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How To Make Sure Your Athletic Facilities Are Ready For Fall Sports

How To Make Sure Your Athletic Facilities Are Ready For Fall Sports

Athletic Facilities

How To Make Sure Your Athletic Facilities Are Ready For Fall Sports

Are you excited for the fall sports season? We are! If you have been dedicated to practicing and conditioning this summer in order to prepare for competition, you should be well prepared to play. However, there are several factors you should know about that can help to boost your rankings. These tips below can help you gain an advantage over your competitors and can help to get you more wins. Make it a good season and consider these suggestions below.  

Creating a Safe Atmosphere For Fans

The first step to gaining an advantage over your competition comes from the amount of fans you have at games. The more people you have cheering the team on, the more enjoyable games will be. For home games, it is important to make sure that you have enough seating available for family and friends to come watch games. At Byrne & Jones Construction, we specialize in all of your concrete needs. We can easily come in and lay concrete near the sports fields to ensure that there is a stable area for bleachers or additional seating. This way, fans can be encouraged to come watch games together and have a good time. With fans cheering your athletes on, this is the first step to success over your rivals. Check out some of our concrete work 

In order for athletes to have an audience, there needs to be enough space to park. If your parking lot is covered with potholes that prevent people from parking in spaces, then you are deterring fans. A parking lot will help to encourage and attract a crowd. No one will want to come watch games if they are worried about finding parking or are scared that the parking lot is falling apart. The paving preservation pros at Byrne & Jones Construction can help with that. We will come in to fix your parking lot and ensure a smooth surface for maximum use. After you have ensured a comfortable experience for your fans, it is time to beat the competition with the fields.  

Providing Your Athletes With the Best Possible Playing Surface

For athletes, it is vital to have a high-quality playing surface. By being able to practice on a smooth surface, your athletes will be ready and better prepared to beat their competition. Whether it is maintenance or a new turf installation, updates are needed to ensure that your tracks and fields are safe to play on. Keeping your surfaces up to date is important to having your fields looking great but also vital to avoiding any big expenses in the future. Additionally, if your surfaces are not smooth or damaged, this can become unsafe for the athletes. Byrne & Jones Sports Construction has you covered. We specialize in sports fields including artificial turf fields and will ensure you have a good surface to practice and play on. Deciding on whether to have artificial turf or natural grass fields? We actually wrote a blog about this. Click here to read about the advantages of artificial turf. Check out some of our completed projects to get a better idea of the work we do. 

The final touch for securing first place is with the appeal of the field itself. Details such as color and graphics used on your sports field have the power to make all the difference. If your athletes are playing and practicing on plain fields, then there is nothing that definitively sets your complex apart from other schools. By having your school colors sprayed on the endzones of a football field and your logo front and center, no one will forget where they are or who they are playing. By also allowing your athletes to practice on these fields and play on for home games, this little reminder of school spirit can help to boost morale for the players, which is important for winning games. Check out these completed football fields to get a better idea of how you can personalize your field for a nicer appeal.  

Ready to show off your fields and win some games this fall? Contact the experts at Byrne & Jones Construction to have your facility updated and ready for the fall. Give us a call at (314) 254-9766 

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What You Need to Know About Running Tracks

What You Need to Know About Running Tracks

Running Track Blog Picture

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! What You Need to Know About Running Tracks

From sprinting to cheerleading to walking, your track will be used a decent amount over the years. A lot of people wonder how long running tracks last, when to get repairs, and what to repair as well as how to prevent wear and tear. Understanding how to care for your running track will be important for maintaining a strong and sturdy track. Read this blog to learn more about what you need to know about your running track.

The first and most important component of a durable and safe running track is the installation. The installation of your running track will help to ensure that it will last long-term without need for much maintenance. It is important that the substructure and drainage of the track is of quality or else you will run into cracking, bubbling, and uneven surfaces in the near future. It’s important to understand that from the subgrade to the surface, each layer is a big part of the finished product. If installed correctly, you should not have many major issues down the road.

Check out this running track installation video.

Get Set!

