The softball field at Open Space Park in Sioux Center has been selected as top in its class in the nation.
The diamond was named Softball Field of the Year by the Sports Turf Managers Association. It was selected as the number one softball diamond at the K-12 schools and parks level across the United States. This is the third field in state history to receive this type national recognition. The first was Jack Trice Stadium, home to the Iowa State Cyclones.
“This award is very humbling and extremely exciting at the same time,” said Sioux Center Parks Director Lee Van Meeteren. “We never expected to win this type of award, but to be recognized by our peers as having the type of field that deserves this award is an honor that I don’t take lightly.”
The STMA calls the Field of the Year awards “the industry’s highest honors,” selected out of members who manage baseball, football, soccer, softball and other sporting playing surfaces worldwide at the professional, collegiate, schools, and parks and recreation levels.
A panel of 12 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.
“Our efforts are not only to provide a safe, quality playing surface for our athletes and coaches, but also to manage it in an environmentally-responsible way,” Van Meeteren said. “This is an award for Dordt University and Sioux Center schools as well as the City of Sioux Center. Being part of joint use efforts for this community provides us the ability to have this level of facilities.”
Van Meeteren will accept the honor for Sioux Center at the STMA annual Awards Banquet and the field will be featured in a 2020 issue of SportsTurf Magazine. This national honor comes months after the diamond was named Iowa’s 2019 Field of the Year.
“Our committee is appreciative of your submittal and impressed by the time and effort you put into your softball field management program. The competition in this program was very strong, and your entry is definitely deserving of this honor” Kim Heck, CEO of STMA.