Indoor sport facilities, whether they be air supported or brick and mortar, all have one thing in common: artificial turf.
Grass doesn’t grow inside—unless you have a very sophisticated setup—so artificial grass is the closest you can get.
Turf technology, though, has come a long way to reproducing the actual feel of real grass, so much so that many outdoor fields have opted for artificial over real grass.
But there are still differences between artificial turf and the real thing, so you’ll need to consider these before kitting yourself up for the winter indoor season. Traditional soccer cleats can do damage and without a surface that grows and repairs itself, this is an issue for any indoor sport field maintenance crew.
The shoes you wear on turf need to be gentle on the surface, but still give you the support and balance needed to compete, so here are some tips on picking out the best shoes to play your indoor sport.
1. Buy Actual Turf Shoes
This tip is pretty obvious, but a lot of players still think that their regular sneakers will do just fine on artificial turf. The reality is that actual turf shoes are designed to give you the most grip and manoeuverability on artificial turf surfaces.
Outdoor cleats shouldn’t be worn (and are likely not allowed) on artificial turf as the aggressive spikes can create holes or tears in the turf which then need to be repaired.
Turf shoes will typically have short rubber spikes, instead of cleat spikes, that are grouped closer together. These will bite into the surface and give you the traction you need, without damaging the turf.
Try out a few pairs before buying though, as too much grip can be a bad thing as well. A small amount of slide isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and depending on the sport, you might want to be able to slide around. Like for slide tackling the ball in soccer.
3. Proper fit
As with any shoe, making sure it fits properly is important for comfort and function. Make sure they fit right when you buy them and keep in mind that you won’t need to use thicker socks to keep your feet warm. Playing inside means the temperature won’t be an issue when deciding which footwear to buy and you won’t need to consider any added insulation.
4. Avoid wearing them Outside (If You Can)
While turf shoes might also work well on grass, you may want to avoid wearing them on other hard outdoor surfaces.
Being mostly rubber, you’ll likely wear out the small rubber spikes faster, making them not work as well when you’re back playing on turf.
If you’re going to be playing sports indoors this winter, don’t forget to use the proper gear. Especially if you’re competitive and want to gain an edge, having the proper shoes just might do it.
Indoor sports fields and artificial turf are a great option for playing sports during the winter, but unless you have the right equipment, you might not enjoy the experience as well as you could!
Not sure if it’s worth the investment for an air structure? If you’re mulling it over, or even just wondering why it would be a good idea, here are 5 reasons to install a bubble over your sports field.
1. Cost Effective
For price per square foot of usable space, air domes are one of the best bangs for your buck. Fewer materials and a simplified building process means that you spend a fraction of the cost of a similar size brick and mortar sports facility.
If all you need is a big indoor space to play indoor sports, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more cost-effective solution. For a quick overview of dome pricing, check out our white paper on the topic.
2. Temporary or Permanent
Once the grade beam is in place, installing or taking down an air dome can be done on an as needed basis. Many fields convert to indoor facilities for the winter, and switch back to outdoor fields for the summer.
It’s the best of both worlds.
3. Fully Customizable
Because we need to build each dome to fit the space and requirements of different locations and sports, every dome package is fully customizable. Whether it’s a dome for tennis, or it needs to cover an entire football field, The Farley Group can build it to your needs.
The dome itself can even be customized with logos, colors, signs, or advertisements. Whatever you want to see on the side of the dome, we’ve got you covered!
4. Infinite Uses
Unlike other types of construction, domes can create massive clear span spaces that aren’t obstructed by things like supporting walls or poles. This means you end up with wide open room to do anything that you could think of.
A dome covered soccer field could be used for any number of field sports like field hockey, football, lacrosse, or even dodgeball.
And you might even have some outside-the-box uses such as paintballing or a party space you can fill with games and bouncy castles. Pretty much anything you can do outside can easily translate into a dome!
5. Domes are Cool
Last but not least, one of the best reasons to build an air dome is for the wow-factor. Seeing an air dome inflate for the first time is an impressive thing and is sure to amaze even the most difficult to impress people.
Stepping inside of a dome for the first time is an experience in and of itself. With large domes, it often seems counterintuitive to see such a large indoor space.