In order to ensure that your track can last a long time for your runners, it is important to afford it the proper care. This means being strict about the use of the track. Running tracks are specifically made for running and walking only, not roller blading, roller skating, skate boarding, bicycle riding, and motorized vehicles. These various activities will place too much pressure on your track and can tear the surface, which leaves an uneven and dangerous surface for runners.  At the end of the day, running tracks are designed and built for athletes to compete on. We don’t recommend doing anything on the surface other than its intended use. One good practice to help avoid this is to place a sign listing these restrictions near your running track so that people are fully aware of what not to do. At Byrne & Jones, we like to make sure each job site has one of these signs to help deter non runners and walkers.

Just like with most surfaces, it is important to keep it clean. Loose debris can scratch up the surface, and more importantly, create an unsafe surface for people to run and walk on. Tracks should be washed down and swept regularly to ensure that debris and trash are not causing damage. Apart from damaging the surface, having a clean surface will help to keep your track looking great.

If your running track is starting to look dull or you’re beginning to see the black mat through the colored surface, it may be time for a track respray. A track respray is a new wearing course surface for your existing track surface. At Byrne & Jones, our experts will go in and spray a new 2 millimeter thick coating, which is under warranty for 3 to 5 years. Think of this as a surface maintenance that will extend the overall life of the running track system. Respraying your track every 6-8 years will ensure that you maximize the life of the system. Respraying can help to extend the life of your track.

Notice any cracks? These can form from weather conditions as well as wear over time. Cracks typically start to form on the outside or inside edges of the track and should be repaired right away to prevent further damage. If the cracks are in the upper base of the track, this can typically be repaired with patching. If the cracks go deeper, there may be an asphalt or subbase issue, which would need a larger repair.  Cracks going into the asphalt could mean that it’s time to remove all of the track surface and investigate what’s going on below.

Go!

To conclude, you can save yourself from a lot of headache down the road if your track is installed professionally to begin with. With these basic maintenance tips and care of your running tracks, you can have a track that can last beyond 20 years. Take care of your track, and take care of your athletes by trusting the experts at Byrne & Jones. Give us a call at (314) 254-9766.

Click here to check out some of our completed projects, or check out our Sports Construction Instagram.

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A Guide for Installing a Tennis Court

A Guide for Installing a Tennis Court

Tennis Court Installation

A Guide for Installing a Tennis Court

There are many factors that go into constructing a new tennis court. These include choosing a site, deciding what type of material to use for the surface, additional accessories, and more. Our job at Byrne & Jones is to simplify this process for you. Written below is a guide to understanding the different factors to consider when installing a new court.

What to consider when selecting a site for a tennis court

The site for your tennis court is the single most important decision in the overall construction of your court(s)! There are good sites, bad sites, expensive sites, and sites with little to no access. The best site is one that is flat. The less dirt you move the better as it will be less expensive to build and could even take less time to construct. Think about the expense in hauling dirt off site, building a retaining wall, or having to build the site up.

Soil Conditions

In order for you to get the maximum life from your court, you need a strong foundation. That means good, dry, stable soils. If the ground moves, or water is present, your courts will have a lot of issues down the road. It is a good idea to hire a qualified geotechnical engineer to perform a soil analysis.

Sloping and Drainage 

Proper slope of the subgrade is critical to allow water drainage away from the court. The ground should be reasonably level, preferably on the same plane or higher than adjacent land. The finished subgrade should be 4 to 6 inches above the surrounding ground. If your site has a high water table, you may need to install underdrains or construct a drainage system to address the water issues.

Court Positioning 

The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), recommends tennis courts be built in a north-south orientation, which prevents players from having to stare into the sun during the morning or afternoon. This detail can account for better and more enjoyable play for the athletes.

Trees and Vegetation

Trees and vegetation can create additional maintenance challenges. If tree roots migrate, they can damage the surface. It is best to keep them as far away as possible to prevent these issues and save you money down the road.

Contractor

Tennis court construction is a highly specialized project. For that reason, it is important to select a contractor who has extensive experience with tennis court construction. One general tip we recommend is hiring a contractor who is an active member of the American Sports Builders Association. Be sure to ask the contractor for references from past clients and visit completed projects before signing them on.

Check out this completed project of an 8 court installation! 

What are the dimensions of a tennis court?

