• Drake Talks – The Fields Meeting Notes: 10-15-15



    Chad Stuart made introductions of the school and district personnel.

    Presentation of the process- three Drake Talks on the Fields with our end outcome to be presenting a recommendation to the TUHSD Board for our field recommendations. Also explained the Survey that will run in November and the next two meetings.

    Tonight’s agenda: Presentation from Field Turf, Q and A and a discussion.

    Reviewed Norms for the meetings:

    Be Open to outcome and open to learning.

    Ask Questions and make comments about the information and not the people.

    Field Turf Rep: Mark Rowley-

    In the past we have used sand and rubber but there is a movement away from this type of fill. The country is currently 90% sand and rubber.  Went over the market and the options. Most of us are used to the sand and rubber fields.

    Sand and rubber- many tests have been done on this material. Over 600 studies and none have come back with any issues.  I bring this up because everyone does studies but there have not been studies on the alternates. Will not be able to provide these studies until the alternatives have been used for a time period.

    Northern California- more to other options. There are other alternate infill.  They all need a shock pad. (not used with sand and rubber). This is not cheap but needed to help with student falls.

    ·         Coated Rubber- One option is the sand and rubber and alternating the rubber- covering the rubber with polyurethane and turns it green - somewhat like the track.  This is the cheapest.

    ·         Coolplay- 50% Cork and 50% TPE- virgin plastic. Sand and rubber and remove the rubber on top and replace with a cork material. This is designed to cool fields down. There are several fields in the Bay Area with this field.  Used in very hot climates. First version was 100% cork.

    ·         100% Cork- Sticks to the players and their cloths and floats away. 100% cork can still be an option.

    ·         100% TPE- Thermal plastic- more rounded in shape- does not compact well and can migrate. Some of these are being ripped out in Southern Cali. Different grades and some melt

    ·         50% TPE and 50% recycled old fields- a bit cheaper than straight TPE

    Questions / Answers of Field Turf:

    1.      What are the problems with CoolPlay?

     It does have rubber.  If you want to get rid of all rubber- there is a different approach. Acalanes, Los Gatos and Tam are going in this direction.

    2.      What goes in between the two layers?

     Sand and rubber mix and CoolPlay on top. There is contact between sand and CoolPlay.

    3.      What about Coconut Husks as an option?

    It is used and you have to water it.

    4.      Ecomax- 50% TPE and %50 Recycled old fields?

     Is used.

    5.      What happens with too much rain?

    The backing on these fields, the water drains every other row and stays in, unless you have an event where the current takes the infill away. Happened at Tam but they did not lost any infill.

    6.      Drainage of turf?

    Water goes through the turf- stone base in the reservoir and then into the drain pipes and then into the storm drains. The drainage rate is the same at the rubber field as Coolplay. These are all new this summer around the bay area.

    7.      What about rubber?

     They all have a rubber part of this.

    8.      Maintenance?

     You will lose the material on 100% Cork and replace/add more material every 2-3 years. Heavy rains, maintenance and wind.  I try to talk people out of 100% cork…. It is hard to maintain.

    9.      Does the cork need to be watered?


    10.  Future fields? Is there anything spongy where you don’t need pellets?

    You can go to a carpet- like for landscaping. Athletically they do not play well because they do not have any traction. The rubber and sand create the artificial turf for athletics. Otherwise it is slippery and unsafe. This is like to the astro-turf days. Very hot and a ton of injuries. Injury rates are lower on synthetic then natural grass.

    11.  Piedmont and Casa Grande that are all cork?

     Piedmont has been in for a year for the city of Piedmont (Playground)

    12.  Groundwater? Where does it drain to?

    The ones I know of go into the storm drains- this would be a city requirement.

    13.  All the new alternate fields do not have any data on them yet?

     The Division 1 schools are still using sand/rubber. Some still using grass. NFL- soccer.

    14.  What about the heat?

     Heat comes from the infill. There is still heat with the alternates. CoolPlay reduces the heat about 35%. Hot day you get odor - much less with CoolPlay or the others.

    15.  What is TPE?

     TPE- that is a virgin plastic- manufactured and not recycled.

    16.  How are these cleaned?

     Cleaning process- two ways- sweep or water.

