BOYDS, Md. (Nov. 25, 2014) - The Maryland SoccerPlex has earned "Field of the Year Award" honors from the Sports Turf Managers Association, the professional association of 2,600 men and women who manage sports fields worldwide.
The award has been given for the superb quality of the playing surface at Maureen Hendricks Field, the SoccerPlex's showcase stadium and the home of the Washington Spirit of the National Women's Soccer League. It also hosts many other youth, college and professional soccer matches annually, with D.C. United, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the University of Maryland having hosted events in recent years.
STMA ranks Maureen Hendricks Field as the top playing surface among eligible professional soccer venues, an honor previously bestowed on world-class facilities like Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado and Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
"It's great to see the passion and dedication of our grounds crew recognized with such a tremendous honor," said SoccerPlex Director of Grounds Ryan Bjorn. "I'm extremely proud to be a part of such a hardworking and passionate group of people that makes up the SoccerPlex grounds team."
STMA is a not-for-profit professional association for men and women who manage sports fields worldwide. Since 1981, the association and its 34 local chapters have been providing education, information and sharing practical knowledge in the art and science of sports field management. Its more than 2,600 members oversee sports fields and facilities at schools, colleges and universities, parks and recreational facilities and professional sports stadiums.
"The Field of the Year Award is a testament to the personal and professional contributions by a select group of sports turf industry leaders," says Kim Heck, CEO of STMA. "The process of selecting winners each year becomes more difficult as the candidate pool grows and the industry continues to progress with innovative technologies, state-of-the-art equipment and best practices."
This year's honor marks the second time the SoccerPlex has won an STMA award, with the showcase stadium earning a 2011 "Field of the Year" award for soccer in the "Schools and Parks" category.
Since 1992, STMA's Field of the Year Award has been given to members who manage baseball, football, soccer, softball and other sporting grounds at the professional, collegiate or schools (K-12) and parks and recreation level.
A panel of 11 judges independently scored entries based on playability, appearance of surfaces, utilization of innovative solutions, effective use of budget and implementation of a comprehensive agronomic program. Judges may not award a field in each category. Winning fields will be featured in a 2015 issue of Sports Turf Magazine, while the awards will be presented at the 26th STMA Conference & Exhibition in Denver, Colo. Jan. 13-16, 2015.
About the Maryland SoccerPlex
The Maryland SoccerPlex (www.mdsoccerplex.org - 18031 Central Park Circle, Boyds, MD 20841) features 22 professionally maintained, regulation-sized soccer fields. The SoccerPlex offers a combination of playing surfaces with 11 Kentucky bluegrass fields, 7 Bermuda grass fields, 3 synthetic turf fields with lights and an award-winning Kentucky bluegrass stadium field with lights and permanent bleacher seating.
The SoccerPlex hosts youth leagues, adult leagues, youth tournaments, NCAA Division I college matches and conference championships (ACC), U.S. Open Cup matches (D.C. United), professional women's matches (Washington Spirit) and a variety of international teams and competitions.