Regulation tennis courts for doubles play is 60 x 120 feet. You must allow additional space around the perimeter for construction and maintenance access.

What are the different types of court surfaces?

There are four main types of court surfaces: clay, hard, carpet/synthetic, and grass. Each offers a different style of playing as the bounce is affected by the surface.

Clay: Clay courts are composed of crushed shale, stone, or brick. This surface is known for allowing a slower and higher bounce as this surface helps to slow down the ball. Baseline players who enjoy a topspin and longer rallies typically prefer playing on clay courts as this can help a player focus on developing their skills. Some players also enjoy clay courts more as this softer surface can reduce the impact on one’s joints. However, clay courts require more maintenance in order to keep the surface right for the bounce of the tennis ball.

Hard: Hard courts are typically made out of concrete or asphalt with an acrylic surface layer. This type of surface allows for the ball to bounce fast and high and is most common because the bounce of the ball is more predictable. Asphalt courts can last 12-18 years and offer a softer surface compared to concrete. Concrete courts are found to be less susceptible to cracking.

Carpet/Synthetic: These courts consist of a removable court covering. Carpet courts allow the ball to bounce fast and low. While less expensive to build and less maintenance required, this court can be difficult on the knees as the ball tends to bounce lower.

Grass: Grass courts allow for a quick play as the ball bounces lower. This court surface requires the most maintenance out of the four as it can be expensive to build and maintain. However, it can be softer on the joints.

What is the cost of building a tennis court?

Each tennis court installation is dependent on the amount of work that goes into preparing the site. Each court will also vary depending on what options are selected such as fence type, lighting, retaining walls, water runoff management, permits, and local requirements, which can raise or lower the price. The different court surface types will also vary in range. However, a basic asphalt court will start at $50,000.

Ready to play? Check out these tennis terms.

Now that you know the details of what goes into building a tennis court, you will be better prepared. Ready to start building a tennis court? We got you covered! At Byrne & Jones, we are a 7-time ASBA Excellence Award Winners including 12 ASBA Certified Builders. Trust the experts, and give us a call at (314) 254-9766.

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The Advantages of Artificial Turf Baseball Fields

The Advantages of Artificial Turf Baseball Fields

The Advantages of Artificial Turf Baseball Fields 

There is a growing trend towards the use of synthetic turf for baseball fields among high schools. Artificial turf fields can be found to offer a myriad of advantages for schools and their players while natural grass fields hold the majority of disadvantages. Read about the major advantages of synthetic turf baseball fields below to see which you prefer: artificial turf or natural grass fields? 

Less Rainouts, More Playtime 

With synthetic turf, there is no need to worry about the rain when planning to play. Even after a rain storm, turf fields can be used without having to worry about damaging it. This also means less cancellations of games and less downtime as there is no need for the field to require recovery time. This goes to show how artificial turf fields can be more reliable than natural grass fields. 

Save Your Money on Maintenance Costs  

Artificial turf is low maintenance. There is no need to waste water in order to maintain your field, especially during the summer months when natural grass fields are in need of water to keep up. This requirement difference lends to a more environmentally sustainable system. Apart from water, faux grass does not need to be regularly maintained with mowing or trimming as opposed to natural grass fields. For synthetic turf, when regularly played on, the turf will become compact. It is important to keep the fibers in an upright position, so fields will need to be dragged periodically with a groomer to help avoid this. Once worn out, there may be a need to add rubber around the bases of the field and hone the plate areas for better playability.  

Consistent Play and Less Injuries  

Synthetic turf offers an advantage to the athletes as well. With artificial turf, the playing field is typically more consistent and level, which makes bounces on the field more predictable. This means less injuries, less missing teeth, and happier athletes. Studies show that artificial turf can offer a softer landing than real grass, which makes sliding on turf baseball fields less painful than natural grass fields. Overall, this high quality field will allow the best practice for athletes to work on their skills.  

No Harmful Chemicals  

Artificial turf fields knock out the need for pesticides  and other harmful chemicals as turf does not require any treatment for a healthy grass and cleaner playing field. 

Easy and Straightforward Installation  

With artificial turf installation, these fields take an average of 8 to 12 weeks to construct, not including pre-construction activities. Check out some of our completed projects! 

