Dominican Republic - Baseball may already be one of North America’s most popular sports, but the MLB’s mandate is to spread that popularity worldwide. By hosting regular field maintenance clinics, the league is increasing interest in the game at a grassroots level in countries where semi-professional teams are working to make a name for themselves and the sport.
Several clinics have been held in the Dominican Republic, a country known for producing ball players talented enough to move up to major league teams in the United States and Canada. Covermaster is a sponsor of the clinics and sent a representative to the Dominican Republic in September. They accompanied Murray Cook, MLB’s International Advisor, who arranged the clinic, along with the MLB’s Domincan office, to talk about products invaluable in field maintenance. Additional clinics in Australia and Canada have all had the same goal: to raise the standards of baseball field maintenance and increase the playability of the game.
Clinics are designed to teach groundskeepers and grounds crew how to maintain all elements of the field, care for turf and make the playing area as safe as possible. That can mean incorporating products like wall and rail padding, and turf protection such as baseball field tarps to ensure the grass stays in top condition for proper ball roll and bounce. An even, well-maintained sports field can mean the difference between a twisted ankle and catching a game-winning pop fly.
Covermaster is also involved with another organization working to spread valuable knowledge outside of North America. The Sports Turf Managers Association (stma.org) works to advance professionalism in sports field management and safety with a particular focus on Latin America. Covermaster Vice President Ken Curry sits on the STMA’s international committee.
Dr. Mike Goatley, past president of the STMA and a professor with Virginia Tech, is an extension turfgrass specialist and an expert in crop and soil environmental sciences, also attended the clinic. As part of the STMA’s outreach efforts in Latin America, Dr. Goatley has shared his knowledge about overall turf field maintenance, including disease identification and prevention.
Education, awareness programs and industry development are all part of the STMA’s mandate, which Covermaster proudly supports.
Posted Oct 19, 2017