    17.  What about Tire rubber?

     Currently our fields are all tired. There is another rubber that comes from recycled shoes. (called NikeGrind) We take the rubber and freeze it and pull out the debris to clean the rubber. It is a cleaner rubber than other synthetic rubber.

    18.  Coated infill cooler?

    Only about 5 degrees.

    19.  Durability on the cork?

    If we need to off- we can do that but you might lose some of it . With the organic fill- it will break down. This is why you need a shock pad. We are still unsure about this so this is why we recommend a shock pad for the alternate infills.

    20.  Do you use this with sand and rubber?

    Not really- too bouncy. Not really needed for injuries.

    21.  Timeline?

     About 3-4 weeks to replace.

    22.  Cost for removal of old field?

     Toxic waste disposal. No toxic fee. 1 ¾ inch of the fill. There is a stone face. Most field run about $.50 per square foot. A company who will take it and resell it to South America. Now our field are all recycled.  Used for highway drums and other costs today.  We can guarantee that your field will be recycled.

    23.  50% TPE and 50% recycled…what about 50% cork and 50% recycled grass? 

    This has not worked so far. We are always looking for new infill. We are intrigued by anything that will work.

    24.  Longevity- Cork?

    It gets better every 2-3 years….how much is played on etc. Generally a field is about 10-14 years. IS the infill still intact. When do you replace it? Fields can still play well and just need to determine, first,  the safety of the field. How does it play is second. How it looks is third…..the shock pad can help with the safety of the alternate fields.  Fields get firmer over time just with the wear and tear. Rain helps g-max. We can use maintenance a field and bring back some life.

    25.  Our fields?? 

    I am not sure about the safety. Some spots that are softer than others. There is obviously a time to replace a field. Some schools wait too long and then they can’t replace because they have to wait. It is not always when the field needs to be replaced but the timing of when it can be done.

    26.  Structure of field?

     6-8 inch rock base that slopes to perimeter drainpipes. Drains into the storm drain system. Turf gets laid on top of stone base. This is where the hock pad would be. Then you lay the turn and then the infill. Fill about ¾ of an inch of the fiber over the infill. You can take our some infill if it is too full and this can get a year or two extra from the field.  This is where a shock pad can also add some life to the field by playing with the level of infill.

    27.  Can rejuvenate the field- add a shock pad?

    We can remove the infill. Add new sand on the bottom and use the recycled piece in the middle and then new rubber or CoolPlay on top.

    28.  Cost?

     $1.00 for square foot for shock pad. (This was not clear)


    TURF FIELD Audience Input / Thoughts



    ·       Used by our community and provides more playable hours.

    ·       Reduces injuries.

    ·       Cork.

    ·       Range of alternatives.

    ·       Playable in all weather.

    ·       Can be used heavily.










    ·       Concerns about the infill being put in mouth and nose.

    ·       Teachers do not bring their classes out because of outgassing. Some teachers choose not to go out.

    ·       Increase in cancer in soccer players. From a study – kids don’t get cancer- hard to study. (Handed out a study)

    ·       Water permeability- concerns about water drainage off the fields.

    ·       Use of the fields by professionals. Black all over their faces, tracked into the cars and you can smell it when you approach. (Redhill is about 5 years old)

    ·       About the pellets (?)

    ·       Has a headache from time at Redhill- want kids to play sports but not on these fields.

    ·       Banning microbeads- concerns about the rubber going back into the water.

    ·       If we can get to the point where kids are not tracking rubber into the house

    ·       Concerns about natural field and the drainage

    ·       Organic material and staff infection

    ·       Natural field has potholes and issues to create drainage. Require upkeep. Grass fields cannot be played as much with the rain. When there is rain, grass fields can’t’ be played.

    ·       Grass fields just don’t hold up. Can’t use often- like for practice.

    ·       Natural fields bring injuries.

    ·       Turf- heat and smell and can’t do slide tackles. (Fear of injury/infection)

    ·       How good are the alternate fields?

    ·       Grass puts out oxygen and what does the

    ·       Can we maintain cork?

    ·       Health issues.

    ·       All solutions will have costs including yearly and ongoing costs. Including health benefits

    ·       Grass fields but out oxygen and what does synthetic fields put out?