The skinned portions of baseball and softball infields vary widely with respect to soil texture, applied amendments and conditioners, and water management. No studies have been reported that quantify the effects of these varying construction and maintenance practices on the playability of the skinned portions of infields. In Connecticut, USA, skinned infield plots were constructed from five different soils (silt loam, loam, coarse sandy loam, loamy sand, loamy coarse sand) and amended with four rates of calcined clay (0, 4.9, 9.8, 19.6 kg m–2) to determine the effects on surface hardness, traction, and ball-to-surface friction (static and dynamic) at varying soil moisture contents (10, 14, and 18%). Bulk density, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and shear strength of the different soil–calcined clay rate combinations were determined. Increasing the rate of calcined clay decreased bulk density and shear strengths, and increased saturated hydraulic conductivity. Surface hardness increased more with coarse-textured soils and increasing calcined clay rate, but decreased more with fine-textured soils and increasing soil moisture. Increasing the calcined clay rate resulted in decreases in ball-to-surface static friction across all soils and decreased dynamic friction with the fine-textured soils. Increases in soil moisture increased friction in all soils. The fine-textured soils had greater traction than the sandy soils, but no consistent calcined clay or moisture effects on traction were observed. Shear strength of the soils was highly correlated with traction and friction. The results suggest that differences in skinned infield soils are quantifiable, which could lead to the development of playing surface standards.
Goodall, Seth A.; Guillard, Karl; Dest, William M.; and Demars, Kenneth R., "Ball Response and Traction of Skinned Infields Amended with Calcine Clay at Varying Soil Moisture Contents" (2005). Plant Science Articles. Paper 5.