How to Build and Maintain a Warning Track
A warning track can be made of any material that has a distinctly different feel than the turf, which alerts athletes to a change in footing without having to look down. The first objective is to find a material that provides a firm surface. Stone aggregate is most commonly used, because it is angular and contains a wide range of particle sizes that pack together well. Be sure to avoid choosing aggregates with rounded particles because they will create an unstable and unsafe surface for the athlete. Another consideration is to select an aggregate that will drain quickly to prevent puddles and a slippery track surface.
Turface® SAF Trac is specially blended aggregates in particle sizes and color choices to meet your specific needs.
Preparation and Installation
Begin by defining the area needed for the warning track, then excavate and compact the subgrade. If needed or desired, install subsurface drainage and landscape fabric. The next step is to bring in the aggregate, and level, compact and grade the area. A point to remember: maintain elevation where the warning track meets the turf so players don’t trip when transitioning from one area to the other. It is recommended a slope between 1% and 1.75% be utilized to accommodate surface drainage toward the fence.
Occasionally debris and weeds may need to be removed. Nail drag or mat drag the track surface to bring it back to level. A word of caution: be sure not to drag material onto the turf and create a hazardous lip. If loose material is evident, roll the area to firm up the surface. To maintain a distinct boundary between the track and turf, the border may have to be edged occassionally.