While synthetic turf can hold an advantage over natural grass fields, it is important to note one drawback of synthetic turf. During the summer months, the heat of the turf can deter some away as the rubber fill can hold onto heat. Grass fields can be noticeably cooler than turf in these conditions.  

Is all synthetic turf the same? We actually wrote a blog about this. Click here to check it out.  

Artificial turf can offer a tremendous advantage not only to the athletes, but to the resources going into maintaining it. It is important to note that not every turf is meant for baseball, which is why you should consult an expert. Not sure what is best for you? Give us a call at (314) 254-9766 or contact us below! 

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6 Things to Know Before Building a Pickleball Court

6 Things to Know Before Building a Pickleball Court

6 Things to Know Before Building a Pickleball Court

In a pickle about what to do this summer? Try out pickleball! This trendy sport has increased in popularity by 21.3% just in the past year. With warmer weather approaching, now is the perfect time to build a pickleball court! Not only is pickleball a great social sport, but it is a great way to exercise.

1. What is pickleball?

Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong that can be played as doubles or singles. This sport can be played indoor or outdoor, and the only equipment needed is a court, net, paddles, and a ball.

2. What are the dimensions of a standard pickleball court?

The court shall be a rectangle 20 feet wide (6.10 m) and 44 feet long (13.41 m) for both singles and doubles matches.

A total playing area 30 feet wide (9.14 m) and 60 feet long (18.28 m) is the minimum size that is recommended. A preferred 10-foot (3.05-m) surrounding margin measures 40 feet (12.19 m) by 64 feet (19.51 m).

Court measurements shall be made to the outside of the perimeter and non-volley zone lines. All lines should be 2 inches (5.08 cm) wide and the same color, clearly contrasting with the color of the playing surface.

3. What are the rules of pickleball?

The game of pickleball is played similar to tennis. A game must start with one player standing in the right service court. This player will then serve the ball underhand and diagonally from behind the baseline. Only one serve attempt is allowed per server. The ball must bounce once before players are allowed to volley. This is the double-bounce rule. The ball is then played until fault. A team can score only when serving. In order to win, one team must score 11 points and lead by 2 points!

4. What are common pickleball phrases?

Volley: A volley in pickleball is the act of hitting the ball in the air before it is able to bounce.

Fault: A fault in pickleball is an action that stops play because of a rule violation. Various faults can include when a ball is hit out of bounds, a ball bounces twice before it is hit by a player, and when a ball is hit into the net.

Kitchen: A kitchen in pickleball is the non-volley zone of the court. It extends 7 feet from both sides of the net.

Rally: A rally in pickleball is when there is continuous play from the time that the ball is served until fault. 

Pickled: Getting “pickled” means losing a pickleball game 11-0.  

5. Why is pickleball popular?

Accelerated during the pandemic, pickleball has grown by 21.3% just in the past year according to the Sport and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). A popular sport amongst older generations, this game is played on a smaller court compared to tennis, which allows for less movement. While this sport allows for less intensity than tennis, it is still a great way to exercise. Another appeal of this sport is the simplicity of the rules and ability to understand the game. Since one only needs a few pieces of equipment to play, this game opens itself to a window of people. People of all ages are able to find this sport enjoyable, and it serves as a great social activity. 

6. What is the difference between asphalt & concrete playing surfaces?

Asphalt courts are faster to construct, lower initial cost, and need more frequent maintenance. Concrete courts are more durable, low maintenance, and crack resistant. The biggest drawback to asphalt courts is that they crack (so may concrete). The difference is the concrete cracks don’t grow as wind as asphalt cracks. Asphalt can crack as wide a 2 to 4 inches. Post-tension will not allow the crack to widen, by keeping it compressed.

Bonus: Why is pickleball called “pickleball”?

In 1965, Joel Pritchard, the inventor of pickleball, was vacationing at his summer home on the Bainbridge Island in Washington. Upon looking for a fun activity for their children, Pritchard, along with Bill Bell and Barney McCallum created the game of pickleball with some broken paddles and a whiffle ball. Pritchard’s wife, a fan of rowing, claimed that this sport reminded her of a “pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.” From there, the sport was named pickleball.

