Villanova Hopes to Continue Their Winning Ways on AstroTurf

Ringgold High School is a Synthetic Turf Pioneer Once Again

Massive Washington Sports Complex Chooses AstroTurf

The Episcopal School of Dallas Steps Up Their Game with AstroTurf

AstroTurf Covering 6 High School Fields in Georgia School District

Kansas State Upgrades to AstroTurf Trionic

Why AstroTurf?

Learn the top 10 reasons to select AstroTurf for your next field… Learn More

A Field for Every Sport

There are all types of sports. Which is why there are all types of AstroTurf synthetic turf products… Learn More

Priority #1: Player Safety

Since 1965, AstroTurf has engineered synthetic turf systems with player safety uppermost in mind… Learn More

Just Like The Real Thing

We know the ins and out of creating a realistic looking turf field… Learn More

Built For Performance

With so many systems, it’s easy to see how AstroTurf can cover so much ground.

World Class 3D Turf

Find out why 60% of all AstroTurf clients select the RootZone technology.

Player Safety

Startling evidence has emerged from academic studies in recent years.

Build My Field

Whatever sport your team plays, there’s an AstroTurf product ready to take the field.

Welcome to AstroTurf

Since 1965, the AstroTurf brand has been driven by forward thinking ingenuity. Today AstroTurf continuously improves its system design to deliver playing surfaces with the most realistic, sport-specific performance, longest lasting durability, and sound player protection.

Welcome to the Second Half of the AstroTurf Century!

Latest News

Extraordinary Multi-Field Complexes

Why build just one field when you have the space for more? After all, there is no shortage of athletes waiting for some field time in our communities. Whether it is a parks department shuffling schedules to meet the needs of the youth teams in their city or it’s a...

5 Minutes with Andy Belles

Welcome to our series of Five Minutes With… blogs that will feature interviews with AstroTurf’s staff of experts, partners, clients and friends. We hope you learn something about our industry and the great people associated with it. Today we talk with AstroTurf Director of Field Hockey, Andy Belles.

Andy, you’ve been in the sports construction business for 41 years, employed at AstroTurf for twenty years and involved with the sport of Field Hockey for just as long. What else should our audience know about Andy Belles?

I began my career in Fort Lauderdale estimating turf, tennis, and track projects. I have been involved in the design, manufacture, sales and installation of just about every type of sports surface imaginable. I am the past president of the American Sports Builders Association, a product developer and a patent holder.  I have served AstroTurf as International Business Manager and representative to FIH, NFHCA, and USA Field Hockey.

What can/does AstroTurf do to support Field Hockey?

A better question might be what can all suppliers and vendors in the industry do to help strengthen the sport?  In my opinion, the key for us here in the United States is the USAFH “Grow the Game” initiative.  We supply support at National and Regional meetings, we put on educational seminars, tailgate with parents and friends and of course, contribute financially to this program.  All this to help build more fields, and build them right!

That’s it? Grow the Game?  What does that even mean?

According to Sally Goggin and Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey Brand Manager and CEO respectively, it’s that simple.  Get sticks in the hands of more young kids.  The more we can get young kids, all kids, girls and boys, picking up a stick, the more our ranks will grow.  We have a great sport that leads folks to an active lifestyle forever.  It keeps them focused on competing, it instills strong character, establishes a self-starter work ethic that makes them driven to succeed.  What’s not to love?  More kids, more clubs and pickup games.  More games equals more interest. More interest equals more kids.  Eventually, this all leads to more fields.

How does the surface affect the playing characteristics of the game?

USA Field Hockey and FIH have strict policies about ball bounce, ball roll, planarity, ideal depth of water, etc.  Pile height is important to ball speed.  The shorter and thicker the fiber, the faster the ball roll.  Water plays an important part in keeping the ball on the surface by creating adhesion between the fiber and the ball, keeping it down on the surface longer with less bouncing or chattering.  Water also keeps the ball rolling in a straighter line. It’s all about safety and high performance. AstroTurf’s Field Hockey product line meets all the necessary criteria for exceptional play and we have a long and extraordinary reputation in the sport.

You have been called “Mr. AstroTurf” and AstroTurf’s “resident historian”. Can you tell us just a little bit about your love for the brand and its history?

In the 1960’s I grew up listening to Howard Cosell talk about AstroTurf on Monday Night Football in prime time with my dad and brother… a very special memory.  In the sixties technology was king.  AstroTurf was a new surface that guaranteed teams a place to play and practice.  Think of that.  Before the invention of AstroTurf, I don’t believe there was a field anywhere in the world that could be guaranteed playable all of the time.  That was the beginning of the reign of AstroTurf.

