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OBA Field Use Guidelines

Field Prep

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OBA Field Use Guidelines

OBA is allowed to use the fields on which we play through contracted agreements with the OUSD and the City of Orinda.  The 2 diamonds at Del Rey, where the Pinto and Mustang divisions play, and the Wagner Ranch diamonds, are on OUSD property. The Orinda Sportsfield, where the Pony and Bronco divisions play, is technically EBMUD land that is managed by the City of Orinda. The fees that OBA pays to use the fields are OBA’s second largest league expense after umpires.

Each set of fields has their own set of ‘use guidelines’ that we must adhere to or we run the risk of having our permits revoked and baseball stopped. OBA has a very good working relationship with both OUSD and the City, and all participating families in OBA must help preserve this.

Outlined below are the specific guidelines that need to be followed:

  1. OUSD FIELDS (Del Rey and Wagner Ranch):  in the early season when weather conditions are variable, there will be a daily announcement during the week by 10 am regarding the status of the fields.  Your commissioner will receive the OUSD daily announcement, and will communicate with you regarding the status of your fields that day. This information will also be posted on the website, but messages from your commissioner will supersede the website.  If an afternoon decision is made, the commissioners will be notified and they will notify the teams impacted.  If the fields are indeed CLOSED, that means DO NOT USE THE DIAMONDS OR THE GRASS AREAS, PERIOD!  Using the fields when they are closed is the biggest risk to OBA losing our field permits!  Don’t be “that guy” that goes down in OBA history.  This is a big liability issue for OUSD.  On weekends, OBA will make the call if fields are playable and you will be notified by your Commissioner.
  2. DEL REY FIELDS: Our permits only allow us to use the 2 baseball diamonds and the grass area in between. The Del Rey Dolphin club after-school program uses the blacktop and the grass area adjacent to the baseball fields until 5pm each day.  Use of these 2 areas is not permitted until after 5pm – NO EXCEPTIONS. Later in the season, OYA T-Ball and Soccer will use the grass field.  When those programs are present, we must yield this field to them and use our 2 fields only.
  3. DEL REY AND WAGNER BLACK TOP AREAS: If the fields are closed, but weather conditions have dried out the black top, the blacktop may be used. Wagner blacktop is usable at any time we normally would use the fields. We are not allowed to use the blacktop area behind the school. The Del Rey blacktop is only usable after 5pm.
  4. Wagner Batting Cage: Please use the master schedule for the Bronco and Mustang divisions. This schedule will be posted at the Cage.  Adult coach supervision is required for all Batting Cage use. Only use the yellow machine balls in the machine.  Lock the machine away and lock the cage if you are the last team of the day. Batting helmets are required by batters in the batting cage.
  5. Other OUSD facilities: Our permits do not allow us to use any other OUSD facility. This is a liability issue. If you choose to have your team practice elsewhere, OBA’s insurance may not cover you or your players. If you take your team to a hitting facility, please have parents sign the waivers for those facilities to protect yourself.
  6. Sportsfield: If these fields are closed, your Commissioner will notify you.
  7. SoftToss – Batting Tees:  Do not do soft toss or batting tee work against backstops or fences.  This damages the fences.  Use the big green hitting net that is at each field.  On rain days when you are on the black top you may carry the net out to the black top for soft toss or tee work.  BUT, remember to return the net to the far edge of the field.  Kids use the fields during recess and have been known to attempt to climb on the net.  In prior years the net was left on the blacktop and OUSD hauled it away to a storage facility.
  8. NO Alcohol policy: OBA has a No Alcohol policy for all OUSD fields and the Sportsfield. This applies to coaches, spectators both during games, and  for post -game activities. This policy also applies to any field at which an OBA team is playing.  If you are ever involved in scheduling a game with a team from outside our league, please inform them of this policy.
  9. Sheds and Storage: The number one Safety issue we face is the use of our equipment. Equipment for each field is kept in the shed adjacent to that field. The ‘last team’ of the day at any field is responsible for pulling the bases, replacing the mushrooms, returning all the tools and lining equipment, and locking the shed. Please make every reasonable effort to keep the sheds organized, and inform your commissioner if chalk is low or tools break and need replacement.  Please keep the shed doors closed and locked during games. This is especially important at the Pinto field as young children always seem to find their way into the shed.  The use of the Field tractors is at the discretion of the Fields Director (currently Jeff Schwarz).  If you are interested in being ‘certified’ to use the tractors, please contact the Field Director.
  10. IcePacks:  In the event of injury, ice packs are located in each equipment shed at each field.  Ice packs are no longer placed in the team equipment bags.  Ice also is usually available in at the Wagner Snack Shack.  First Aid kits are still provided in the team equipment bags.
  11. Restrooms:  The School building restrooms at Del Rey and Wagner are off limits. Portable restrooms are in place at each field. Please notify your Commissioner or the Baseball Operations Director if a porta-potty needs servicing.
  12. Trash at Fields: Dugouts MUST BE CLEANED OUT after every practice and game. Make this a routine for your players and remind them that they would not want to walk into a dugout littered with wrappers and plastic bottles. Trash receptacles are located at each diamond. TAKE CARE OF IT!
  13. Wagner Ranch Scoreboards:  The scoreboards are operated by battery powered control boxes found in each shed. We will attempt to keep extra batteries at the Snack Shack. The HOME TEAM is responsible for the controller and it should be returned to the shed or presented to the HOME TEAM that follows your game. Power switches for the scoreboards are on the poles and should be turned off at the conclusion of that day.
  14. Parking: Del Rey – please remind families not to block driveways adjacent to these fields or school buildings. 
  15. Wagner Snack Shack and play area: Please remind families that foul balls are constantly flying through here and OBA assumes no liability for injuries due to foul balls.
  16. Outfield fences: Please keep your players off the fences. They are still ‘portable’ fences and must be treated this way. 

