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Peachtree Baseball & Softball League

Peachtree Baseball & Softball League

Field Care



Peachtree Field Care

We are making every effort to afford all divisions within Peachtree the opportunity to play

games from time to time on the fields at the park. We have wonderful facilities at the park and

its up to all of us to keep them as nice as we can. To that end, its important for all teams to

understand what we do before and after games there so that we can continue to keep it in

strong shape. Everyone with Peachtree is a volunteer.

General

 Home teams are responsible for field prep prior to the game. Visitors after. It’s always

much easier if you both help each other with the roles.

 When your game is complete, you should set the field up (with the help of the next

home team) for the following game. I.e. if you are minors and majors is behind you, you

would replace the bases to the 70’ anchors.

 Often you can’t tell if you are the last game of the day or not. If no one is there waiting,

assume you are the last game and put everything up per below.

Prep for game

 Ensure the mound (or pitching rubber for softball) is at the appropriate distance. Both

upper and lower have measuring tapes in their respective sheds. Put the tapes back,

don’t leave them out. If you are not using the mound (i.e. with softball), make sure you

put it outside of the fence and flat (do not stand on edge). Softball rubbers are also

stored in the respective shed.

 Remove home plate tarp (roll up) and sand bags. Put them in a dugout. On the upper,

we tend to put the tarp roll outside of the fence along the third base line.

 Draw batters’ boxes (use chalk). There is a metal form in both sheds. You put the

handles against the straight line of the plate on the side. The longer side of the frame

should be towards the back.

 Draw lines all the way out to foul poles. There is a string in both sheds.

o Anchor the string 3‐4’ behind the plate with a nail or spike (in shed). The line

should run from the apex of the plate parallel to the angled sides of the plate, all

the way to the foul pole. Remove the base prior to chalking. Run your chalk line

with the outer edge of the chalk against the line you have pulled. Ideally, the

chalk line will run under the base once its put back and the line will match with

the base (that’s when you know its right). DO NOT CHALK THE GRASS

o Use the paint sprayer to paint the grass. Keep your line there and switch from

Chalker to paint sprayer once you get to the grass. There are additional paint

cans in the side of the concession stand. Again, keep the outer edge of the paint

against the inner edge of the line you pulled.

 Softball needs a pitchers circle 8 ft’ in diameter around the pitching rubber. Use chalk.

 Make sure everything is off the field prior to the game. L‐screen, drags, sandbags, tarp

roll, etc. Anything left on the field leaves potential for injury.

 Games at the upper and lower field should utilize the scoreboard. The visiting team

normally supplies the score board operator.

o The units to operate the scoreboard are kept in the lower shed and in the side of

the concession stand or upper shed for the upper field.

o Plug in the power cord and then plug in the data feed cord.

Prep after the game

 After each game the field should be drug.

o Upper is beyond grass only. Upper base baths should be raked (rake with the

path not against it so you don’t push dirt into the grass).

o Lower is the entire field.

o Plug all bases prior to dragging the field.

o Highly encourage you to have the players drag. From rookie up, you can put two

players on the drag and they can manage to pull it.

 Prep the field for the division that follows you. Their home team should help you.

 Make sure any lines destroyed beyond use are re‐chalked (normally just batters box).

 Make sure you are not the last game. If no one is there, even if just a break, handle

things as if you were the last game. Never know when the storm comes in and cancels a

later game.

Last games of the day

 Drag the field as per above.

 Before you drag, you should have the bases plugged. Leave them plugged. You can

simply leave the bases on the side of the field. If we are missing sand bags, you can use

the bases upside down to help anchor the home plate tarp.

 Put the tarp back on home plate with the sand bags on top.

 If you didn’t use the mound, put it back out on the field in place. This helps keep that

area dry if rain occurs.

 Ensure you’ve put up the scoreboard units (side of concession if open or upper shed if

not). Lower shed for lower unit.

 Ensure your teams have cleaned the dugout as much as possible.

 Ensure the sheds are locked.

Pitcher’s Mound / Batter’s Box

The key to maintaining the integrity of the pitching mound and batter’s box is regular maintenance.

Before and after each practice and game, we have a responsibility to undo the damage to the mound

and batter boxes.

Note: While Peachtree has moved to portable mounds, the procedures are the same for the batter’s

box, bullpen mounds, and the game mounds at Greenwood. Holes will also develop immediately in front

of the portable mounds. These must be repaired.

