At many high schools the track is around the football field and thus located within in the football stadium. Everyone calls it the football stadium for a reason – nobody calls it the track stadium!! We all know that football rules so if the track coach doesn’t have a good rapport with the football coach and Athletic Director problems can develop.

Between the coaches and staff for football, band, PE, soccer, lacrosse and any other activities using the field, there are ample opportunities for mismanagement of the running track and field event areas. In many cases there is no one person who embraces the typical manager responsibilities for the entire stadium facility. If there is not a strong manager who can communicate with all the various groups using the stadium, the track can often get abused and misused.

This misuse happens not because the sport of track and field is disliked, it happens because most folks using the facility simply don’t think about the track. They don’t realize that resilient surfaces have certain limitations and they tend to think of the track as a road. They drive homecoming and maintenance vehicles all over it, they let the football team mill around on the rubber surface with their cleats, spectators spill drinks and grind food into the surface, maintenance staff allows overspray from field fertilizing and weed treatments to soak the rubber surface and grass to grow into lane #1, cheerleaders cheer on the same spots game after game, community groups set up tents, tables and all sorts of equipment for events, etc, etc.

By him or herself the track coach can’t do everything to protect the running track surface. But he and she must be proactive in educating and communicating to the rest of the groups using the stadium. Communication and education don’t require money, just time. You don’t need additional funding to make improvements in the management of your track stadium.

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