I think I can speak on behalf of our field hockey program when I say that we absolutely love playing on the new turf. The game is quicker and the atmosphere from the stadium increases the intensity in our play. It allows our game to become faster and better prepares us for teams that normally have the advantage of playing on turf fields. This field gives us an opportunity to experience turf and still be able to play on our grass field, Cindy Barr Memorial Field.
Cindy Barr Memorial Field is the home grass field that is located behind Babcock Hall. Our grass field is kept short; making it one of the best grass fields in the conference. The difference between playing on our grass field and the turf is the transition during play. On turf, the speed of the game increases because the surface is smoother. Especially with the new self-start rule, the ball rarely stops moving. On most grass fields, the field is not as smooth as the turf and can cause balls to pop up in the air (increasing the opportunity for injury) or not go as far as you intended it to. Playing on the turf minimizes hits that may cause the ball to pop up. Some grass fields are not as well maintained and are clumpy or patchy which also affects play. Turf fields nullify any possibility of playing on an uneven surface.
We split time during the week using the turf with the football team. In the final game against Wittenberg last year, our Scots tore up the old field fighting hard for their win. This year the turf will allow them to maintain the intensity of play without accidentally ruining the field. It prevents injuries that may occur because the cushioning of the turf is easier to run on. The football team and fans are excited about the opening game this Saturday against Waynesburg to break in our new turf.
This year, in terms of fall sports, looks positive as teams prepare for their first games on the turf. Our program has been working hard at adjusting to the transition between grass to turf. Luckily, we are a very versatile team and seem to be adjusting well to either surface thus far.
Aside from having the opportunity to play on the turf, Iím excited to hear our warm-up mix blare through the speakers of John P. Papp Stadium in the mornings ó waking up the campus to let them know weíre on the way to bringing home another NCAC Conference Championship.