Guidelines for Out-of-Bounds and Transition Areas
A common misconception about sports turf managers is that their responsibility ends where the sidelines begin. But managers are responsible for player safety in the out-of-bounds and transition areas too, and there are some important considerations for them to keep in mind as they navigate the season. Fortunately, the STMA offers a few safety guidelines specific to football and soccer fields.
Let’s dig into each one.
Maintain a minimum of 25 feet around the field.
This recommendation protects players running out of bounds by giving them plenty of room to slow down. It also protects fans who would otherwise be in the path of speeding athletes.
Maintain a minimum of 50 feet between fields.
If you manage a multi-field facility, it’s important to have plenty of room between fields. This protects both player safety and gameplay, as it prevents distractions from neighboring games.
Adequately cover all catch basins.
Exposed catch basins present an injury risk, so it’s critical that you keep them covered. Keep them level with the rest of the sideline to prevent ankle sprains. This recommendation protects not only player safety but also the aesthetic of the field and sidelines.
Make the transition area to the track easily identifiable and level.
Players need to know where the surface transitions from turf to track so that they can adjust their gait accordingly. If you’ve done your job well, there won’t be much adjustment necessary because the surface will be level. Make sure that a player running out of bounds doesn’t have to leap up or stumble down if they can’t come to a full stop before the track starts.
Stay within these STMA bounds, and you’ll be on your way to a safe fall season.