Cut It Out!

As baseball and softball seasons are winding down around the country, many sports turf managers are contemplating annual fall renovation of their ballfields to prepare them for next spring’s season. Often it means putting the field to bed for the winter ready to play for next spring. Part of that renovation often includes edging the infield skinned turf edges.

Many of you rely on Beacon’s “Ballfield Dimensions & Resource Guide or the online version for the dimensions needed to measure all of your cutouts. Dimensions listed in our guide are for the most part collected right from the governing body’s rule book. However, many of those measurements are actually just recommendations, not absolute measurements. In those cases the discretion is actually up to the groundskeeper to determine what he or she wants the dimensions to be based on wear patterns and other preferences unique to their ballfields.

Major League Baseball’s actual Rule #2.01 reads: “The grass lines and dimensions shown on the diagrams are those used in many fields, but they are not mandatory and each club shall determine the size and shape of the grassed and bare areas of its playing field.” Don’t be afraid to be creative. Cut your field grass edges in a way that minimizes your wear and works to your field maintenance advantage.

For more information and stories about this topic, listen to Beacon’s Diamond DaVincis podcast from July 28, 2016, titled “Cut It Out!” Paul and Theresa’s guest is Minnesota Twins Head Groundskeeper Larry DiVito. Together they explore and explain this topic with a few humorous stories thrown in.

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor's in Soil Science with a specialty in Turf & Grounds Management. Paul took over as head groundskeeper for the Orioles’ final season at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and then was heavily involved throughout the design and construction phases of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which debuted on April 4, 1992. Paul has led Technical Sales Support at Beacon Athletics since the summer of 2000. In 2012, Paul authored and oversaw the launch of "Groundskeeper University", the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Over the years, Paul has donated thousands of hours working with West Madison Little League, which also plays a critical role in the research and development for many of Beacon’s innovative field maintenance tools.