Home > Professional Landscape Programs > Athletic Field & Park Management Courses > Athletic Field Maintenance & Construction

Join Our Mailing List button

Athletic Field Maintenance and Construction

Course Code: AT0501CA20

Athletic Field Construction and Maintenance

Bookmark and Share
Date & Time

Last Held: February 11-12, 2020
8:30am - 4:00pm (Check-in time on Day 1: 8:00am)

Next offering tentatively planned for February 2022. Registration will open when course dates are confirmed.


As a professional involved in the maintenance and/or construction of athletic fields, your job is to ensure that all of the fields in your care drain well, hold up to their intended use, are aesthetically pleasing, and, above all, provide safe and optimal playing conditions. Very often the difference between a good sports field and a great sports field is not spending more time on maintenance, but getting the most out of the time you spend. By participating in this training, you can make sure that you're working smarter, not harder, and utilizing your time and resources in the most efficient and effective way.

Our two-day Athletic Field Maintenance & Construction course presents an excellent learning and networking opportunity for all types of professionals who are involved in the maintenance and construction of athletic fields, including baseball fields, softball fields, soccer fields, football fields, and more. Our instructors provide a balanced, comprehensive curriculum that is informed by both scholarly research and years of real-world, practical experience. You will get in-depth training on the proper techniques for maintaining and protecting all types of athletic field surfaces so that you can ensure that your fields are a point of pride for everyone in your organization. In addition, this course will cover important off-the-field topics such as budgeting and handling safety and legal issues. Knowing how to competently and confidently deal with these aspects of athletic field management can make the difference between a smooth, successful season of sports field use and one that is filled with headaches and problems.

Course participants will have opportunities to discuss current challenges and opportunities related to sports field maintenance and construction with fellow classmates/industry peers during breakfast and lunch breaks. Whether sports field maintenance has been part of your job for many years or you are just starting out in this line of work, you will leave this course with new insights for improving the quality and playability of your athletic fields.

Topics covered in the Athletic Field Maintenance & Construction class include:

  • Building a field with proper drainage
  • How the physical and chemical properties of soil affect athletic field construction, establishment, and management
  • Design, operation, and maintenance of sports field irrigation systems, as well as dealing with irrigation issues
  • Choosing the best turfgrass for athletic fields
  • Maintenance procedures for natural and synthetic turf fields
  • Dealing with soil compaction
  • Pesticide application
  • Weed control for athletic fields
  • Turfgrass disease management for athletic fields
  • Controlling insect problems on sports fields
  • Renovation and repair of existing athletic fields
  • Infield maintenance procedures
  • Risk management and sports field safety/legal issues
  • Budgeting as an essential component of managing sports fields

Interested in earning a Landscape Certificate?
This is a required course for the Rutgers Public Grounds Management Certificate program.


The February 11-12, 2020 offering of this course was approved for the following credits. We will reapply for similar credits the next time the course runs, but we cannot guarantee credit approval for future offerings.

NOTE: Individuals who wish to receive pesticide recertification credits at any of our courses will need to know their applicator license number and arrive at class on time. Please bring your pesticide license with you to class. If you are late to class, you will not receive credits.

Pesticide Credits

2 units in CORE
6 units in 3B and 13

6 credits in 7, 18, 23, and PC

We do not have NY pest credits for this class.

8 credits in 1A, 3A, 3C, 6, and 10

If you need these credits, you must register and notify Beth Perez at least 15 days before the course start date. Call 848-932-7316 or send an email to beth.perez@rutgers.edu.

DE: This course will be submitted for approved pesticide credits upon completion of the program if requested by attendees.

Certified Public Works Manager (CPWM) Credits
6 Technical, 6 Management

NJ Licensed Professional Engineers
13 Continuing Professional Competency (CPC) credits

Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) Credits
13.50 hours

NJ Board of Architects Credits

NJ Certified Fertilizer Applicator Credits
3 credits

Who Should Attend Athletic Field Maintenance & Construction

Anyone who is involved with building, managing, and caring for athletic fields can benefit from taking this sports field maintenance course. Past attendees have included:

  • Athletic Facilities Managers
  • Athletic Field Maintenance Personnel
  • Sports Field Maintenance Technicians
  • Athletic Field Designers, Contractors and Engineers
  • School and College/University Grounds Maintenance Personnel
  • Grounds Supervisors & Groundskeepers
  • Parks Department & Recreation Employees
  • Public Works Department Employees
  • Professional Grounds Managers
  • Residential Community Managers
Student Reviews from Past Attendees of Athletic Field Maintenance & Construction

"I would recommend this class to any of the grounds crew at my job. It is a good course to teach proper technique and practice for athletic fields."

