neck will help dissipate the force of a blow to the head. Kreis agrees. “When it comes to the head and the neck, we see the injuries occurring,” he says. “But we’re not doing enough to prevent them. The Halo is a step in the right direction because it does a fantastic job promoting overall neck strength.”

Mission Competition Fitness Equipment | |

Scoreboards & Video Display

Company News

Total System Integration

Daktronics is recognized worldwide as a leading designer and manufacturer of scoreboards, video displays, electronic message centers, pool timing systems, outdoor stadium sound systems, and rigging for arenas and theatres. The publicly traded company specializes in total system integration for all levels of play—from schools and city park and recreation facilities to the Major Leagues. For more information about our product offering, please contact Daktronics.

Daktonrics • 800-DAKTRONICS

Custom Fence Screens from MMT

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Score From Anywhere

Unlike traditional scoreboard controllers, HandiScore is a lightweight, easy-to-use, and portable handheld remote that can literally slide into your back pocket. With HandiScore, you can score your team’s game from anywhere on the field or court with the same ease as changing your TV channel at home. To find out more, visit Sportable online.

Sportable/Varsity Scoreboards • 800-323-7745

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Provides Solutions

Daktronics has the experience necessary to meet the needs of any collegiate campus, as proven by worldwide recognition as a leading designer and manufacturer of electronic scoreboards, programmable display systems, and large-screen video displays using LED technology. Daktronics can provide a number of solutions for collegiate sports facilities and campus-wide communication systems including video, scoring, and sound equipment—all packaged together from a single-source solutions provider.

Daktronics • 800-325-8766

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Create Revenue

Smartronics’ Electronic Sponsor Panels are an ideal way to create advertising revenue. Engineered to install with minimal effort on any scoreboard, the innovative design is perfect for a new scoreboard installation—or it can even replace an existing static panel. Your message should be loud and clear. And nothing ensures this more than Smartronics Electronic Sponsor Panels. Visit the company’s Web site to learn more. Sportable/Varsity Scoreboards • 800-323-7745

Custom Fence Screens from MMT will turn heads for a lasting impression. The UV-protected ultra-bright paint used for printing—rather than ink— ensures that your fence screen will stay looking great for years. MMT also features custom fabrication and installation for any job. And its team of in-house graphic designers will help you complete the fence screen design. Plus, you can count on quick turnaround, nationwide shipping, and competitive prices with MMT. Used for various applications such as tennis windscreens, baseball stadiums, gym floor covers, construction screens, athletic fields, perimeters, and special events, MMT’s Custom Fence Screens get the job done. Call or e-mail today for a price quote.

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Metromedia Technologies, Inc. 800-999-4668 Circle No. 150 74 APRIL/MAY 2013 |


Products That Ease Athletes’ Pain

Football & Soccer Properly Weighted Goals

Reduce the risk of tip-over injuries by installing Bison’s NoTip™ portable soccer goals on your field with built-in ballast that doubles as transport wheels. Without loose ballast or ground anchors that can be forgotten, improperly installed, or lost, the No-Tip design ensures the soccer goals are properly weighted to reduce safety concerns. Add DuraSkin® for Soccer molded padding for extra safety and minimal impact on the game. Bison, Inc. • 800-247-7668

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Compete on a Treadmill Sled “I’ve found Pro-Tec products to be a great addition to my patient care, as they are very patient-compatible.” —Jim Whitesel, MS, ATC, Former Seattle Seahawks Head Athletic Trainer

“I have found the Iliotibial Band Wrap to offer unmatched effectiveness in alleviating conditions of iliotibial band syndrome. We are recommending it for our patients.” —Dr. Shintaro Ohtake, Aim Treatment Center

“Finally, because of the Shin Splints Compression Wrap, I feel no pain in my shins during strenuous activity.” —Lisa Duke, ballerina and runner

“Thanks to the Arch Pro-Tec, the plantar fasciitis in my foot has completely disappeared.” —Christina Cambra Ironman Austria third-place finisher

“Pro-Tec’s Y Roller is by far the most effective Foam Roller I’ve ever used!” —Scott Jurek, PT, seven-time champion, Western States Ultra 100-Mile Marathon

