What Goes Into The Design Of A Sports Field

September 14, 2018
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September 14, 2018 Martin Halo

When designing an athletic field for construction there are many factors to take into account. Purpose and environment are the two original topics to consider for this project. The dimensions will need to accommodate the standards of the game for which the field is designed whether it is for baseball, football, lacrosse, or equestrian sports. They will also need to change based on the setting whether it is for a professional stadium, a university, or a public park.

Setting The Stage

Once the site has been decided, the next step is an evaluation. This should include different grades of soil, site drainage, lighting, traffic flow, maintenance equipment access, water sources, and land-use issues or needs.


The type of soil used will determine how sturdy the players feel on their feet. Cleats may penetrate certain soils and dig them up if they are too loose. At the same time, water drainage can be an issue if the water cannot travel through the soil, making the field more slippery with moisture. Different grades of soil are useful for creating an impenetrable surface layer with a porous layer underneath.


It is essential to have an effective drainage system to keep the field as dry as possible during rain. Making the mistake of lacking a proper drainage system will result in a slippery field that is unusable at times. A foundational drainage system may work well on roads and buildings, but athletic field construction requires a different expertise.

Grass or AstroTurf

There are many reasons for either choosing a synthetic turf field or a natural grass field. Synthetic grass, also known as AstroTurf, costs twice as much as natural grass but requires almost no maintenance. Watering fields can become an issue of water conservation in desert climates. Turf requires no watering and is also more resistant to. Antibacterial nylon fibers keep the grass clean. Turf can be more susceptible to trapping in heat which can be uncomfortable during the summer. To alleviate this the turf can be watered down. The surface of turf is more homogenous, letting athletes reliably do their job without unpredictable changes in terrain. Because artificial grass does not grow the blades of grass are always the same length. This affects how much grip the players will have during the game. Shorter grass will allow more nimble movements while longer grass will have better grip.

Natural Grass

Natural grass allows insects and microorganisms to inhabit it which is much better for the environment of a park. Natural grass is also much cooler than turf. The maintenance of natural grass through lawn mowers and sprinkler systems can harm the environment and is more work to hire. Sport-specific lines must be repainted and broken pieces of grass must be replaced as the sun and traffic wear down the field.

Overall the design and construction of an athletic field can take several months to years and will require many different industries to take part in the process. Sports Turf One will oversee the designing and building of any field. Call now to discuss any needs for constructing an athletic field (866) 908-8731.