Monday, November 13, 2006 - 10:45 AM

Evaluating Baseball Infield Playing Quality.

James Brosnan1, Andrew McNitt2, and Thomas J. Serensits1. (1) Penn State University, 10 Vairo Blvd. Apt# 239B, 10 Vairo Blvd. Apt# 239B, State College, PA 16803, United States of America, (2) 116 Ag Sciences & industry Building, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Penn State University, Department of Crop and Soil Science, University Park, PA 16802-3504

Studies of baseball field playing quality are minimal. Baseball field playing quality involves interactions between both the ball and the player with the surface. The speed at which a baseball travels after impact with the playing surface has been referred to as the pace of the surface. The playing quality of a baseball field can be expressed through measurements of surface pace, as well as surface hardness and traction. In 2006, a study was conducted to evaluate the effects of skinned infield maintenance procedures on baseball field playing quality under different environmental conditions. The effects of soil amendment additions and grooming depth were evaluated on skinned infield mixes compacted to various degrees. The compaction of the skinned material significantly altered the hardness, pace, and traction of the playing surface. Increased grooming depth significantly reduced playing surface hardness and traction, while soil amendment additions had little effect on playing quality. Playing surface pace was unaffected by both grooming depth and soil amendment additions.