“I use the Pro-Tec Foam Roller and the Pro-Tec Roller Massager to help me get stretched out and to loosen up before practice. They’re great because I have them at home, so anytime I’m sore or feeling a little tight, I break out my foam roller.” —Roman Harper, pro football player

The Tred Sled combines a one-man sled and tethered-sled pulling with interactive treadmill technology. Training in groups of up to six, the Tred Sled transforms workouts into competitions, challenging athletes to outperform themselves and their teammates. Electronic sensors measure response time, impact force, and distance, with reports for individual performances and ranks in competitions displayed. Rogers Athletic Company • 800-457-5337

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Makes Sharing Easy

Does your field have a high school football game on Friday, and a college game on Saturday? Sharing the football field is no longer a problem with expandable uprights that can be adjusted safely and easily from college width to high school width by one person. Available from Future Pro in 5-9/16inch diameter gooseneck style goalposts with four-inch crossbar and your choice of 96- or 72-inch setback, and white or safety yellow powder coating. Future Pro • 800-328-4625

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Perfect Solution

Sometimes an afterthought on major stadium or sports field projects—but nonetheless important—is ball containment and safety. With a full line of in-ground and portable models, AAE can design the perfect solution to many of the problems faced on a project—such as fields surrounded by parking lots, residential areas, or steep embankments. BallStoppers also reduce the chance of misdirected balls causing bodily harm or property damage. Aluminum Athletic Equipment • 800-523-5471

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A Strong Base

The heavy-duty Rogers Pendulum rack provides you with the strongest training system available. The uprights on the Rogers Pendulum Racks are engineered with 3”x5” 7-gauge tubing, making it the strongest base to systemize your training. Link your racks together with custom or standard pull-up bar options. Finally, choose the Rogers Pendulum Rack accessories to add variety and complete more exercises in one space. Rogers Athletic Company • 800-457-5337

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Safe and Moveable

Pro-Tec Athletics

SafeSoccer Goals developed one of the industry’s first truly safe, easily moveable soccer goals. The simple but unique patent-pending design is available in full and youth size goals, with durable, sand-filled polyethylene rear rollers that provide the proper ballast to prevent accidental tip-overs. Additionally, the front of the goal can be lifted easily, while the rear rollers allow safe movement to another location. This innovative design exceeds the ASTM F-2056 recommendations for safe soccer goals and eliminates the need for ineffective ground anchors, sand bags, and wheel kits.


SafeSoccer Goals • 877-311-8399

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Bleachers & Seating Transform Your Facility

From wrapping a small bleacher to covering the back of a large stadium, has the bleacher-back banners that will impress fans and give you maximum exposure for sponsors. digitally prints to its proprietary Dura-Mesh vinyl using UV-protected UltraBrite inks, to keep an organization’s investment looking great for years. And the strong mesh is finished with’s Dura-Guard reinforced hems. Call or go online to learn more. • 800-790-7611

Texas Tech University wanted to provide a VIP seating option for its featured tennis matches. Sturdisteel came through with two 90-foot I-beam grandstands—each two rows deep and elevated 10 feet in order to give a bird’s-eye view of the action. Sturdisteel also provided aluminum backrests to enhance viewer comfort. The aluminum risers and backrests were painted Texas Tech red and black for the ultimate presentation. Contact Sturdisteel to see what your facility can become. Circle No. 530

Seating Solutions

“SPEEDY BLEACHER 108” is a folding, highway-towable, and versatile seating solution. It seats 108 people and has an aisle and handrail. It moves easily from one field to another with a conventional vehicle, and comes complete with an electric folding mechanism and telescoping tongue. Set-up is quick and easy—one person can get the job done. More economical than having permanent bleachers sitting empty for most of the year, this product has seven rows, is 27 feet long, less than nine feet high, and is built to meet recent safety codes.