In 1976 at the Montreal Olympics, Field Hockey was played for the first time on any surface other than grass.  AstroTurf totally changed the way the game is played.  In 2018 we have 29 FIH Certified Fields in North America, all our competitors have just 2 combined.  NCAA Field Hockey has been on AstroTurf longer than that.  No one can remember when a DI championship was played on anything other than the AstroTurf brand.

AstroTurf has been the solution to sloppy fields and the creation of consistent surfaces.  Indoor stadiums and practice facilities have thrived because of it. Our Magic Carpet system can roll out a FULL-SIZE FIELD in only 21 minutes allowing indoor stadiums to play a Collegiate game on Saturday, a NFL game on Sunday and run a major, full-size convention on Monday, generating major revenue unattainable without AstroTurf.

Research and Development?  That’s us!  The five million dollar AstroTurf test site at The University of Tennessee is the largest, most technologically comprehensive facility for testing and comparing artificial turf systems and natural grass.  It is an independently run, 3rd party turf research facility managed by the doctors and agronomists at UT and it places an emphasis on athletic field safety.  

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much that AstroTurf has done for the sports industry that I could go on forever.  

Yes I love the AstroTurf Brand.  What’s not to love?

5 Minutes with Todd DeWolfe

Welcome to our series of Five Minutes With… blogs that will feature interviews with AstroTurf’s staff of experts, partners, clients and friends. We hope you learn something about our industry and the great people associated with it. Today we talk with Todd DeWolfe, AstroTurf’s Vice President of Architectural Sales.

It has been said by your peers that you eat, sleep, and breathe synthetic turf. Where does that passion come from and how long have you had it?

Well, I was very fortunate to kinda “grow up” in this industry working for ProGrass and now with AstroTurf and the SportGroup after the merger.  When I started in 1999 there was one type of turf fiber and very few variables.  The turf world being not so complex back then allowed me to build on that base knowledge as the synthetic athletic field industry grew.  It’s not so simple now.  From products to testing the industry has grown by leaps and bounds.  The industry itself is very competitive and you have to have that competitive mentality.  You’ll hear many coaches say “Every day you either get better or you get worse.  You never stay the same”.    There is always something to learn in this industry and I love that about the turf world.  The industry is changing and AstroTurf is and will continue to be on the front end of that science.  It’s exciting to work with such a forward-working company and that helps drive my passion.  Being a father of two great daughters helps keep me grounded…they would be excellent in turf sales someday for being forced to listen to me their whole lives.

The overwhelming majority of AstroTurf’s 2018 field installations contain a RootZone. Why are customers moving at a record pace to this type of system?

I can’t say enough about our RootZone technology.  Competitors have never been able to fully replicate the quality of our RootZone in manufacturing.  Before joining AstroTurf I had to sell against it all the time….it’s a lot better being on this side of the fence.  AstroTurf has been manufacturing and installing RootZone longer than anyone else and it shows.  I’ve been on a lot of fields, can’t even guess how many but the nicest field I’ve seen is a 6-7 year old RootZone field near home that Rich Jordan sold to Brighton High School.  This field has helped drive the RootZone product in the Midwest and helped Aaron Klotz and I continue the growth in Michigan to where the majority of our fields in Michigan this year had the RootZone technology.  The ease of less maintenance for hot spots, the dense carpet, less infill splash, not having to top dress as often as non RootZone fields really helps owners make the decision on their own.  We’re changing the game and constantly improving our systems.  What owners are buying is proof.

What advice do you give customers who are planning on retrofitting their field?

Do as much homework on the front end as you can.  Learn as much about the industry as you can before you get pricing.  You’ll be amazed how much the technology and mindset has changed.  Know what you have under your turf and what your turf is, infill included.  Keep your drawings and spec from the original installation.  Don’t accept just that your field hasn’t had drainage issues that everything will be ok.  Work with experienced contractors who have been through this and will be your partner.  You get one chance to get this right.  Set a realistic budget once you have done your research.  Research warranties, products, companies, installations, fiber, infill, shock pads, performance testing, edge detail……Pick a system that will last and serve your community well for your needs.

We know that it’s not just about what’s on top, there’s a lot of other things that have to be done before the turf goes down. Can you speak to the advantages of looking for a field builder that can provide you with a turnkey project?

