Maintenance, Game Prep,
Field Rules and Policies
For all SCAA Baseball fields
Everyday Minimum Maintenance – An Outline
This maintenance is the responsibility of the team who has the last practice or game for each day. In a rotation, have five or six players perform this duty. It only takes 5-8 minutes!
1. Remove the bases and put the plugs in.
2. Fill in holes.
§ Home plate, pitchers mound, first, second and third.
§ Wet down and tamp the batter and pitching areas.
§ Cover the mound and home plate circle with their tarps.
§ Rake any torn up spots or tight areas (corners) in the infield dirt.
§ The pitchers mound.
§ Rake both bullpens.
§ All dirt areas except the mound.
Everyday Minimum Maintenance – Details of the Above
1. Fill in holes.
a. Remove the bases and plug the holes.
a. Fill in the naturally occurring holes at home plate, first, second, third and the top and in front of pitchers mound. For the batting area and the front of the pitching mound use the watering can or hose to wet down these areas. Rake the dry, powdery dirt into these wet areas. Mix together. Tamp (with your feet OR the tamp) and level off.
b. When raking the pitching mound, try not to “round off” the edges of the flat area on top.
c. Filling the holes will prep the field for the next user, but more importantly, prevents massive puddles and mud holes when we do get rain.
d. After filling and raking the mound and batting area, cover those areas with their tarps. This keeps the rain from washing this area and when the weather is dry, they hold the moisture in the ground and keep the area, especially the mound, from drying up.
All the dirt on the field must be raked or broomed before leaving.
a. Before raking the field, remove the bases! Put the plugs in the holes and place the bases rubber side up at the nearest dugout door. The plugs are on the shelves in the dugouts.
b. Rake the base areas. Please pay special attention to these areas! Using the back of the rake, move the dirt that has gathered around the base into the low area in front of the base. If the area in front of the bases is still low, first pull dirt from between the base and the grass areas, then pull dirt from the outfield side.
c. Rake the base paths. Rake the paths along the length of the path, never across, and never into the grass. Remove any grass, rock or other debris to the bottom of the fence or the trashcan. Raking across the base paths “wallows” out the middle. Doing so also pulls dirt into the grass, killing the grass and creating a dam that prevents the field from draining.
d. Rake the mound. When raking the pitching mound, try not to “round off” the edges of the flat area on top.
e. Rake any obviously bad areas. Just look around, especially at the shortstop and second base player areas.
f. Rake the two “bullpens”. These areas just need the pit gravel pulled back up into any holes.
g. NEVER pull the dirt into the grass with the rakes or brooms.
The dirt infield may be broomed once any bad areas have been filled and raked.
a. Before brooming the field, remove the bases! Put the plugs in the holes and place the bases rubber side up at the nearest dugout door. The plugs are on the shelves in the dugouts.
b. Walk the brooms over the whole field. Turn them at an angle to do the base paths. This preps the field for the next game even if it does not get drug.
c. NEVER pull the dirt into the grass with the brooms.
Prepping The Field For A Game
For the game season, if the bases are removed and the holes filled, the field will be drug and repainted on Friday nights unless it is raining.
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.
- If a team wants to drag the field using the lawn tractor, please talk with Gray Little, Steve Gooler or Ray Emser or other Building and Grounds personnel 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.
- Chalk is NEVER to be used in grass areas!
- All the equipment needed for lining the field is in the press box or behind the third base dugout. If more chalk is needed, look in “Fred’s Shed” behind the Major League (#4) field. You will need…..
Chalk box (4–wheel)
(Paint Machine and paint for fields 5, 6 and 7)
1/2 bag of chalk
(1-1/2 bags of chalk for field 8)
(NO chalk for fields 5,6 and 7 - paint the lines!)
String on a reel
Batters box frame
1 can spray striping paint
- There are nails in the ground for attaching your string both at the infield grass edge and at the foul poles. Use a screwdriver in the grass to hold your string tight at the home plate end.
- 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.
- All lines are inside the strings. That is, the infield side of the string.
