One of the most common questions we receive when we have to close fields is "Why does one field stay open and others have to close?" Today we will start to answer that question! The root of the answer is actually below the root of the plant! A sand-based field (Stadium field) is a field that consists of multiple inches of gravel over-top of the native soil base. The gravel helps with quicker drainage and keeps the sand layer as level as possible. Above the gravel level is the sand-level which is normally about 10 inches of sand. That 10 inches of sand can drain 10 inches of rain in an hour!
Now that we know what a sand-based field is, let's discuss the other type of field:
native-soil. This type of field is very much what it sounds like; a field that consists of soil that is native to the area where the field is built. At the SoccerPlex our native soils are very heavy in silt and clay, which are made up of extremely small soil particles. Native soil fields are typically the most cost-effective way to build a field (short-term) and can be very self-sufficient in that they often need less irrigation and fertilization than a sand-based field. However there are trade-offs. The one specific one we deal with here is the lack of natural drainage that native soils provide. The small soil particles pack together extremely tightly and do not allow water to pass through quickly, like sand-based fields do.