Any questions concerning fields, please contact David Reed, Baseball Operations Director. Email


Field Prep. Learn it. Know it. Love it.

General: To prepare the field for a game, arrive approximately one hour before game time. It takes at least 30 minutes to complete preparations, and each team is entitled to 10 minutes warm-up time before the start of the game. One hour allows only 10 minutes for extra work that may be required. The home team playing the first game of the day on a field should do a thorough job, as the prep time for following games may be abbreviated. If it has been raining, plan to arrive even earlier as the field will require more work to make it playable.

This is at least a two-person job.

Be sure to re-lock the sheds before the game begins to protect equipment, to keep locks from getting misplaced, and to prevent small children from injury in the shed or with the gear, particularly when everyone's attention is on the game.

Baseball Dirt: This is soil mix composed of cinders and clay. It needs to be moist to be firm. If an area is too wet you should not add sand or any other substance to the field in an attempt to dry out a specific area. Instead, rake drier "mix" from another and mix the two together.

How to Prep the Field:

  • Locate the base pegs. They should be capped with "mushrooms" if they aren't you'll need to dig them out with the "dig out" tool in the shed. Hint: Once you have located either lst or 3rd base use the chalk line to measure the distance to the back of home plate. Swing the line to the opposite field should give the other base. Keep the distance mark on the chalk line and scribe and arc from 1st base to 2nd. Repeat the process from 3rd base. The intersection of these arcs is the location of 2nd base.
  • Repairs: Use the large aluminum Infield Rake to fill in and smooth out any ruts or holes (usually along the base lines near the bases and in the batter's box). When players slide, dirt is pushed out from in front of base to behind the base. Pull dirt from behind bases to fill in low spots in front. This should also be one after the last game or practice of the day so the dirt has some time to settle. It is important to water and repair the areas to be repaired first so they can dry out somewhat before game time. The mounds may need repair; BUT DO NOT WATER THE MOUND. Mounds are made of special clay and do not require moistening before each game. Wet mound clay can be very slippery. The mound should also be repaired after the last game or practice of the day.
  • Water: There are water faucets located at every field. Water the infield thoroughly if the surface is dry. This keeps the dust down. Saturate the surface until the material turns red. Completely soak locations needing repair and the area around home plate. The infield should be damp enough to hold the dust down. Don't worry about puddles or over-watering, particularly around the bases, as this material holds a lot of water. Again, avoid getting the mound wet as the special clay can be very slippery. Return the hose to the shed.
  • Drag: The "drag" (the large screen with the rope attached) is located near the fence on each infield. Drag around the mound in a spiral pattern outward until all the playing area is covered. End next to the fence at First or Third base, roll up the drag and leave it next to the fence.
  • Fill the Chalk Hopper: If you fill it at the shed it will be a little harder to roll; but any chalk spills will be away from the infield. When about half-empty to near-empty, the chalk in the hopper will form a "void" from the action of the impeller which lets the chalk pour out unevenly. Stir the chalk down into the void to avoid this. Always clean up any chalk mess with a rake or shovel. Do not reuse this contaminated chalk. NOTE: If the trap door at the bottom of the machine gets jammed with paper, clay or damp chalk, the door will not close fully. Clean this out before attempting to spread chalk.
  • Locate Batter's Box: The batter's box outline is made by using the PVC pipe rectangular template. Lay it on the ground next to the plate and use the projecting pieces of the form and home plate for position. The side of the box should be parallel to the side of the plate. Step on the top of the PVC box or scratch a line using the PVC template to leave an impression in the dirt. Flip it over to the other side of the plate and repeat. These two boxes are your guidelines for chalking. Make these two impressions before chalking the baselines. This gives the starting point for the baselines. Locate Baselines: Next run a string from the pointed corner of home plate (some fields have hooks on the backstop for this purpose) to the edge of the grass, running it through a point approximately 6 inches to the outside of the first and third base mushrooms. (A mushroom is the cover placed in the metal base peg anchor to keep the dirt out.) Or pull the mushroom and place a base in the hole. The outside edge of the chalk line should be just under the edge of the base since the base is located totally in fair territory. For accuracy the string should be 1 inch inside the edge of both home plate and each base. (The chalk stripe is two inches wide.) Apply chalk lines: Start placing chalk on the string at the point where the string crosses the batter's box. There should not be chalk inside the batter's box when you are done. Align the front of the chalk machine on the string as you walk slowly toward the outfield. Sight far along the string. This gives a straighter line. Repeat for the other baseline.
  • Base Installation: Install the bases in the peg anchors beneath the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms along the fence so they can be easily located to replace at the end of the day. If the base peg anchors are full of dirt there is a "dig out" tool like a spatula with a wooden handle in each shed to scoop out dirt.

Important Reminder

The home team manager for the last game of the day is responsible for pulling all the bases, installing the mushrooms, putting the bases away, and locking up the shed. If you are unsure if it's your turn and no one from the next game has arrived before you, please put everthing away. Bases left in the peg anchors overnight will rust and stick.