- All lines on Fields 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 are 2”. Only the Senior League / Babe Ruth League Field (#8) are 4”.
- The nicest line will be accomplished by pulling the chalk box backwards. Never use chalk in the grass.
- The “run out” line between home and first is 3’ wide on field 8. It begins halfway down the foul line and continues until even with the back of first base. Use two of the screwdrivers and chalk this before removing the first base foul line string.
- 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.
- Don’t forget to paint or chalk the circles for the on deck areas on field 8. Do NOT mark any on deck areas for fields 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7.
- If you have time, paint the home plate, pitchers rubber and bases. Paint the bases in the pit gravel in front of the dugouts and then erase the overspray. Do not paint them against a fence or in the grass.
§Turn on the scoreboard and unlock the press box.
§Provide at least two new game balls to the umpires and have four to six “nice” balls ready from your practice bucket.
Painting the Foul Lines, Coacher Boxes, Etc.
If the fouls line and coachers boxes need to be painted, feel free to do so. The paint and machine are in the Press Box. If you need more paint, check “Fred’s Shed” behind the Major League (#4) field.
- There are nails in the ground for attaching your string both at the infield grass edge and at the foul poles.
- The outside edge of the base is the outside edge of the foul lines.
- All lines are inside the strings. That is, the infield side of the string.
- All lines on Fields 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 are 2”. Only the Senior League / Babe Ruth Field (#8) are 4”.
- 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.
- Go over the lines twice, walking slowly.
- The coacher boxes for all the smaller baseball fields are Little League regulation. Parallel to and 6’ away from the foul line, 8’ long and lined up with the back of the base going towards home plate and 4’ deep towards the dugout.
The coacher boxes for the Senior league Babe Ruth Field (#8) are Little League, Babe Ruth and high school regulation. Parallel to and 15’ away from the foul line, 20’ long and lined up with the back of the base going towards home plate and 10’ deep towards the dugout. The boxes are moved occasionally to help the grass re-grow, but never closer than 15' from the foul line.
The coacher boxes for fields 3, 4 and 10 are Little League regulation. Parrllel to and 6' away from the foul line, 8' long and lined up with the back of the base going towards home plate and 4; deep towards the dug out. The boxes are moved occasionally to help the grass re-grow, but never closer than 6' to the foul line.
- On field #8 Paint a straight line from pole to pole along the front of the fence corner poles of the batting cage “parking area”. Beyond this line is out of play.
Rain – Dealing with a Wet Field
The HOME team manager must make the decision to postpone a game. The Decision MUST BE MADE at least two hours before game time. The baseball commissioner or his representative, the umpire booking agent AND the opposing team must be advised.
- For larger puddles, there is a “mud pump” in the "Fred's Shed" or in the Senior League/Babe Ruth press box. Pump the water into a bucket and dump it along the fence line.
- For games, Turface may be SPARINGLY used to help dry up areas of the field only after standing water and mud has been pushed onto higher spots of the infield.
The Turface will only work correctly when mixed into the wet soil. Simply throwing it on top of a wet area is wasteful and does not help much.
Using to much Turface creates dusty and powdering conditions when the field does dry out.
- NEVER push water or mud into the grass. Push onto the higher dirt areas of the field.
- Try NOT to use Turface on the mound. Use red clay instead. When Turface is used on the mound, most of it has to later be removed in order for the mound to firm up again.
- Much of the time, Turface does not need to be used. There is plenty of soil around a hole that can be pushed into it and no or much less Turface is needed.
- Turface is not normally used for practices. If the field is to wet to practice on, move the practice to a corner or to the batting cage.
- A bucket with a small amount of Turface placed in the HOME team dugout can be used to help get the surface water out of balls during games.
Field Rules for SCAA Baseball Fields
There are only two (three for firld #8) playing field rules, so be sure and mention them to the umpire before each game. Remember, the umpire’s judgment is the final word on dead or live balls.
- Balls coming off the front wood fascia of the dugouts are “live”. That is because parts of the dugouts do hang over into the playing field.
- The bullpen areas on both sides are a dead ball area. That would be behind an imagined line from the “wing” to the white painted pole on the fence. If there is a marked line, the line itself is fair.