So, if you’re unsure of whether a dome might be right for you and one of the above reasons spoke to you, feel free to drop us a line or keep researching our site. We’ve created one of the most informational air dome sites right here, so read on if you’d like to learn more.
Ultimate Frisbee is a team sport, non-contact, where you throw a flying disc known as a Frisbee to your teammates. You score points in the game by people catching the Frisbee in the opposing team’s end zone of the field. Sound simple so far?
As with any sport, beginners can feel a little overwhelmed or otherwise discouraged if they are not immediately great at playing the game. However, just like with any sport, you can improve your Ultimate Frisbee skills! Want to give this a shot? Here are six tips to get you started on improving your Ultimate Frisbee skills today:
Take More Time
In a standard game, you will have roughly ten seconds to throw the Frisbee to the next person. Many people, especially when someone is blocking or stalling them, try to throw it as quickly as possible. However, we actually think taking your time and using eight or nine seconds will help increase the number of successful throws. These extra seconds give you time to scan the field better and pick out a teammate better prepared to catch your throw.
Catch With Both Hands
Trying to catch the Frisbee with one hand increases your risk of dropping it and decreases the number of successful catches. So how can you improve your catching ability? Always try to catch the Frisbee with both hands! It makes your grip stronger and provides more opportunity to catch. The only reason you should catch the Frisbee with one hand is if you need a few extra inches to stretch and you cannot get both hands out that far.
Don’t Give Up
Many people make the mistake of thinking they have missed out on the catch if they do not get the Frisbee before it flies overhead. However, you can catch it a lot more if you never give up on the catch unless the Frisbee is on the ground. So even if it flies above you, run a little backwards to try the catch again. You will miss more catches by giving up than you will by trying to run backwards and catch it.
More often than not, when people lose their cool during a game or even just practice, their performance tends to dip in quality. So especially while you are learning, it is important to remain calm even if you make a mistake, miss a catch, et cetera when playing Ultimate Frisbee. Do not let yourself destroy your confidence! Remaining calm will help you focus better, learn from what you did wrong, and fix it the next time.
Fake A Throw
Do you have to throw immediately? No. If someone is trying to block your throw, you have the perfect opportunity to make their game a little unsteady by faking a throw! All you need to do is do everything you would leading up to the Frisbee throw, including the exact hand motion, but just do not let go. You will, of course, have to move quickly once you fake the throw, so be sure to have an idea of where you actually want to throw the Frisbee ahead of time.
Practice Makes Perfect
Of course, the best piece of advice out there when it comes to improving your Ultimate Frisbee skills is this: practice makes perfect. The more you practice playing this game, the better you will be at it.
Are you worried about how you will maintain the practice when the months get colder and an outdoor field is no longer an option? This is where a dome comes in handy, since you can practice your Ultimate Frisbee skills all year long without worrying about the weather conditions outside. You can get in as much practice as you want!
Air supported domes provide climate-controlled comfort all-year-round, allowing users to play any sport they like at any time. Of course, this means the playing surfaces have no access to rain or sunlight and, therefore, must be artificial.
However, this does not mean indoor grounds are maintenance-free. Artificial turf requires its own form of special care that also applies when it is used inside domes.
You have probably seen paths worn into parks and other areas where people and bicycles have crossed repeatedly over the same spot. Artificial turf can similarly wear if there is too much repetitive activity, such as training drills where the participant is running back and forth on the field. Proper planning and scheduling ensures these drills do not always take place in the same area of the dome.
2. Regular Inspections
A worn or uneven playing surface can negatively impact almost any kind of sport, so artificial turf requires regular inspections to maintain the integrity and safety of the playing field. Such close observation of the surface can also detect any potential problems before they reach a point where the users’ enjoyment suffers.
While there is no need to worry about leaves, sticks, or other debris, indoor turf still requires periodic cleaning and grooming to maintain a clean, flat surface free of obstructions. Mother Nature cleanses outdoor fields with rain; indoor surfaces need human attention to deal with things that should not be there. Good old-fashioned soap and water will remove things such as soda and coffee stains, alcohol, chocolate, ice cream, and paint. Cleaning solvents can usually handle any tougher stains that remain.