Kay Park Recreation Corp. • 800-553-2476

Benton School District in Ark., needed to replace its football grandstand—one of the oldest in the state. Southern Bleacher provided a 2,709-seat grandstand with reserved seating and a custom two-story pre-fabricated press box. The clear span foundation houses restrooms and concessions underneath the grandstand. Today, Panther athletics has one of the finest facilities in Razorback Nation. Call or visit online to learn how Southern Bleacher can help with your facility project. Southern Bleacher • 800-433-0912

A Distinctive Look

Fiberglass players’ benches from Kay Park Recreation add team color to your field and enhance team spirit. They come in six-, eight-, and 15-foot lengths (with or without backrests) and with your choice of stationary or portable lets. Many colors are available to meet your needs. Custom school colors can be matched, and emblems can be inlaid for a distinctive look. Other products offered by Kay Park include bleachers, tables, bike racks, and planters. Call today for a free catalog. Kay Park Recreation Corp. • 800-553-2476

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Printed Just for You

Dress up your court with imprinted SidelineChairs. The chairs feature thick vinyl-covered foam for comfort, and imprinting is available on the chair back and seat cushion. SidelineChairs have the durability and quality you’d expect from much higher-priced chairs. The extra-sturdy powder-coated frame comes with dualreinforced steel support bars on the back legs and carries a 10-year limited warranty. The Stadium Chair Co. • 800-242-7757

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Circle No. 531

A Step Up from Wood

Seating Built to Last

Triad Technologies, Inc. • 877-224-3512

Future Pro Inc. • 800-328-4625

Triad Technologies offers the Team Bench for indoor or outdoor use. These benches are constructed of durable fiberglass, so they stand up to harsh weather and rough sports use. They far outlast typical wooden benches that can rot or splinter, and look much better in your school colors with your team logo. They are lightweight, stackable, and easy to move and store. Call for your free brochure and pricing guide.

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A Better View For VIPs

Sturdisteel Company • 800-433-3116

Finest Facilities

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Future Pro offers Weatherbeater outdoor portable bleachers, Bisonbuilt for years of use. Their seating units--in two-, three-, or fourtier sizes--feature recycled poly ground runners, galvanized steel framework, heavy-duty aluminum seats, and foot planks that come in 7.5-, 15- and 21-foot lengths. The 15-foot planks can be powder-coated in a single color or a combination. Call or go online for pricing and other information. Circle No. 557

Case Study

Customized Solutions Support Excellence


enger delivered everything we asked for,” says Steve Fritz, Athletic Director at the University of St. Thomas (UST) in St. Paul, Minn. “It was a great cooperative effort.” The 180,000-square-foot Anderson Athletic & Recreation Complex includes basketball and volleyball arenas, an aquatic center, a field house, and fitness center. It also includes multiple locker rooms, training rooms, and other support facilities.

Providing Options

“The traditional locker companies offer the traditional look,” Fritz says. “GearBoss offered a collegiate, first-class look along with functionality, features, and the ability to incorporate school colors.” “GearBoss gave us the best options for the quality, along with the ability to customize the locker design to fit our needs and budget,” says Glenn Caruso, UST Head Football Coach. “Aesthetically, the lockers look very sharp.” Functionally, Caruso believes the lockers offer everything necessary—a lockbox, multi-purpose compartment, and top rack for shoulder pad and helmet, which frees up interior space. “The locker’s sealed, closed-cell composite surfaces also made me more comfortable in a high-humidity locker room,” explains Caruso. “The antibacterial, antimicrobial surfaces give me a lot of confidence.” Every locker features a built-in seat that eliminates the need for chairs. The football locker room features a center meeting area with 130 GearBoss lockers around

the perimeter. This space is used for team and unit meetings. Plus, the integrated seats make the cleaning process faster and easier. Executing Flawlessly

In this large project, Wenger’s engineering capabilities were challenged, according to UST Vice President of Business Affairs Mark Vangsgard. This included fitting the GearBoss football lockers against a curved wall. “When Wenger installed these lockers, it was done perfectly,” he says. “You couldn’t tell each locker was customized—it was that flawless. Throughout the project, Wenger’s installation team was great and the customer service after the installation was superb.” Fritz believes this facility enhances the campus, which helps recruiting. As a Division III school, he contends it’s not easy for UST to differentiate itself from the competition. “One thing we can do is have better facilities,” he explains. “Among our direct competitors, no other school has anything near this.” And while UST’s teams and students appreciate the lockers, other GearBoss storage products—including high-density equipment carts and shelving—are providing important benefits behind the scenes. Winning Organizationally