- On field #8 the batting cage “parking area” is a dead ball area. That would be beyond an imagined line between the two corner poles. If there is a marked line, the line itself is fair.
These are the field rules that have been implemented by the SCAA Baseball Commission and approved by the SCAA Board of Directors. There are no others.
Rules, Policies, “Good Practices” and House Keeping
Some of these are obvious, some are not. They are high lights of things that have been learned or observed over the years.
- Be observant. When you first get to the field, note anything out of the ordinary. This could items that need to be fixed, vandalism, field not being cleaned up, equipment left out, scoreboard left on, etc. Take care of what you can and report any problems to the Junior / Senior Baseball Commissioner.
- Delegate. Get parents to help with game day field prep or organize the players to do the daily maintenance after practices and games, have parents running the scoreboard or doing pitch counts, etc. Let the coaches concentrate on coaching and be leaders. Do not try and do everything yourself.
- No soft toss into any fences. Use the side of the batting cage.
- No one is ever to climb any fences or dugouts. The fences are slowly being torn down by players (and coaches) jumping over them.
- Remove the tarps from the mound and batting area before use. They are to be removed and hung on the fence when the field is in use. Leaving them in the grass “burns” the grass. Pitching on them because the mound is muddy destroys the tarp and the mound and leaves a muddy mess for someone else.
- NEVER pitch off of the side or in front of the mound or from ANY grass area. This tears up the mound and tears up the grass, leaving bald spots.
- Teach your pitchers to conserve their energy and the have your catchers help them. Do not let them walk back and forth towards the plate to get the ball. Have them stay at the mound and have the catcher throw the ball to them.
- The portable batting cage is meant to be in the dirt circle when used. When the back corners are in the grass on a hot day, they can “burn” the grass. When the batting cage is not in the circle, it is of no use. The balls are still going to go foul over the fences.
- When waiting to go into the portable batting cage, use the on deck circle to warm up in. Warming up in the grass beside the cage tears the grass out and leaves bald areas.
- Do not EVER push water or mud into the grass. Push the water or mud onto a higher dirt area. Do not remove, dig or squeegee, mud from a hole. It only makes the hole bigger. Use the “bilge pump” for deep puddles.
§ If the home plate and pitching mound areas are to wet to use, then don’t! Move your whole practice to the outfield. Do not track and tear up the infield areas for your own benefit. The holes you leave will hold water and when the infield does dry out, the hardened mud is extremely hard to work and level out. Mud tracked or pushed onto the grass kills the grass.
§ Do not let any players (or coaches) dig holes in the grass with their cleats.
- When the press box has been used. The HOME team is responsible for it for your game. Make sure it is clean and the trashcan has been emptied. Have whoever was in the press box remove any food or seeds thrown on the carpet. If you are the last game, turn off the air conditioning units, turn off all the lights, turn off the scoreboard, close the windows and lock the doors!
- The dugouts, both the Home and Visitor’s, are ultimately the responsibility of the Home team after EACH PRACTICE or GAME to make sure they are cleaned up.
- The three trashcans are the responsibility of the last Home team to practice or play each day. If they are near 2/3 full, then empty them. They will not be as hard to handle at that time OR dump them all into one and take just the one. The cans are to be taken to the dumpster, dumped, returned to where you found them and the chains locked.
- As the team manager, do not leave the field until all of your team members have been picked up.
- Do not tolerate unsportsmanlike or disrespectful conduct by any SCAA player, coach or fan. Make your assistant commissioner or the baseball commissioner aware of any problems. We want to try and handle small problems before they grow in to large ones.
- Ejection for any reason, of a manager, coach or player will result in that person having to attend the next played game in “street” clothes, sit in the bleachers and not participate in the game in any way. Ejected fans may not attend the next played game.
Be observant (Again). When leaving the field after the last practice or game, take a look around. Make sure the field maintenance was completed. Put away all equipment. Check and lock all the doors of the press box. Place the “do not use” sign on the field. Close the gates. Turn off the field lights and the scoreboard