If chewing gum is ground into the surface, it is not just a matter of removing “grass” — those areas require special attention. Freon aerosol spray will help loosen the gum, which then becomes easy to remove without causing damage.
Unlike its outdoor counterpart, it is important to remove stray organic matter from indoor turf to prevent moss growth.
Artificial grass is shipped in large, heavy rolls that cause the turf to become flattened out. Grooming, in this case, does not involve mowing, but rather going over the surface with a power broom. This helps make the turf look robust and like natural grass. During the course of regular use, the turf can again become flat, requiring occasional extra passes with the broom.
There is also equipment available that adds rakes (for leveling the infill) and rotating tines (for aerating, which loosens the infill), providing the best all-around maintenance routine. The amount of times these operations occur each year varies according to manufacturer recommendation. Using a handheld spring-tine rake on the surface can also help level the infill material.
Grooming that takes place at the start of the season often occurs before the bubble goes up simply because it allows the groundskeepers a bit more room to do their job.
Cleaning is also important for health reasons. While certain microbes decompose without issue on real grass, the same does not occur on artificial turf. Commercial cleaners for this purpose are available, though a bleach mixture can also be just as effective. Apply either of these options using a pressurized spray.
Rugby is another of those sports that’s wildly popular around the world, except for North America. That’s changing now, of course, as more teams and leagues pop up every year, but many still don’t know very much about the sport.
Besides knowing that air domes make perfect venues for indoor rugby games, we really didn’t know too much about the history of rugby either. So, we did a little digging…
First off, did you know that the sport of rugby is a direct offshoot from soccer (or football as it was known at the time)?
You may have noticed some similarities between the two sports, but you might not have realized how closely the two are actually related. There is some contention of how the two sports split, though.
According to SportsKnowHow.com, when the official rules for soccer were first decided upon back in 1863, a group of clubs and schools gathered to decide on which rules would stay and which would be abandoned.
One club, Blackheath—a notoriously rough club—wanted to include rules to allow running with the ball and hacking at the one carrying it. This wouldn’t fit into the game that the other clubs were trying to create, so Blackheath decided to strike off and create their own sport.
A sport that involved kicking, throwing, tackling, and was simply more rough and tumble than what would become “the beautiful game.” Rugby would go on to become something different, and a rift between the two sports would always remain.
Is this story true? We’re not sure! This is one of those historical stories that was passed down, but not properly recorded. Others have given a different story for the origins of the sport.
An older article from The Guardian tells a different tale. This source states that the sport started much earlier in 1823, according to a commemorative stone at an old rugby school.
The stone says that a student named William Webb Ellis was the first to begin playing rugby when he didn’t want to follow the standard rules of football. It says that “with a fine disregard for the rules of football...first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the rugby game."
Now these two origin stories have enough time between them that they could both be true, it’s difficult to say for sure.
As with any sport that stretches back far enough, history gets muddy when trying to pinpoint a person or point in time when it first started.
Sports constantly evolve, and just like biological evolution, the changes are often so gradual that it’s pretty hard to define when one thing becomes another.
One thing we know for sure, though, is that the sport of rugby is just as popular as ever and continues to grow. And being able to move the sport indoors into an air supported structure will help bring the sport to even more North Americans who, due to the colder winters in the Northern parts, tend to spend more time with indoor sports.
Winding Down For The Season: How To Keep Active Over The Winter For Soccer Players
As the months get colder, the outdoor soccer season winds down. Not surprisingly, the weather makes it more difficult to play a sport like soccer in the open air. However, serious soccer players know they cannot just stop playing and sit on the couch all winter: they have to stay active in order to keep their performance up when the season resumes. So what can they do? Here are three major ways for soccer players to keep active over the winter:
Walk It Off
Perhaps the simplest all-around fitness tip, regardless of season, is to simply walk everywhere you can. This includes taking the stairs at work and school, walking around the mall (just avoid the food court), and even walking outside when the weather permits.
In terms of walking outside during the winter, you just need the proper outdoor clothing and footwear to combat the cold and snow on the ground. So long as there isn’t a blizzard, it’s still possible to walk many places in the winter. Just try not to slip on any ice.