When researching options, UST personnel liked the GearBoss high-density carts the best. “We made that decision first—before the lockers,” Fritz recalls. UST’s equipment storage room is used for most sports, including football. “I think the GearBoss track system with rolling carts is brilliant,” says Caruso. “It eliminates wasted aisle space and multiplies our storage capacity.” He also appreciates how the cart’s wire grille construction makes it easy to see what’s inside. “Without dedicated, compartmentalized storage areas, you always wonder if your inventory is exact,” Caruso comments. Steve Fritz sums up UST’s satisfaction with the GearBoss solutions and entire project this way: “This facility and everything inside it fits the excellence we’re looking for as an institution.”

| Wenger Corporation | 800-4WENGER | | APRIL/MAY 2013 77

Fundraising Solutions Amplify Your Brand

Take your branding and make it come alive on your walls using’s wall graphics. Wall graphics take on the texture of your concrete, brick, tile, and other curved or flat substrates, giving it a paint-like appearance. The premium vinyl makes it ideal for full-color graphics. Wall graphics can take your bare wall spaces and turn them into key graphic representations of your brand, organization, and sponsors. • 800-790-7611

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Make 82-percent profit margins or more, and get one of the industry’s best values in Sno-Kone® machines with the UL listed #1203 Shav-A-Doo Sno-Kone® Machine. This compact machine fits multiple locations, is extremely durable, and its powerful motor blasts through ice. Plus, it has a heavy-duty frame, tempered glass panels, and an eye-catching design. The Shav-A-Doo is a cinch to clean thanks to a removable Sno-Pan with drain and tubing. Gold Medal Products Co. • 800-543-0862

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Increase Revenue

They Sell Themselves

StadiumChairs are perfect for fundraisers. The unique two-piece back can be printed on both sides—print your team mascot on the front, and sell sponsor logos on the back. Booster clubs and schools can easily earn high returns for minimal effort, as the products almost sell themselves. Fans will notice the soft cushioning and back support. This is among the most comfortable and durable seats on the market.

The Stadium Chair Co. • 800-242-7757

Boost Profit Margins

Circle No. 545

Increase sponsorships and concession sales with TSE Digital Signage. If you are selling a static sign to one sponsor for the whole year, open it up with digital signage that makes an impact. You will be able to sell the one opportunity to multiple sponsors for a premium price, increasing your revenue. TSE Digital Signage enhances the overall fan experience while increasing sales—creating the ultimate win-win for any facility. TSE • 800-962-2471

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More Products Powerful Motivation

Athletic record boards from Austin Plastics are a great way to motivate your athletes to do their very best. The company’s boards are easy to install, made of durable plastic, and available in your school colors. Track record boards are available in three standard sizes and can be customized to fit your needs. Record plates can be engraved, or you can print your own using Austin Plastics’ printing program and perforated card stock. Custom and standard boards are available for all sports. Austin Plastics & Supply, Inc. • 800-290-1025

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Enhanced Slip Resistance

CoverSports has expanded the GymGuard® gym floor cover product line to include GymGuard Plus. GymGuard Plus has a unique raised pattern that provides enhanced slip resistance and costs no more than standard GymGuard. GymGuard Plus offers an advanced level of safety and durability for ultimate gym floor protection. GymGuard Plus is available in 27- and 32-ounce weights and gray and tan colors. Contact CoverSports for test results or GymGuard samples.

CoverSports • 800-445-6680 78 APRIL/MAY 2013 |

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Revolutionary Dumbbell

Finally there is a heavy-duty, adjustable dumbbell that doesn’t break the bank—the DB from Samson. This unique design features two handles (each weighing 15 pounds) and all the 10-, five- and 2.5-pound plates you need to adjust each DB up to 90 pounds. Each plate slides on effortlessly, then pins in place with solid-steel rods. Each handle is open, just like any other DB, so full wrist range of motion is possible. A custom table operates on lock-in-place casters, the top “staging area” is coated with heavy-duty urethane, and the front of each table can be fully customized with your graphics. Samson Equipment • 800-472-6766

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Fits Your Lifestyle

American Public University offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of specialties. Whether you are working in a municipal, commercial fitness, school, or military setting, APU offers a flexible and affordable program to fit your lifestyle. APU’s tuition is far less than other top online universities, so you can further your education without breaking the bank. American Public University • 703-334-3870

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Case Study

Organization and Durability A Q&A with Rob Mogolov, Director of Marketing for Cramer Products, Inc.

