2021 Innovative Award Winners Announced

SFMA and the Innovative Award Committee is proud to announce that Esto Retractable and Sports Turf Company have both been selected to receive 2021 Innovative Awards.

The “Innovative Awards Program” recognizes SFMA commercial company members who have developed a product, service, equipment or technology that substantially enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the sports turf manager and/or makes the playing surfaces safer and/or more playable for athletes. Chosen by SFMA’s Innovative Awards Task Group, entries are evaluated on a wide range of qualities including whether or not they fill a need; are creative; save time and resources; are cutting-edge; make a task easier or more productive; improve quality; protect the environment and improve efficiency.

Esto Retractable: Retractable Pitching Mound
Esto Retractable offers a patented design for a Retractable Pitching Mound to allow field conversion in as little as two hours – allowing you to play baseball in the morning and play soccer that same evening, for example. Scheduling more events in a stadium is key to maximizing venue utilization, ultimately attracting diverse patrons and allowing for higher revenue potential. Our patented system facilitates simple conversions – minimizing disruption to the integrity of a pitching mound’s form or grounds crew efforts.

As venue and stadium operators look to expand their offerings and utilization – without building new stadiums – creating a multi-purpose venue is critical to the ability to attract and schedule various sports such as soccer, concerts, lacrosse, rugby and other activities. Yet, field conversion is a scheduling challenge when a pitcher’s mound is involved. To manually remove a pitching mound and rebuild it after a non-baseball event, takes time, expensive materials and labor.

Video of Retractable Mound

Sports Turf Company:
Artificial Turf System
“ Every year, Sports Turf Company strives to bridge the gap between natural grass and artificial turf fields in safety, performance and playability. We believe a system with a shockpad, wood fiber-based infill, and dense three fiber turf systems more closely replicates a natural grass field compared to any other system on the market. Macon-Bibb County’s Ed Defore Stadium in Macon, GA was the first field in the country to utilize this system. Here’s the breakdown of the revolutionary technology:

  • AstroTurf Rootzone Blend HD Artificial Turf– An incredibly dense three fiber turf system that adds a RootZone layer of texturized fibers that encapsulate infill, provide better shock absorbency, and less infill migration than traditional systems. The turf is comprised of both slit-film fibers and AstroTurf’s patented Trionic fiber, combining nylon and polyethylene for fiber that lasts up to 50% longer. Overall these systems look great for the life of the field, provide improved play and offer longer durability.
  • Brock Powerbase YSR Shockpad – The revolutionary Brock Powerbase YSR shock pad technology features large drainage channels, shock-absorbing structures and 25mm thickness to improve player safety and provide more effective drainage. The system is designed to make artificial turf fields safer and increase playability for athletes by providing better force reduction under the field surface and ensuring consistency of force reduction across the field surface.
  • BrockFILL Infill– BrockFILL is the latest in alternative infills. The unique properties of the wood infill decrease field temperatures and give the feel of a more natural surface with increased traction and footing for athletes. The organic infill is incredibly durable and provides a fast, firm field surface with cleat interaction that most closely resembles a well-maintained natural grass field. “

Brock YSR Powerbase:
AstroTurf  Rootzone  Blend HD Artificial Turf System

Voting for this year’s Innovative Awards was extremely close, the committee decided to award STEC Equipment an honorable mention for their VGR Top Changer.

We are truly thankful to each company that submitted their innovations for an award this year and for your continued support of SFMA!