Outdoor Winter Sports
Even though the summer sports might wind down, there are still a whole host of other winter activities to help you remain active as a soccer player during the off-season. Perhaps the most popular of these is hockey. You can also try skiing, snowboarding, or even snowshoeing, if the conditions permit it.
Even though these sports are not the same as soccer, they still help players maintain their physical ability and condition other muscles, which means a smooth transition back to playing soccer.
You can maintain a good level of physicality indoors, whether you go to a local gym or watch workout DVDs within the comfort of your own home. Some basic things, such as running on a treadmill, are also perfect activities for soccer players to remain active during the winter, particularly because a soccer player needs to maintain their cardio fitness.
Apart from treadmill exercise, most other forms of indoor training would work well for soccer players, particularly those involving a high level of hand-eye coordination.
Play in a Dome
Of course, just because you cannot play soccer outdoors on a nice, grassy field during the winter does not mean you need to stop! You can easily stay active during the winter by playing soccer in an air-supported structure. Domes make ideal spaces in which people can play during any season or weather, since they can protect you from both the harsh temperatures of winter and the blowing snow it often brings. This means that you can focus on the game (or practice) instead of the conditions surrounding you. Air-supported structures also boast quality playing surfaces that will always be well-maintained. Keep up your skills as a soccer player during the winter by doing the best thing: playing soccer!
Tennis is both a wonderful sport and an excellent way to stay in shape, though it can be a bit of a challenge in Canada.
Let’s face it, you can only comfortably play tennis outdoors for about half of the year. This may not even be the case from coast to coast. Fortunately, indoor tennis in air-supported domes makes the harsh conditions of fall and winter an afterthought when it comes to playing tennis. The only potential trouble you have now is negotiating a few snow-covered roads in your car on the way to the game.
Regardless, we suspect there might still be a few sceptics out there who feel indoor tennis is a compromise that does not present this time-honoured game in its truest form. This is a myth! Here are seven more indoor tennis myths that also deserve immediate debunking.
1. It’s Stuffy and Uncomfortable to Play Inside a Dome
The great outdoors means fresh air, a nice breeze, and ideal playing conditions, right? Not necessarily. In fact, your wonderful afternoon on the courts could easily fall apart thanks to high humidity, blinding sun, troubling wind gusts, and unexpected rain.
Domes are completely climate controlled and offer optimal, predictable comfort 365 days a year. It will be just as nice to play in a dome on January 1st as it is on July 1st.
2. Playing Indoors Causes Major Changes in Your Game
For the vast majority of players, this will not be the case. The only point of interest here is that domes will offer a cooler playing temperature during the warmer months than outdoor play. This can cause balls to bounce slower indoors, but most any player can quickly adjust their game accordingly to accommodate this difference.
3. There Isn’t Sufficient Lighting to Play Properly
Domes are huge; how can they have enough lighting to keep the courts properly illuminated? Well, they can and do thanks to the miracle of dome LED lighting systems, which are bright, dependable, and use less energy than older forms.
4. It’s Too Cramped Inside a Dome
This is not the case. Careful planning allows domes to make maximum use of the available space. This ensures sufficient room for the tennis courts and any other activities housed inside.
5. The Dome Ceiling Will Limit My Game
Unless your game strategy involves hitting the ball dozens of feet in the air and having it rain down on your opponents, a dome’s ceiling height will not come close to being a factor.
6. You Can’t Play a Round Robin Inside a Dome
See #4. A carefully organized Round Robin can occur either outside or indoors. Planners simply figure out the space they have available, decide on how many players can participate, and schedule the matches accordingly. Playing inside or outside does not factor into it.
7. You Can’t Find Partners to Play During the Winter
We may not know where you play, but a lack of players has not been our experience. In fact, once a dome opens in an area and announces they have tennis courts, people are often scrambling to book court time. This is especially true when it is no longer comfortable to use the outdoor courts.
How Long Does It Take to Build a Dome? The Timeline for Constructing an Air-Supported Structure
Thinking about a dome but not sure on the timing? While domes are not necessarily permanent structures and are quicker to construct than other building types, you can’t simply decide on a whim to put one up just anywhere.
