Ball parks more than a match for rainy weather
Shaoxing Baseball & Softball Sports Center. [Photo provided to china daily]
Material and function were two of the major concerns in the construction of the Shaoxing Baseball & Softball Sports Center, one of 12 newly built competition venues that will serve the Hangzhou Asian Games.
With an area of approximately 160,000 square meters, the center is the largest of its kind in China and built to the nation's highest standards.
It consists of two baseball fields, two softball fields, and one physical training gym.
The choice of materials and the function design have been key to ensuring the fields' high standard, according to Chen Yuewei, director of the venue's information office.
The fields are mostly covered with artificial turf, except for the running routes, which are made of red clay. Chen said that the red clay is the same as that used in the baseball and softball events during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It is mixed according to a specific ratio, which allows the spikes of athletes' shoes to be firmly embedded in the clay when they stand, yet the clay does not stick to the shoes when athletes run from base to base.
On rainy days, the clay is able to absorb water, instead of becoming muddy and being washed away.
"The turf, which might look nothing special, also has very high technical requirements," Chen said. "There is an advanced drainage system under the artificial turf. Rainwater will quickly seep through the turf and be discharged along the pipes underneath. An hour or two after a heavy rain, there will be no standing water on the site."
The center also has a physical training gym, which includes facilities for swimming, basketball, tennis, and table tennis.
Since it opened last year, the venue has hosted many major domestic baseball and softball events and the gym has opened to the public.
Combining both competitive sports and public fitness, the center is set to serve people who play baseball and softball in Shaoxing after the games ends.