Materials needed:

‐ a broom for sweeping away loose material

‐ a tamper for the clay

‐ water (spray nozzle & hose, or a watering can will suffice)

‐ rake

‐ mound / box tarps and weights

There are two scenarios to deal with:

Scenario 1. All that has been disturbed is the top dressing, and there are no noticeable holes in the

underlying clay. If that is the case, proceed to step 4 below. Basically: wet, top‐dress, wet, and cover.

Given the amount our pitchers and batters tend to excavate holes, this scenario is unlikely. Filling a hole

w/ loose topdressing is not an acceptable practice!

Scenario 2: The underlying mound clay has been damaged. If this is the case, we need to repair the

substrate. Take the following actions:

1. Use a broom to sweep away any loose material from the holes. If top dressing remains on old clay,

new clay will not bind and will tear out easily.

2. Lightly dampen the areas with water. Loosen/scuff the worn areas with a iron rake.

3. Place a small amount (1” to 2” layer) of the good packing clay into the hole and tamp it until firm.

Repeat until the packed clay is leveled.

4. Lightly moisten these areas again. Shave the high spots down with a sharpened iron rake

5. Pull dry material (top dressing) over wet material. Rake smooth.

6. Moisten and cover with a tarp.

Remember: Water is your most important maintenance tool!

Remainder of the infield:

The surface should be left flat and free of holes, either using rakes or drags. Ensure that we never rake

or drag dirt into the grass. That is how the berms are formed that result in very bad hops. If you are

using a drag, make the turns in the dirt, not in the grass. Never use the drag within 12” of the grass

edge. Only hand rake edges, parallel to the grass, to prevent lips from forming. When finished, stop the

drag in the dirt, lift, and carry it back to the shed. Use leaf rakes to pull loose dirt

out of the grass and back into the dirt at every transition from grass to dirt.

Chalk

Do not run the chalk liner into the grass. The chalk will mound up over time. The league owns a paint

sprayer for the OF lines, and they will need to be re‐sprayed a few times throughout the season.

Dirt/Clay

A few notes on dirt and clay: It takes several different types of clay and mix to make a good infield.

Batters boxes and pitchers’ mounds are generally formed with mound clay. It packs well and has very

little sand content. We generally stock buckets of mound clay, but we should not put them to use

without taking all the precautions mentioned above, or it will be wasted.

We’ve mixed turface into the dirt and will have buckets of that mix in the upper field. Wet areas should

be removed and replaced with this mixture.

Determining Field Playability

The decision to play on fields that are too wet causes damage to ball fields and can often result in

player injury. And often, techniques used to make a wet field “playable” cause additional damage.

Making the tough call to postpone a game due to wet conditions is the best decision for player safety

and to preserve season‐long playability of the ball fields.

If your shoe leaves a depression that you can't easily rake over, then the field is probably too wet. If

there is standing water, the field is too wet.

Drying agent, AKA Quick Dry, Rapid Dry, etc are the most common products used to assist with wet

infield conditions. These products should be used judiciously for two reasons: they are VERY EXPENSIVE,

and they change the properties of the infield mix when used abundantly. You should never, under any

circumstance, use more than 3 bags of drying agent to attempt to make a field playable. If you need that

much material, then the game should be rescheduled.

You should not use drying agents directly on the field. The process is to use the dirt in the buckets

stored in the shed. This dirt has been mixed with the drying agent.

Remove the mud from the field and set to the side. Fill in with the dirt/drying agent mixture as

necessary.

Steps for Applying a Drying Agent

1. Use a spreader, shovel, or hand to evenly apply a thin layer of the drying agent.

2. The material may be lightly incorporated using a rake or left on top of the infield mix.

You should not dump the material onto standing water.

Preparing a field that has taken on significant water should begin hours in advance of game time. If you

know the field is wet and you have a game later in the day or the next day, it is to your advantage to

turn the field over with a nail drag or stiff rake to speed drying.

Take pride in the field and encourage the kids to the do the same. Devote the last few minutes of

practice / post‐game to field maintenance and let’s keep our fields in respectable shape.

Contact

Peachtree Baseball & Softball League
P.O Box 159 
Crozet, Virginia 22932

Phone: 434-823-7183
Email: [email protected]

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