Domes require significant site preparation and infrastructure and are subject to applicable building codes and permitting, as laid out by your local building authorities. The construction process might be quicker overall, but the planning and approvals can take just as long.
1. The Approvals Process
The approvals process can take several months, and possibly even a year, before your general contractor can begin site work and The Farley Group can begin fabricating your dome. It typically involves receiving site plan approval, sorting out any zoning issues (including any necessary variances), and the application and issuing of building permits.
For best results, we collaborate with your local team of professionals that know the area and its requirements. This is a proven way of speeding up the process and cutting through red tape.
Site construction typically begins in late spring or early summer for the project to be completed by the fall, so it is a good idea to start the approvals process as early as 12 months before.
2. Site Preparation
Just as with any kind of building, the site chosen for the dome almost always undergoes some initial preparation. This typically involves clearing of any debris, removal of old structures or foliage, and balancing of the land. Environmental remediation may also be required before new construction can begin. The site preparation process can be short or involved, depending upon the amount of work and the degree of difficulty. Of course, if your dome is going to be constructed over an existing field, bank of tennis courts, or a pool, then this phase of the project will be minimal.
3. Site Construction
Before we can erect the dome, it is necessary to lay the required groundwork. All site construction is contracted locally with a general contractor or construction manager and is performed by their sub-contractors. Most important here is the construction of the concrete grade beam, which is the anchoring system for the air-supported structure, along with concrete pads for peripheral components like entrances/exits, and the dome’s mechanical equipment.
This phase of the project also includes excavation and the preparation of the sub-base for the dome’s interior surface, plus installation of the electrical/gas infrastructure. The timeline here can vary from 4-6 weeks for smaller dome projects and up to 3 or 4 months for larger ones. Delays in this stage usually result from the installation/commission of utility services by the utility companies.
It is common for dome projects to simultaneously have the entrance/clubhouse building under construction. It is also during this stage that other site improvements occur. These can include adding sewer/storm water management infrastructure, creation of the parking lot and laneway, and installation of lighting for those areas.
4. The Interior Surface
Depending on the phasing of the project, completion of the interior surface could occur before or after installation of the dome. That interior surface can take 1-4 weeks, depending on the type of surface and size of the dome.
5. Installation of the Dome Package
Installation can occur following completion of work on the site. This installation process takes anywhere from just a few days for very small domes to a few weeks for large ones. The dome itself arrives to the site in sections that are rolled up into large bundles for shipping. These bundles are then strategically placed so they can be unrolled, spread out, and connected to one another and to the grade beam anchoring system around the whole perimeter of the dome’s footprint.
Once the dome is secured in place, it’s just a matter of inflation. Filling the dome with air and watching it rise is one of the most exciting parts and usually gathers a decent crowd because you can blink and miss it! The powerful inflation system can fill the dome from flat to full in just a few short hours.
After the dome is inflated and stabilized, the entry and exit components are installed and connected, along with the interior lighting system, the dome’s insulation material, and any other finishing touches that are required.
The facility must then pass final inspections before your building authority grants an occupancy permit. This will include not only the dome itself, but also the entrance building (if applicable) and any other aspects of the project that relate to the safety of the facility.
Overall, the typical dome construction timeline spans several months from breaking ground to being ready for public use. So, if you’re doing the math, you can see why it’s important to start planning early. While a dome can go up relatively quickly, there’s plenty of room for delays. Because building a dome is a team effort, a slowdown in one aspect of the project can bring the whole process to a standstill. This is where planning and experience make the difference as to whether a dome is ready or not for the season!
No athlete can be the best unless they have a solid plan, and put that plan into action. After all, you need to be in peak condition to perform well, regardless of the specific sport. So what commitments does every great athlete make? Well, there are five core commitments—drop one and be ready for your performance to drop as well.
Eating fast food, chips, candy, and other junk foods might taste good at first, but it does no favours to your body. This is why great athletes make the commitment to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. This includes lots of leafy greens, protein, and whole grains.
If you want to make the same kind of commitment, but don’t know where to start, we highly recommend consulting a registered dietician or nutritionist. In fact, most professional athletes consult one on a regular basis to ensure their diet stays on the right track for all their health and fitness needs.
