DEDHAM, Mass. -
Noble and Greenough School’s Shaw Sports Turf field in Dedham, Massachusetts recently received a Distinguished Field Facility award from the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA).
The ASBA is the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities. The award is presented to its members who exhibit construction excellence. The award was presented to Stantec Sport in Boston for the upgrade of the existing facility at the school (also known as Nobles).
The Shaw Sports Turf surface has made a tremendous impact on the athletic program at Nobles and has led to teams at the school receiving their own awards for excellence in athletics.
“For nearly 150 years, Noble and Greenough has been a model of academic and athletic excellence for New England,” said Joe Kacevich, Territory Manager with Shaw Sports Turf. “This field is an extension of the mission and a project we’re proud to have been a part of.”
Installed in August 2012, the motivation for the field was Nobles’ field hockey program. Nobles is a part of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC), which declared that all tournament play must be hosted on a synthetic turf field.
“It directly impacted our ability to host events,” said Alex Gallagher, Athletic Director at Nobles. “It also put us at a competitive disadvantage with other teams that were already playing on turf.”
The field was designed to be 120 yards long so that it provided additional practice space for multiple teams, considering the school has field hockey teams at the varsity, junior varsity, frosh, and middle school levels.
The field also provides practice and game space for other teams at Nobles, such as lacrosse.
“The way the game is now played, it has become a turf sport,” said Gallagher. “It was important to the school that our teams be able to play at the highest level on an appropriate surface.”
In its first year of use in 2012, the field hosted Nobles as the field hockey team finished as runner-up in the Class A New England Championship. The team built on their success in 2013 and won the championship.
The field has allowed teams to prepare and maintain the school’s winning tradition because they can avoid rainouts and other New England weather, allowing them to get in needed practice time and get on the field earlier in the year.
The school has also been able to allow outside organizations to utilize the field, bringing in athletes and coaches from around the country. On a natural grass field, this type of extensive use would not have been possible due to the required downtime to allow the field to recover.
“Our state-of-the-art Shaw Sports Turf field brings attention to our school and our campus,” said Gallagher. “It opens minds to what we are about. In helping to promote our values and mission, the field has an impact on potential students by demonstrating our commitment to our athletic programs.”
The field utilizes Shaw’s Momentum system. Fast, dense and firm, Momentum is a high-performance synthetic turf system designed with a proven slit film technology. In addition to its durability and performance benefits, Momentum’s fiber construction results in an umbrella effect that helps hold infill and reduce overall fly-out.
Over 80% of the school’s athletic teams have had winning records since 2001, with about 75% being invited to play in New England tournaments, and nearly two dozen New England championships.