Early on in my baseball coaching career, I knew that as long as I had the schools golf cart and drag, I was going to beat the rain-outs by dragging before and after each game. The thought was that whomever built the field figured in the proper grade to have water run-off; and as long as I kept the dirt loose, the water would never be a problem. I few cancelled games here and there was not a problem. It was not until working on a professional baseball field...where the option of calling a rain-out was next to never...for 10 years, did I realize how quickly a "good" grade can be ruined by a few low spots that could not be seen by the human eye....until after a good rain fall.
Don't get me wrong; a proper grade is only half the battle. The right infield mix is the other half..but that's for a later post.
Five years ago, there were 2 types of baseball / softball field installers. The one that actually used a true rotary laser and automated receivers (NOT a line laser rod bought at a local hardware store). Then the others that used the God given "eyeball" grade; supplemented with either a golf cart or Jeep with a drag (AKA: lowest bidder).
Today; Game On takes advantage of the same technology that is currently building sky-scrapers, airplanes and NASA rockets. 3D Laser Scanning provides a tool that can help us understand the pre-construction topography, as well as the current conditions that need fixed...even before breaking ground. The millimeter precision will show every "pocket" and suggest whether a dual axis grade or conical grade would be best for the field in question.
Sub-par water shed due to pockets in runners lanes - typical game damage over the season
(Post Season Grade results below)
Once a proper grade is assigned and then placed; the post laser scan will then show the grading results before breaking the equipment down, to re-assure the crew and customer that the water run-off will be successful.
Conical Post Grade
Dual Axis Grade due to natural topography conditions
There is NOT one grade style better than the other. Conical grades may provide less labor for the crew; it is not any more effective to shed water then a good dual axis grade. The decision on the style of grade needs to be made based on what is the entire fields topography. The best grade is the one that sheds water effectively with as little use of "conditioners" and drying agents as possible. #SMH