However, rumor has it that the game was named after Pickles, Pritchard’s dog that would chase after the ball during pickleball games.

Convinced to build a pickleball court?  Give us a call at (314) 254-9766 or contact us here!

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2323 Kearbey Lane South
Roxana, IL 62087
(618) 221-5578
bdobbs@byrneandjones.com

Ohio Office

5730 Hayden Run Rd
Hilliard, OH 43026
(614) 662-4572
ben@byrneandjones.com

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How To Properly Maintain An Athletic Running Track

How To Properly Maintain An Athletic Running Track

What Are Some Essential Running Track Repair Needs?

While the winter sports season is still in full swing, smart facility managers know that now is the time to schedule a thorough evaluation of the overall condition for their athletic running tracks. The highs and lows of winter temperatures, combined with an off-season of non-use can result in unexpected problems that left untreated, could lead to more serious damage once athletic activities resume on the track.

How to Spot Issues on Your Running Track

Tracks will not be able to hold value without regular upkeep. Scheduled maintenance and constant vigilance are the solution to having a great experience for athletes and coaches alike when they step onto the surface.

Problems with a track might be occurring underneath, but the first place you will be able to spot these issues is the surface. At Byrne & Jones Construction, we will step in to create a schematic that shows your track. We will also make notes documenting any irregularities such as high or low spots, dings, damage and more. The surfacing experts will look for tears in the polyurethane surface, possibly caused by lawn service equipment and will recommend whether your track needs re-coloring or re-striping before the season begins. Other items such as checking all gates to make sure they are not dragging on the surface and abrading will be assessed. Having a thorough evaluation of your track surfaces is essential to starting the repair process. Without it, issues will go unnoticed and will continue to worsen.

Running Track Repair

Additional Track-Related Items to Assess

Once you have scheduled your evaluation, there are a number of items you should have done as well. The fence, including the perimeter fence, fence mazes, and the fence separating the stands from the track, should be checked at the outset and then throughout the season. It is important to make sure that all rails have a good connection and that there is not any bulging, sagging, or tears in the fence fabric. If you notice any of these problems, schedule them to get fixed before the season begins.

Another item to check as the season draws closer is the sprinklers. It is important to ensure that all sprinklers for the field or for the surrounding landscaping are not spraying onto the track and overloading it with water. You will also want to regularly clean out drains and keep them free of grass clippings, leaves, dirt, litter and other debris that can clog and keep them from working effectively. Should you ever see water pooling on the track, alert Byrne & Jones Sports immediately.

Things to Avoid With Your Track

If you are really looking to protect your track surface for the foreseeable future, only allow foot traffic on it. Use boards or rubber matting to protect the surface. Additionally, make sure you have signage around the track indicating rules concerning footwear (soft spikes, etc.). Many times, those engaging in other sports will run across the track on their way to the field, not realizing how much damage they cause. By placing mats or boards at the entrance and exit points, this can go a long way to help save your surface.

Since many facilities are open for community use, more than runners and walkers will take advantage, often to the misfortune of the facility manager. Dog walkers may use the field, parents with children in strollers (or older children on tricycles and bicycles) and others may want to use the track. All these uses will have a negative effect on your facility, and on the ability of athletes to use it for its intended purpose.

In the end, you can only do so much, but the most important part is to trust your athletic running track installation, repair and maintenance to the experts at Byrne & Jones Sports. We would be happy to help create a worry-free maintenance program designed to keep your track running like new. Check out this completed project!

If you have a running track that is in need of attention, or simply have questions regarding the types of track systems that are out there, please do not hesitate to call us at (314) 254-9766.

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5730 Hayden Run Rd
Hilliard, OH 43026
(614) 662-4572
ben@byrneandjones.com

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Asphalt

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Missouri

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Illinois Office

2323 Kearbey Lane South
Roxana, IL 62087
(618) 221-5578
bdobbs@byrneandjones.com

Ohio Office

5730 Hayden Run Rd
Hilliard, OH 43026
(614) 662-4572
ben@byrneandjones.com

2021 Byrne & Jones Construction - Terms and Conditions - Privacy Policy