What separates the Cramer RigidLite line from other athletic training kits? The RigidLite line of athletic training kits is based on the principles of organization and durability. They are constructed using a combination of materials that were chosen specifically to provide maximum protection for the supplies inside—without adding unnecessary weight. From a design standpoint, internal organization is a key point of emphasis. Every RigidLite kit features unique organizational features that were built to help athletic trainers organize their kits— and to facilitate quick access in emergency situations.

In looking at the kits, the emphasis on organization is evident. How did the concept develop? We worked closely with our Advisory Board members, as well as other athletic trainers in the field, to understand what they really needed on a daily basis. Every kit in the line was designed from the perspective of using it in the field. For example, if you look at the Game Day kit, that philosophy is evident in the internal skeleton. This not only supports the exterior of the kit, but also offers protection for supplies. It is constructed in such a way as to provide shelves and dividers for organizing supplies for easy and rapid access.

What are the advantages of using a rigid material in a “soft-sided” kit? The rigid component of RigidLite provides a number of advantages. In every RigidLite kit, the areas subjected to impact that might damage something inside the kit are replaced with a hard panel, which helps minimize the effects of impact. High-wear areas, like the bottom of a kit, can easily be replaced to provide higher durability or a waterproof bottom.

The same process also works in reverse. In a kit like the RigidLite Messenger, non-wear areas—such as the back—can be replaced with padded nylon or foam to minimize weight and provide additional comfort when wearing it. The rigid material gets all the glory, but using soft materials in key areas is equally critical in creating our kits.

What is next for RigidLite? We are building a line of kits to address all the needs of athletic trainers in all settings and sports. If you look at our current line, you’ll see that we address everything from field kits to backpacks to accessories. The great thing about the RigidLite concept is that it lends itself to every type of kit. To that end, we are working on some pretty cool concepts to change the way athletic trainers look at fanny packs and briefcases in 2013. Rob Mogolov, recently promoted to Director of Marketing, joined Cramer Products, Inc. in 2005 as product manager, and became marketing manager in 2008. As Director of Marketing, Rob oversees the product development team for both Cramer Products, Inc. and its Active Ankle Systems subsidiary.

Cramer Products, Inc. 800-345-2231 • | APRIL/MAY 2013 79

STAy cUrrenT Our redesigned Web site features... • Headlines of the day • A blog serving high school and college athletic directors • Special digital supplements • A searchable database of articles



Transform Your Facility

Amplify Your Brand

If you are looking for big graphics for your stadium or facility that make a big impact, is your huckleberry. We are experts at designing, manufacturing and installing creative, impactful, stadium graphics that revitalize even the most tired facilities. We have an array of products to meet almost any need, and a creative staff that knows how to make your brand stand out. Call us or visit our website today.

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SWEEP GROOM STERILIZE At GreensGroomer® WorldWide, we believe that synthetic safety, playability, and aesthetics are a result of smart execution — using the right methods and equipment which saves time and reduces repair costs without sacrificing these objectives. Continually maintaining and improving the surface characteristics is impacted greatly by time and the amount of it one has available to affect the variables. The GreensGroomer line of synthetic turf care products has never been more relevant for today’s infill turf systems by providing for these efficiencies through simple product design focused on low mechanical complexity and high reliability. A regular maintenance routine using the GreensGroomer Synthetic Turf Care System extends the life of the surface and provides for maximum consistency and safety. With the addition of the GreenZapr®, field sanitation can now be an easy and convenient process with an unbeatable cost per application, as low as $25.*

LitterKat® Sweeper with Tow-Behind Magnet Fast, Easy Removal of Surface Debris Magnet Removes Unwanted Ferrous Objects

Synthetic Sports Turf Groomer with Spring Tine Rake Stands Turf Fibers Up & Relieves Compaction

GreenZapr® with UVC Eradication Powerful UVC Microbe Eradication Simple, Cost-Effective, No Chemicals

*The estimated $25 application cost is calculated from the original equipment cost, based on three applications per week for the life of the bulbs.

Circle No. 152

© 2013 GreensGroomer WorldWide, Inc. All rights reserved. Patents Pending

Insures a Level Playing Surface

Athletic Management 25.3  

April/May 2013

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