"Overall very good. Touched many bases of field care, turf management, covered a wide base in relatively short amount of time."

"Enormous amount of good information; great opportunity for networking and contact development."

"Very informative, good suggestions on different ways to manage turf related issues."

"Covers a lot of material needed for general knowledge of turf maintenance."

"I learned how to remove lips in the infield. I will fix these problems on our fields."

"I'll use just about everything I learned."

Meet Your Instructors for the Athletic Field Maintenance & Construction Course

Richard Buckley - Manager, Plant Diagnostic Lab, Rutgers University
Steve Dobossy - Owner, R & R Irrigation Company, Inc.
Neil Dougherty - Professor, Exercise Science & Sports Studies, Rutgers University
Albrecht M. Koppenhofer, PhD - Associate Extension Specialist, Rutgers University
Dr. Jim Murphy - Extension Specialist, Plant Biology, Rutgers University (Click here for a video of Dr. Murphy discussing best practices for turf management.)
Brad Park - Laboratory Researcher II, Plant Biology, Rutgers University
Dan Purner, Head Groundskeeper, Somerset Patriots
George van Haasteren - CGM, President, Sports Field Management Systems

Here is what past students have said about the instructional team for this Athletic Fields course:

"The speakers that were brought in kept my attention and knew what they were talking about."

"The instructors are well prepared and helpful."

"All speakers had great backgrounds and were very knowledgeable."

Early Registration Fee TBD  
Registration Fee TBD  
Cancellation Fee TBD  

Sports Field Managers Association of New Jersey members are eligible to receive a 10% discount on this class. Please enter Promo Code SPORTS-3 when registering.

Substitutions are permitted. View cancellation policy.


Continental breakfast and deli buffet lunch will be provided to you at no additional cost.

NOTE: If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, please alert us at least one (1) week in advance of the course start date so that we can make reasonable accommodations. We cannot guarantee accommodations for special requests made after that time.


GPS systems may not recognize campus addresses. Even if they take you to the correct building, they will not take you to the assigned parking lot. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you use the directions we provide.

Cook Student Center
59 Biel Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Directions, Parking Information & Map


  • All visitors must register their vehicles online with the Rutgers Department of Transportation Services. A link will be provided in your course registration confirmation email. Be sure to complete this important step prior to traveling to campus.
  • All Rutgers faculty/staff/students must use their regular Rutgers permit and park in the nearest lot assigned for their permit type.
  • Citations/fines will be issued for failure to comply with these policies.

Note: Pre-registration is required. We're sorry, but we cannot guarantee a seat, materials or meals for walk-in registrants. Location is subject to change; registrants will be notified in the event of a change.


Sorry, registration is not currently available for this course.

Would you like to be notified when the next offering is scheduled? 
Here are 3 convenient ways to be added to our mailing list:
1. Click here to join our mailing list (please reference "Athletic Field Maintenance and Construction" or Course Code AT0501) 
2. Call us at 848-932-9271, select option 3
3. E-mail us at ocpe@njaes.rutgers.edu

Program Questions? Contact Us!

Program Coordinator: Joe Canzano, 848-932-7317
Administrative Assistant: Beth Perez, 848-932-7483

Subscribe to Learn Landscaping Blog

Attention U.S. Veterans

This course is approved by the New Jersey State Approving Agency for Veterans Training for educational benefits through the GI Bill®. For more information about the GI Bill, click here.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Related Courses of Interest to Athletic Field Professionals

Athletic Fields Special Topics:
Baseball and Softball Skin Surface Selection and Management
Natural and Integrated Pest Management Strategies for Sports Turf

Turfgrass Management:
Basics of Turfgrass Management

Pest / Disease Management:
Integrated Pest Management
Pest Management of Landscape Turf
Managing Turfgrass Insects
Turfgrass Disease Management
Managing Turfgrass and Landscape Weeds

Plant & Soil Fundamentals:
Soil and Plant Relationships
Water Management and Drainage

Equipment Maintenance:
Don't Panic! Simple Repairs for Small Engines
Shop Repairs for Small Engines

Other Related Topics:
Roadside and Right of Way Vegetation Management
Snow and Ice Removal

Back to TOP