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McHenry Baseball Association

Game Field Maintenance

We are proud to have some of the nicest grass infield game fields in Northern Illinois at the VFW.  Keeping the fields in good condition requires the hard work of all of us throughout the year.  Please be sure to follow all of the field maintenance steps included below to ensure our players have a nice field that is also safe.  Thank you!

Before the Game:
- Do not allow practice before the games on the infield.  This causes unnecessary strain on the field when it's not needed.

- Ask for volunteers to sign up to help prepare the field before the game.  Coaches should really try to focus on warming up the players, so it's best to find parent volunteers.

- If the field is not dragged using our drag machine, see if the MBA VP on duty has time to use the machine to drag the infield area and around home plate.  Do NOT drag the baselines.  If they are not available, lightly rake the field into a good playable condition.  Regardless if you are using the machine or doing it by hand, it's important NOT to brush or push dirt into the grass areas.  Stay a safe distance away from the grass to ensure the dirt stays where it should.  

-Hand rake the baselines down the line ensuring again that you are not pushing dirt into the lips of the grass.

-Use the string roll to mark a line from the point of the plate out to the outfield painted foul line.  Set the chalk machine on 2" lines and run the chalk.  Repeat for the other foul line.

-Use the batter's box template and drop it into place, then chalk over the batters box.  

-After the batter's box is chalked, lightly hand rake any areas around the plate and batter's boxes to get it game ready.

-Inspect the mound.  If it has ruts or holes that need to be filled, follow the mound care guidelines below.  This should ideally be done after each game.

After the Game:

-BRUSH the dirt back into the infield on all edges of the field (inside and outside).  Take the brooms provided and brush all dirt into the infield.  This is one of the most important steps that is often overlooked.  This will help keep grass/dirt lips down, and maintain good health of the grass overall.

-Lightly hand rake the field, again ensuring that all dirt stays inside the infield

-Repair the Mound, EVERY SINGLE TIME.  Here is a quick outline of how to properly maintain a pitchers mound.
   --Brush away any loose dirt or clay from any ruts or holes, giving a good surface for the new dirt or clay to bond to.
   --LIGHTLY water the ruts/holes, or use a wet broom to lightly brush in water.
   --Add about 1 inch of replacement dirt/clay (depending on the field).
   --Use a tamper to pound the new clay down.
   --Repeat the process for every inch or so until the mound is fully repaired.

-Broom the dugouts, both home and away

-Ensure all equipment is put away neatly into the shed and ensure the field lights are off.

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