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Field Probem in Glendale Explained


cptau
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A good explanation of cause for the field problems in Glendale.

http://auburnturf.bl...ip-turf-so.html

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Why was the BCS Championship turf so slippery?

We (the Auburn Turfgrass Management Team) have gotten a lot of questions about why the players were slipping a lot for the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, AZ. Well, here is the long and short of it. For the Natty at University of Phoenix Stadium, field/stadium managers laid thick-cut sod about a week before the game. It is cut thick so it has enough weight to hold itself in place. This is a common practice for frequently used venues that want to remain natural grass fields. Not a big deal.

The sod that was purchased was from seed grown by Turf Merchants, Inc. (http://www.turfmerchants.com/) based in Oregon. I have not been able to locate the turf producers, but it was probably a turf producers in the Phoenix area. The problem with the slipping and sliding on Monday night is determining what species was sodded on the field.

Athletic fields in Alabama are Bermuda grass. It is the number one turf grass species for athletics-- especially football. The benefit is that it produces lateral stem both about ground and below ground, commonly referred to as stolons and rhizomes, respectively. These lateral stems are an excellent benefit where changes in directional movements are a part of the game, e.g. football. This is often referred to as the shear strength of the turf. Conclusion: Bermuda grass has excellent shear strength.

Perennial rye grass is a bunch-type grass that does not produce rhizome and stolons. No lateral stems make it difficult for the cleat to grip the turf/ground in order to make quick turns. I have observed football games played on pure 100% rye grass fields and they not fun to watch. Perennial rye grass just does not hold up to football conditions-- but, the field was beautiful-- just not ideal for traction. Conclusion: Perennial rye grass alone does not have excellent shear strength.

The field Monday night was a bermuda grass field over seeded with perennial rye grass. So, first some background information. Perennial rye grass seed is often spread over bermuda grass in the fall as the bermuda grass is going dormant and turning brown. By doing this, the seed germinate and provide winter color. When this is done, the shear strength remains adequate initially, but as the winter progresses the perennial rye grass will begin to dominate the stand, the dormant bermuda grass weakens, and shear strength will decrease. Also, that perennial rye grass was extremely dense meaning a high seeding rate was spread over the field and at that density it likely greatly suppressing the bermuda grass. Conclusion: Perennial ryegrass over seeding can cause a decrease in shear strength as the perennial rye grass grows and develops and as the seeding density of the rye grass increases. And from my assessment, that was some very well-developed, dense perennial rye grass on Monday night, thus leading to an overall decrease in shear strength

-- Scott McElroy

http://www.auburnturf.com

twitter: @auburnturf

See these other article written about the problem:

http://bleacherrepor...lip-slidin-away

http://www.registerg...eld-footing.csp

http://www.oregonliv...tage_the_b.html

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man you remind me of huggy bear(snoop dog) in the starsky and hutch movie. i do have a question. is bermuda grass grown in that area i know there isnt much humity and i dont know if bermuda needs humidy or just heat? and are the football fields in the northeast and midwest bermuda or zoysia. i know the golf courses are bent,fescue and zoysia.

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Before the game I looked up info about the field. I saw where the turf was overseeded with rye from Oregon.  While allot of ryegrass seed is grown an harvested in Oregon doesn't mean what they bought from TMI was necessarily Oregon seed (could be all seed is sold with origin included on the label).  Contrary to what the announcers where saying the actual grass was grown in AZ just overseeded with Oregon Rye.  Turf Merchants was one of my largest customers before I took a sales mgt job.  They purchase and resell seed from all over the world.

What was said above is 110% correct. If you don't have lateral rhizomes and stolons (bermudagrass) you are basically relying in a single blade of grass to support your weight in a hard cut.  Kinda like a rear wheel drive vehicle on ice. Your power and momentum is going one way and your trying to turn another.

I tried to explain that to some of my buddies during the game it just didn't sink in with them. On an new model artificial field the rubber pellets take the place of those rhizomes and stolons and provide "bite." 

So I guess now us grass needs will retire back to the farm as we had our chance to shine with info! :thumbsup:

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I thought it was a cross of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia.

Its debatable. The whole scene was Carl and Ty just making it up as they went along, so he could have meant Bluegrass also, or he could have meant to say Kentucky Bluegrass and just corrected himself.
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I thought it was a cross of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia.

Its debatable. The whole scene was Carl and Ty just making it up as they went along, so he could have meant Bluegrass also, or he could have meant to say Kentucky Bluegrass and just corrected himself.

How funny is that.  I didn't mean to double post or steal your thunder.  I was thinking the same thing!!! hahahahha :yay: :yay:

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I thought it was a cross of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia.

Its debatable. The whole scene was Carl and Ty just making it up as they went along, so he could have meant Bluegrass also, or he could have meant to say Kentucky Bluegrass and just corrected himself.

How funny is that.  I didn't mean to double post or steal your thunder.  I was thinking the same thing!!! hahahahha :yay: :yay:

No problem my brother!  :thumbsup:
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Now, if someone could explain why, after all of the issues with the Fiesta Bowl, they didn't try to solve the problem for the NCG, I'd love to hear that.  Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting different results?

Precisely my thoughts - with all the research that goes into horticulture etc, you would think they would know the optimal over-seeding rates for grass combinations, particularly as it relates to sporting events and particular venues.
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I thought it was a cross of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia.

In this case I would like to order a five yard strip, sideline to sideline, for my memorabilia collection.  Thats legal.....right? 

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Not sure on all the grass combinations, but...

For those of you up in the cheap seats (like me), you could hardly see through the haze to the upper deck on the opposite side. They reported that all of the heat/hot air from the over capacity crowd inside the stadium was collecting near the roof and combining with the cold weather outside, saying that the humidity was falling to the field like rain.

I bet it would have been a totally different game had the roof been open... Auburn winning by 3 or 4 more touchdowns.

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