High schools sports: Grass fields turn to dust, prompt safety concerns
July 25, 2012Eastern Indiana Sports
With fall sports practices set to begin Monday, Decatur Central High School athletic director Kelly McWilliams is concerned about the safety of her athletes.
The drought that has scorched Central Indiana this summer, combined with the watering ban invoked by Mayor Greg Ballard two weeks ago, has left some area high school football and soccer playing surfaces looking more like dirt fields from the Dust Bowl era.
Decatur Central, like many schools in the Indianapolis area, has a synthetic football field. But its soccer game field, directly east of the football stadium, is natural grass. After two weeks without water, the grass is beginning to go dormant and the ground is becoming more rock-hard each day.
"The (soccer) practice field is already down to dust and dirt," McWilliams said as she walked near the fields Tuesday. "I'm very concerned about the safety of our athletes. And if we put the soccer team out on the game field, I'm afraid that field will turn to dust in a few days."