At AstroTurf we really are a partner.  This is a long-term partnership with our clients and when the turf is removed we need to make sure that the dynamic drainage base is working to full capacity.  Positive drainage, stone stability and planarity are three main components.  Stone needs these three components, without one of the three you will have an issue.  The pipes need to be scoped to make sure there is no blockage.  We’re not 100% sure what’s under the turf until we remove the old system.  Having existing as built drawings from the original bids will help.  Again why working with experienced contractors is so important and the AstroTurf Project Managers and Operations team has some of the best and brightest in the industry.

The debate rages on in our industry about infill vs. fiber. Will you give us your take on which concept provides a better performing system?

Fiber has improved so much in wear and UV degradation since the start of the industry.  Fiber is the most important key in the longevity of your system.  Owners will have different performance requirements. Would we sell the same system to a D1 soccer program that we would sell to a American D1 Football program?  No.  We recommend different fibers and different infills to meet their performance requirements.  Soccer is a kick-through sport and American football is a dig in and push sport.  They have different hot spots for wear.  You never play 100% on either the fiber or the infill.  Infill can always be added over the life oft the field and it should be as part of your regular professional maintenance program.  Fiber cannot be added.  Once the fiber is worn out, the system is worn out.  High face weight, high performance turf systems are the future.  Higher face weight turfs may not be less expensive at purchase but in the long run they are more cost effective for the owner.

If you weren’t educating the world about the merits of AstroTurf, what do you think you would be doing?

Wow, not sure, I think I’d find my way back to the turf world one way or another….I’d have to say working in coaching or some other sports related industry.  Now that I’ve been in the sports related industry world over 20 years I can’t imagine doing anything else.

5 Minutes with Aaron Klotz

Welcome to our series of Five Minutes With… blogs that will feature interviews with AstroTurf’s staff of experts, partners, clients and friends. We hope you learn something about our industry and the great people associated with it. Today we talk with G. Aaron Klotz, AstroTurf’s Director of Baseball Operations.

You’re involved with the game of baseball on many different levels. Tell us a little about your experience with the game as a player and a coach.
“I played baseball at Adrian College in Adrian, MI and had a great experience there. I was named league MVP in 1997 and a Rawlings First Team All-Region member that same year.  I was also an All-American in football at Adrian during my time there as well. I have helped coach at Adrian College for the last 19 years, the last 10 as a part-time assistant.  I am also an Associate Scout for the Texas Rangers. I have also somehow found the time to start a travel organization called the Adrian Dirtbags.  We have over 140 kids involved in the program that consists of softball and baseball teams.  Baseball is definitely something I am around 24/7, whether with work, coaching or watching my children playing.”

Tell us about Skipper’s Dugout.  What is it and how did it come about?
Skipper’s Dugout is a website/twitter handle that I started six years ago to help coaches find jobs, games or post open dates.  We started with 10 followers and now have over 13,400 followers. We’ve become quite the site for coaches around the USA.  It has been really neat.  It’s well received around the coaching world and something that I am very proud of.  We’ve helped so many coaches land jobs or find info on jobs.  It’s something that was definitely needed in the game.”

You recently spoke at the ABCA National Convention in Indianapolis.  What were some of the most important things that you tried to convey there?
“First, it was an honor to be asked by the ABCA to do that.  Such an unreal experience.  To be chosen to speak at a convention that is attended by 5,000 coaches – just wow! Secondly, I just tried to pass on the lessons and coaching skills that I have learned from so many that taught me and continue to teach me in this great game of baseball. It was great! I was able to have my son on the stage with me as my demonstrator, so definitely something we will both remember for a very long time.”

What sets AstroTurf’s baseball products apart from your competitors’ offerings?
“We offer a system that was built to replicate natural grass and clay – from aesthetics to performance. No other system out there does that.  Baseball coaches are very tough to convince to walk away from natural grass and clay, but once on our Diamond Series turf, it’s a very easy transition.  Some try to duplicate and copy our methods, but we started it, researched it in our lab, but most importantly we get the feedback of our coaches, clients and end users to constantly make it the preferred service of the baseball community.”

Tell us about a couple of your favorite AstroTurf installations that you have been involved with and what made them special.
“One of the most recent ones was University of Kentucky baseball.  The field is gorgeous, but the surroundings and atmosphere they built in this new stadium is very special. Another install not baseball related was Adrian College, my alma mater.  We replaced their field this summer and it really was a cool project to work on, especially because the college itself holds a special place in my heart.  I met my wife there and we continue to support the Bulldogs as a family!”

If you weren’t an AstroTurf salesperson, what do you think you would be doing?
“I would definitely be coaching college baseball full time.  There is nothing like the college baseball game, relationships with players and molding of young men.  It’s awesome to be together with a group of people working for one common goal.”

 

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