This is the second of 4 posts explaining in detail what each part of an infield mix test result includes and what does it mean to your infield.
Today we discuss sand. This is typically the largest amount of material in an infield mix. Overall sand content is any material in the 1 mm to .05 mm range. Let’s look at two aspects of sand as all sand is not created equal.
- Overall Sand Content - Recreational and high school play the acceptable range of overall sand content is 70-75%. Collegiate level of play the acceptable range of overall sand content is 65-70%. Professional level of play the acceptable range of overall sand content is 50-60%.
Overall sand content can typically be found in acceptable ranges throughout the country. In Florida, the harvested mixes typically have an elevated overall sand content. Often in the 80% range. In the upper Midwest overall sand contents can be low. Often in the 40-55% range. Be careful when selecting material. Always ask for a independent lab test of the infield mix, or better yet send out your own sample for testing.
- Medium Bodied Sand Content - The easiest way to explain this is the percentage of sand retained on the medium sieve or larger. What does this mean? Simply, if the medium bodied sand falls within the rages listed below, the infield mix has a greater chance of retaining structural stability under wet and dry conditions. Recreational and high school play the acceptable range of medium sand content greater than 50%. Collegiate level of play the acceptable range of medium sand content is 45-50%. Professional level of play the acceptable range of medium sand content is 38-45%
Structural stability on wet infield
Often, infield mixes that are harvested/dredged out of river bottom areas have overall sand contents close to or in the accepted ranges, but have large amounts of fine and very fine sand. Do you manage an infield mix that is “sandy” but becomes unstable under foot when wet and blows around when dry? Like the photo below? If so you probably have an infield mix that contains large amounts of fine and very fine sand.
Infield material running off infield and blowing into edges
This is why testing your infield mix is important. Is your lab providing a sand breakdown? If not, the test is rendered unless because not all sand is created equal!
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