Sports Turf Managers Association Names 2022 ‘Innovative Award’ Winners

Groundbreaking Technology Advances Sports Field Industry in Major Ways

(LAWRENCE, Kan.) – Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) – the organization for 2,700 men and women professionals overseeing sports fields worldwide and critical to athlete safety – names Sports Labs, SGL Inc., Covermaster and Turf-Tec International as their “Innovative Award” winners.

The “Innovative Awards Program” recognizes STMA commercial company members who have developed a product, service, equipment or technology that substantially enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the sports field manager and/or makes the playing surfaces safer and/or more playable for athletes. Chosen by STMA’s Innovative Awards Task Group, entries are evaluated on a wide range of qualities. This includes whether 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 or improve efficiency.

“The sports field industry is ever-expanding and evolving, so the need for innovation is at an all-time high,” says Kim Heck, CAE, CEO of STMA. “This year’s four Innovative Award Winners deliver groundbreaking technology that take facility productivity and safety to an elevated level.”

Winning with their “Field Marshall” device, Sports Labs took three current testing devices for sports surfaces and combined them into one easy-to-use product. With this innovation, one simple device, weighing less than 25 lbs., can do all the work.

SGL Inc. also took home an Innovative Award with their TurfPod, a small device that allows turfgrass professionals to track six key agronomic data points. When placed on a surface, the TurfPod operates automatically and displays microclimate data in real-time on the SGL Portal. This information can be used to make decisions on fertility, irrigation, and supplemental lighting.

Covermaster won with the “TARPMATE AIR™ Roller”. For years, grounds crews have been hauling athletic field covers on and off the stadium field by hand. However, with the TARPMATE AIR™ Roller, substantial time and effort is saved. Two people unfold the tube, inflate it, and then roll out the cover, making protecting fields easier than ever.

Turf-Tec International captured the Innovative Award with their “Clegg Impact Tester (New Bluetooth Model)”. The Bluetooth readings are displayed on the GPS-enabled tablet which also includes data logging and mapping. The Clegg Impact Tester is used for testing natural grass fields and synthetic turf athletic fields for player safety and determining the likelihood of players impacting the surface and getting a concussion. This model is the same that is used to test all NFL fields before games, now with upgraded GPS mapping ability.

All four winners will be showcasing their innovations at the 2022 STMA Exhibition.