ASBA Announces Jerry Douglas as Winner of Industry Merit Award

The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national organization for builders, designers and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, presented its Industry Merit award to Jerry Douglas of Douglas Sports in Eldridge, Iowa. 

The award, the Association’s highest honor, given in recognition of the combination of professional achievement and service to the industry, was presented at the Association’s recent Technical Meeting in Palm Desert, California. 

Douglas has been involved with the sports industry since 1967 when his father’s company, then known as Douglas Industries, was supplying industrial fabric and upon the request of a customer, branched out to create a set of curtains for a fitness club. Very soon, the company was making backdrop curtains for the booming indoor tennis market, as well as backdrop curtains and windscreens. Today, the company manufactures and sells products for baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, badminton, soccer, volleyball and more. Its tennis market, the genesis of all its sports endeavors, also includes nets and posts, as well as padding and portable tennis systems. 

As a result of his work in the industry, Jerry Douglas became an active member of the American Sports Builders Association (then known as the U.S. Tennis Court & Track Builders Association). He was a constant presence at Technical Meetings, where he was a speaker – as well as an instantly recognizable figure in the exhibit hall.  

Douglas served on the Board of Directors, becoming president of what would eventually be known as the supplier division. And he still found time to seek out emerging markets; in fact, a product modeled on his original design for a portable pickleball system was named a winner in the 2019 ASBA Game Changer Awards program. Additionally, he was recognized as a Pioneer in Tennis by Racquet Sports Industry Magazine in 2013. 

Throughout his time with the Association, Douglas maintained close friendships with his colleagues, setting an example that competitors did not need to be enemies and could in fact enjoy each other’s company outside of business settings. 

The Board of Directors had praise for Douglas as the recipient of the Industry Merit Award. 

“Jerry Douglas has been a part of the sports facility industry for more than four decades,” said David Clapp, ASBA’s chairman. “During that time, he has contributed to the Association on every level. I can’t think of anyone more fitting to receive this award.” 

As Douglas came up to receive his award, every attendee present stood in his honor. 

The ASBA is a non-profit association comprised of designers, builders and suppliers in sports facility construction. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings, publishes a quarterly magazine, produces a mobile app of court and field diagrams, publishes books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities, and keeps its members aware of the latest developments in the industry. It also offers voluntary certification programs in tennis court, running track and sports field construction as well as a certificate in pickleball court construction.