7 Tips for Float Dragging

When you are float dragging the infield skin, there are some things you need to consider. Keep these 7 TIPS in mind:

  1. If pulling your drag with a vehicle proceed slowly, especially when cornering, to avoid “bowling out” the skin area.
  2. Keep the vehicle towed drag at least 6 inches away from the infield skin edges. Use a hand drag to go along the edges. You will have more accurate control of the hand drag.
  3. Just like when nail dragging, float drag your skinned areas in patterns perpendicular to each other to insure a smooth playing surface.
  4. Start your float dragging in high areas (along the back arc edge of the infield or the 1st & 3rd base corners of a baseball infield) and finish in low spots (around bases and players positions) to help reduce low spots which lead to water ponding in rain situations.
  5. Use a leveling bar in front of a towed drag mat to grab piles of loose material and spread them out ahead of the drag mat.
  6. If hand dragging, walk a steady pace and don’t bounce your arm that you are pulling the drag with in order to avoid the drag bouncing and leaving ripples on the skin surface.
  7. When finished, use a sifting shovel to screen any contaminants (rocks, pebbles, sticks, grass clippings, etc.) from the spoils left at the end of the drag and follow up using a level board to evenly distribute the remaining spoils around the area.

By properly maintaining the surface grade of your infield you will reduce, if not eliminate, any problems you will face during rainy weather. Additionally, the infield skin will play more true for the players who scamper around your infield.

Paul Zwaska (contributor)

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul has been a frequent contributor to Beacon’s Ballfield Blog and other resources and products. Among other contributions to Beacon, he authored Groundskeeper University, the pioneering online ballfield maintenance training venue.