Playing a sport is a great way to get exercise and have fun. Playing with friends or family can be even more enjoyable, but many things can go wrong if you don’t take the time to plan.
So if you’re planning to create a sports field for the community or commercial use, keep in mind that the wrong design can lead to wasted money, poor health benefits, and less than ideal use of space. Here are some tips to help.
What to Consider When Designing the Field
What types of sports will be played
Different sports require different types of spaces. For example, a soccer field needs to be very large to accommodate the players, while a baseball diamond is usually smaller. In general, if the space you have isn’t big enough for all the sports you want to play on it, you may have to get creative about dividing up the space so that it’s usable for everyone.
Furthermore, no matter what sports you plan to play, the field will need a designated area for spectators. If your community is like most, then it’s likely that the games will draw a crowd, and you’ll need to make sure there is room for them to watch from.
What weather conditions will affect the field
Weather conditions can have a major impact on the usability of a community sports field. Sun and heat can make the field too hot to play on, while rain can turn it into a muddy mess. To accommodate all possible weather conditions, you must choose a well-protected site from the elements. You may also want to consider installing a cover or pavilion so that players and spectators can stay dry and comfortable no matter what the weather is like outside.
Level of skill needed to play on it
It’s important to consider what level of skill is needed for the players that will be playing on the field. If you’re designing a field just for your kids and their friends, then you may not need to worry about any specific skills at all. However, if you’re designing it for adults or older children, then an area for speed pitching or other speed-oriented fields is recommended since they are more challenging.
Continuing with the speed pitch example, speed pitching requires quick reflexes and fast throwing speed to catch a ball thrown at high speeds. The area should be big enough so that the batter has time to make contact with the ball before it gets past them, but there should also be enough room for the pitcher to stand far enough away so that the batter has time to react after being hit.
Many other considerations need to be considered when designing an area for a community sports field. When in doubt, it’s usually best to consult with experts who have experience designing sports areas.
Whether you are designing for commercial use or community use
Are you designing it only for the community or for rental for anybody in a commercial way? You need to know this for rentability. Also, it can be used as your selling point to your community or organization.
Not only will the size of the field need to be taken into account, but also you should consider its appearance and landscaping options. You may want a sports field that blends in with the surrounding area by using landscaping, trees, and sports equipment that color-coordinates with the surrounding area.
In some cases, neighborhood and regional restrictions may need to be considered when designing the sports field. These restrictions can include:
- Minimum size requirement (“You must be this tall to…”)
- Topography of the land (for example, steep slopes may not be safe for unsupervised children)
- Water drainage (you don’t want to create a mud pit for players or spectators)
- Permission of surrounding neighbors
Ways to keep it safe and clean
When designing a community sports field, it’s important to keep safety and cleanliness in mind. Here are a few tips to help you out:
- Make sure the field is well-lit at night for safety reasons.
- Install fences or other barriers around the field perimeter to keep players from running out into the street.
- Don’t place garbage bins near dugouts or spectator seating areas, as they can be a safety hazard if players can access them.
- Install a mister system to keep the field cool on hot days and dry after rainstorms.
- Arrange for garbage pickup before practices and games so that there is less mess to clean up afterward.
- Dugout areas should be designed with safety in mind — surfaces should be made of a non-slippery material that won’t cause injury in the case of a fall.
Designing a community sports field is one of the most important things you can do for your neighborhood. Make sure to consider all necessary considerations before deciding on what kind of space it should be, and consult with experts who have experience in designing these types of spaces when in doubt.
By planning ahead, doing your research, and working together with other community members, you can come up with a plan that benefits everyone.