Beyond practicing the sport itself, all great athletes make sure they exercise on a regular basis to build muscle as well as maintain their general fitness level. This often means regular jogs, lifting weights, cardio exercises, and other physical activities. This ensures they can maintain their fitness in a variety of ways, which is essential to ensure certain muscles are not overworked.
In addition, regular exercise is often the best way for an athlete to stay in shape if they engage in a team sport like hockey or soccer, both of which need other people to practice specific skills.
Practice Year Round
Speaking of practicing their chosen sport, great athletes always make the commitment to practice their sport year-round. But what if they weather is not cooperating? What happens if the soccer field is covered in snow or the swimming pool needs to close? What about muddy tennis courts?
Turning an outdoor sports field into an indoor facility is possible with an air dome. Domes create the perfect space to practice soccer throughout the winter on a field, safe from the snow. The rain cannot make the tennis courts muddy if the dome protects them.
Proper Recovery and Rest
Of course, even great athletes cannot exercise and practice all the time without the risk of injuring themselves. Though they may be able to do more than the average individual, even an athlete can overwork their body and put it at risk for pulled muscles, shin splints, sprained joints, or worse. Thus, great athletes should commit to proper recovery and rest.
What does this mean? Rest may shift depending on the person, but it means taking a break during the workout (including drinking lots of water), and taking a day off from exercise completely every so often. This is a significant help to preventing injuries.
Proper recovery also means that, in the event an injury does occur, the athlete takes the time necessary for the injury to heal completely before diving back in. After diving back in, of course, it means taking things slower and then ramping back up to prevent the injury from coming around again so soon.
Consult Health Professionals
Whether it’s for dietary needs, general health, a sports injury specialist, or anything else health or medical related, great athletes know the benefit of consulting health and medical professionals to help make sure they have the right resources so their bodies remain fit and healthy. This all leads to top performance when they play their sport.
What’s the Difference Between an Air-Inflated Structure and an Air-Supported Structure?
Here at The Farley Group, we create air-supported structures. But as with any unique type of structure, the terminology can be confusing. If you’re a stickler for language, you might be interested to know that there is actually a difference between an air-inflated structure and an air-supported structure.
Yes, technically they should mean the same thing, but the English language tends to not play by the rules. Just look at the word “colonel,” if you need an example of English’s oddities.
So, if they’re not the same thing, what are they?
Air-inflated structures (a.k.a., inflatable buildings) create space by inflating beams, arches, ceilings and walls, whereas it’s the entire structure that traps the air with an air-supported structure.
Still confused? Well as an example, think about an inflated bouncy play castle. That would technically be an air-inflated structure. The air is trapped within the membranes of the walls themselves and the space to be occupied by people is open to the outside atmosphere.
An air-supported structure traps the air in the usable space of the structure, which means that the interior has a slightly higher air pressure than outside.
Air-inflated structures, therefore, don’t need controlled entrance and exit points as air-supported structures do. The air should stay trapped between the membranes without the need for airlocks.
While the two types of air structures both have benefits, there are reasons why you would pick one over the other.
Air-supported structures are better suited for large structures, like those needed for indoor sports or to cover large areas. The Farley Group’s air-supported structures are created for things like soccer fields, large swimming pools, tennis facilities, and multisport facilities where large clear-span space is necessary.
Air-supported structures are also better able to withstand the forces of nature than inflatable buildings. A concrete grade beam is part of the foundation and is needed not just to help seal the air in, but to give added strength and support to anchor a dome in place. Also, the air pressure in an air-supported structure can be modulated to fit the needs of whatever the weather is doing. This adaptability makes it possible to better prepare and still be confident that the dome will withstand the test of time.
Air-inflated structures are better purposed for smaller, portable uses. They typically don’t have a foundation so they can be set up and taken down anywhere. Typically, where you might use a tent, you could use an air-inflated building instead.
While air inflated buildings share some of the same principles, they are quite different from air-supported structures. Each type of structure has its own purpose, as well, so it’s difficult to compare the two. Because the two are so different, though, it’s important to get the terminology right!