STC meeting breaks attendance records

April 2, 2012 -  By

By: Rick Doyle, Synthetic Turf Council

Logo: Synthetic Turf Council

Logo: Synthetic Turf Council

From March 5 – 7, 2012, the place to be in Las Vegas was the Synthetic Turf Council’s Spring Membership Meeting. The event attracted a record attendance of 238 representing 138 companies located throughout the world, including manufacturers, suppliers, installers, landscape architects and engineers, testing labs, and maintenance equipment and service companies.

The conference theme was “Quality: Live it, Breathe it, Achieve it,” which described an educational program focused in large part on the quality and performance of synthetic turf sports fields. A session called “STC Guidelines for Synthetic Turf Performance” detailed the STC’s new performance guidelines and applicable test protocols for multi-purpose sports fields. Moderated by John Baize of ACT Global Sports, the panel included Erle Miles of Testing Services Inc., Rusty Abell of ISA-Sport and Eric O’Donnell of Sports Labs.

Grove Teates of Alpine Services discussed “Specifying and Constructing Stable and Lasting Bases Under Synthetic Turf Sports Fields,” and Rich Dunn of Hunter Industries presented on the “Benefits of Irrigation for Synthetic Turf Sports Fields.”

Officials from FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, delivered several updates on the FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf (synthetic turf). Johannes Holzmüller and Nicolas Evans applauded the STC for creating performance guidelines and test protocols for multi-purpose sports fields, and described the importance of these guidelines and regular maintenance to assure consistent performance throughout a sports field’s useful life. Dr. Eric Harrison highlighted the exhaustive research that FIFA has conducted that has validated the safety of synthetic turf.  FIFA has designated synthetic turf as the best alternative to natural grass in areas where grass cannot grow, withstand heavy usage or be easily maintained.

Environmental responsibility was another key focus of the meeting. David Nardone of Stantec Sport addressed the topic of “Sustainable Athletic Fields – A Case Study,” highlighting its design of the most sustainable playing fields in the country at Battery Park City in New York. Dr. Davis Lee of the InnovaNet Group moderated the “End-of-Life Disposal, Recycling and Repurposing Options for Synthetic Turf and Its Components” panel, whose participants included Mark Heinlein of Turf Reclamation Services LLC, Mark Mitchell of FieldAway USA and Russ Neuman of Textile Rubber and Chemical.

Other highlights of the meeting included an Exhibitor Showcase.  STC Board Chairman John B. Giraud of Target Technologies International Inc., presented the Chairman’s Report, which highlighted the many ways the STC was influencing and growing the industry.

Interested in being part of the STC’s Annual Membership Meeting this fall in Dallas? Mark your calendar for October 1 – 3; details will be released in the coming months.

LM Staff

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