Feature Article - July/August 2004
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Special Supplement:
Recreation Management’s Complete Guide to Sports Surfaces and Flooring

By Margaret Ahrweiler


These Web sites offer plenty of information on issues related to sports surfaces of all kinds. In addition, check out manufacturers' Web sites; many have extensive planning guides, facility profiles, specification information and handy links.

The Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association, www.maplefloor.org, provides a library of frequently asked questions, maintenance guidelines and other information. Its maintenance tips are worth hanging in every janitorial office.

The U.S. Tennis Court and Track Builders Association, www.ustctba.com, offers a wealth of information, along with online ordering of its installation manuals, considered industry "bibles."

The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association, IPEMA, www.ipema.org, features a list of certified products, among other things.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, www.spsc.gov, publishes playground surface standards and other safety guidelines.

FIFA, the International Soccer Federation, www.fifa.com/qualityconcept, provides background on synthetic turf and standards and testing through the group's Quality Concept program.

The Carpet and Rug Institute, www.carpet-rug.com, offers cleaning and maintenance advice, along with information on green building standards.

Whitmore Lake High School in Whitmore Lake, Mich., chose a prefinished wood flooring system to cut installation costs and keep within the parameters to be certified under LEEDS, a national sustainable design program.

The bottom line

Outside or in, your sports surfacing choices hinge on your budget, your image and your users. But whether your facility is nationally televised or just locally revered, you can find the right surfaces with a little work, a little play and a little understanding. Figure out your needs and how and what your users play. Hit the Web and hit the streets to look, ask and play at other facilities you admire. The bottom line will become clear and leave you with flooring decisions you can stand by—and on.