The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) will host its 27th annual Conference & Exhibition January 19-22, 2016 in San Diego, California.

Approximately 1,200 sports turf industry attendees will gather at the San Diego Convention Center for more than 75 hours of sports turf education, networking functions and exhibitor demonstrations. The event was previously held in San Diego in 2004.

Close to 70 educational sessions and panel discussions will feature sports turf managers along with academic and commercial representatives from schools, colleges and universities, parks and recreational facilities, and professional sports stadiums.

With nine educational tracks, sample topics include agronomics, pest control, water, professional development, research, facility management, construction/renovation, industry developments and sustainability.

“The 2016 Conference & Exhibition in San Diego is the ideal opportunity for sports turf leaders to showcase and learn about the industry’s progression through technology, research and best practices,” says Kim Heck, STMA Chief Executive Officer. “In addition to a large number of networking events where our members learn from each other, we have developed an extensive educational program that will provide solutions to the varied challenges our members face.”

On Wednesday, January 20, STMA will present the experts discussing research and unique specialties, such as biomechanics. The lineup includes:

  • Richard Kent, Ph.D., University of Virginia, discussing shoes and field surface interaction
  • Daniel Russell, Ph.D., Penn State University, discussing acoustics and vibration of sports equipment
  • Joel Stitzel, Ph.D., Wake Forest School of Medicine, speaking to current research involving crash injury and engineering biomechanics of trauma, automotive safety and sport and military biomechanics
  • Timothy Gay, Ph.D., University of Nebraska, presenting turf, sports, physics, and concussions

New additions to the Conference are: “Fun Run/Walk” led by chair Tom Nielsen of the Louisville Bats; “International and First Timer’s Reception” on January 20; and a free customized app to help attendees build schedules, rate sessions and download speaker presentations.

Returning for 2016, the always-popular “Seminar on Wheels Tour” will visit SoCal Sports Complex, Del Mar Race Track, San Diego Jewish Academy, Petco Park, Qualcomm Stadium and San Diego State University.

Conference attendees can also take advantage of continuing education units from the American Sports Builders Association, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Association of Landscape Professionals, National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, National Recreation and Park Association, Professional Grounds Management Society and STMA.

The SAFE Foundation – STMA’s charitable arm enriching communities by championing safe, sustainable sports and recreation fields – will host a variety of fundraising events throughout the Conference. It also presents awards to the winners of the Student Challenge, a competition between teams of undergraduates in turfgrass programs with two groups taking home $4,000 each.