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Maintenance & Game Prep for all SCAA Baseball fields

 

Everyday Minimum Maintenance

This maintenance is the responsibility of the team who has the last practice or game for each day. In a rotation, have 5 or 6 players perform this duty. It only takes 5-10 minutes! PLEASE be sure players & parent volunteers are taught & follow these guidelines:

  1. Remove the bases & put the plugs in. Store bases/plugs in closest dugout
  2. Fill in holes: Home plate, pitchers mound, first, second and third.
  3. Rake:
    1. Any torn up spots or high/low areas in the infield dirt.
    2. The pitchers mound.
    3. Batters box area.
  4. Broom: All dirt areas except mound and home-1st and 3rd-home baselines
  5. Cover the mound with the tarp (Field #4). Tarp should be stored by hanging gently over the fence behind 3rd base bullpen.

**NEVER rake towards or parallel to any grass edge. Only rake AWAY from grass. This prevents a “lip” from forming due to buildup of dirt along the grass edge.

**NEVER sweep with broom closer than 6 inches to grass edge, or towards a grass edge. Always pick the broom up away from the edge when finishing.

**NEVER drag the screen closer than 2 feet to grass edge, or towards a grass edge. Always pick the screen up away from the edge when finishing and shake out dirt several feet away from grass.

**ALWAYS rake the mound inward, from the grass edge uphill towards top of the mound.

**AVOID using too much Turface. ALWAYS remove as much standing water as possible, or spread water to dry areas, before using Turface. Too much Turface over time leads to loose surfaces which reduce player traction, and also contribute to dusty conditions.

**DO NOT ALLOW PLAYERS to “dig-in” at the pitchers rubber. This is unnecessary and creates more work to repair the hole. Pitchers should become accustomed to pitching from a nearly flush surface in front of the rubber.

 

 

Prepping the Field for a Game

If the field is maintained as outlined above, the home team for each weekday game will only have to put down the base lines and the batters box.

  • All equipment needed for prepping Majors/Minors is in the shed behind field #4.
  • There are large spikes in the ground for attaching the foul-line guide string both at the backstop behind home plate (look for white spot at bottom of fencing) and at the foul poles. String should just touch the outside edges of home plate and 1st & 3rd bases when aligned properly.
  • The outside edge of the base is the outside edge of the foul lines.  The outside edge of the white flat part of home plate is also the outside edge of the foul lines. Foul line should run through the base, not alongside of it (pause the chalk flap while over bases)
  • All lines should be chalked/painted inside the strings. That is, the infield side of the string. Line up the machine on the foul line and find a convenient point on the machine to follow the string.  Do not put the “arrow” of the machine on the string.  The arrow should be near the middle of the final painted line.
  • All lines are 2” wide (using only one open flap under chalk machine), except the Jr/Sr League Field #8 are 4” wide (both flaps open). Chalk should be used in infield dirt areas only. Paint should be used in all grass areas.
  • For the batters box frame, mark the OUTSIDE of the frame with a screwdriver, and always chalk INSIDE the mark.  Just like a foul line is considered to be in fair territory, the batters box line is inside the batter box.  Normally the inside lines of the batters box are not chalked.
  • Do NOT mark any on deck areas for any fields, except Jr/Sr League Field #8. Little League rule 1.08 specifies no on-deck batters outside dugout for Majors and below.
  • If desired, paint the home plate, pitchers rubber, and bases.  Paint the bases in the dirt and then sweep the dirt with your foot to erase the overspray.  Do not paint them against a fence or in the grass.
  • Turn on the scoreboard and designate a parent from the home team side to operate.
  • If a team wants to drag the field using the lawn tractor, please talk with Chris Rufert before dragging for the first time.  The drag is NOT to be pulled onto the grass, but lifted onto the grass, leaving all dirt on the field.  Do not drag over the corners of the grass OR drag while bases are in place.

 

Check out these videos for more details:

Baseball Infield Skin And Lip Maintenance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R60Jk_aohxA

Baseball Field Mound And Home Plate Maintenance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVbByphASpw

Little League Groundskeeping (Pt 1) - Fixing holes in mound/plate areas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6y2S5MvmXs

Little League Groundskeeping (Pt. 2) - Removing the "lip"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfE76A8V1HQ

Little League Groundskeeping (Pt. 3) - Lining the field

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFVchpkYTfY&t=56s

Little League Groundskeeping (Pt. 4) - Maintaining the "skin" area

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGmWdEmS9f4

Little League Groundskeeping (Pt. 5) - Recovering from rain

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO1WIdr-tI4

Little League Groundskeeping (Pt. 6) – Mowing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px4FgfhSHJk