The Athletic Field Construction Manual is a staple reference for those in the sports turf industry. Written by Dr. R.W. Sheard in conjunction with an editorial committee of professionals, the manual brings uniformity to the construction of grass athletic fields.
Michael Bladon, former Grounds Superintendent at the University of Guelph, believes that "specifications could have saved grounds maintenance personnel and others thousands of dollars in corrective action when poor construction methods were used, partly because pertinent information was not readily available."
Sports Turf Canada moved to solve this issue through the creation of construction specifications in the Athletic Field Construction Manual. "The value of this manual to the industry is in the recognition of the need for a comprehensive set of specifications which, if followed or used, ensures that athletic fields are built correctly the first time," says Bladon.
Landscape Architect Lawrence Stasiuk of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects adds, "Competitive athletes demand high quality and safe playing surfaces. The Athletic Field Construction Manual provides standards for five categories of field construction that will help designers determine the appropriate field design for the intended level of use and competition."
This classification system is primarily based on the root zone material and the provision of drainage, irrigation and lights. The resulting specifications for each category of field are based on the best available scientific information.