SFMA Playing Conditions Index (PCI)

SFMA developed the Playing Conditions Index (PCI) to help members assess the playability of their fields. The original tool was developed in 2008 with the motivation to gain more respect for your efforts in managing your fields. Dr. Brad Fresenburg has updated the tool to further address the complexities involved in conditioning sports fields for safety, playability, and fan enjoyment.

Original SFMA PCI

Natural Grass PCI Spreadsheet

Synthetic Turf PCI Spreadsheet

Field Performance Study

SFMA is using the updated PCI in a Field Performance Study to investigate if it is possible to determine when a field becomes unsafe for athletes. The PCI is now available in a digital format for both natural grass fields and synthetic turf fields. It is a protected Excel spreadsheet and users can only enter information in the cells that allow entry. The spreadsheet can be saved under different file names by the field manager to maintain records for each field. Not only does the spreadsheet automatically generate a PCI for the field being tested, but it also provides immediate feedback to sports turf managers about areas of the field that need attention if unsafe conditions are present. The digital format allows the spreadsheet to be used as many times as needed to maintain records for all fields.

Access the Natural Grass PCI Spreadsheet

Access the Synthetic Turf PCI Spreadsheet

What you need to be successful:

  • Access to a smart phone, tablet, or computer. Download Microsoft’s free app for Excel if you are using a smart phone or tablet.
  • To enter data on percent turfgrass cover, you will need to download the free Canopeo app.
  • To enter data on field hardness, compaction, and volumetric soil moisture, you will need the following instruments:
    Clegg Impact Hammer
    Soil moisture sensor
    Dial penetrometer

What to do with your results:

Over the course of time, SFMA hopes to develop a database that will help bring us closer to making informed decisions about when fields become unsafe by identifying trends with field usage. Once you collect field data using the spreadsheet, please send the results to jmclendon@sportsfieldmanagement.org. The spreadsheet can be used as many times as necessary and may act as a recordkeeping tool for your fields. Please send your results any time you enter data to help us further the mission of keeping fields safe and playable for our athletes.

Each member may find the PCI useful in different ways. We encourage you to use it to your benefit in the way that makes the most sense for your situation. We believe that the PCI will help your employer, athletes, coaches, and fans understand the skills and knowledge needed to provide high quality playing surfaces.