Support our mission
 
The first matchup on the new artificial turf at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Berkey Field was an intramural soccer game Monday between Afloat Training Group and Fleet Industrial Supply Center.
The first matchup on the new artificial turf at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Berkey Field was an intramural soccer game Monday between Afloat Training Group and Fleet Industrial Supply Center. (Allison Batdorff / S&S)

Pacific edition, Wednesday, August 15, 2007

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — No more grass stains or gravel knee. A tumble on Yokosuka’s new Berkey Field now will leave you with black specks and a faint odor of rubber.

The $2 million artificial turf field opened Monday with a soccer game between Afloat Training Group and Fleet Industrial Supply Center.

The turf’s base is rubber and sand and topped with synthetic plastic grass.

Soccer player Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Blakely prefers fake fields to real grass, he said. Turf is more even, without tricky holes that can injure players, he said. Plus, rubber is softer to fall on than dirt.

“Turf turns the game into a match of skill, and it’s no longer about the condition of the field,” Blakely said.

The downside?

“Now you can’t blame the mistakes on the field anymore,” he said. “You can’t say the ball bounced wrong.”

The Berkey Field project was five years in the making, said Kyle Rhodus, athletics director for Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

“The old field wasn’t irrigated and had many divots and holes,” Rhodus said.

The turf doesn’t require much maintenance, Rhodus said, which will save money every year.

The field can host several games at once and can be configured for two softball fields, one flag football field and a mini-soccer field, or one tackle football field and a soccer field, Rhodus said.

“If you can endure the elements, you can play sports on our field,” said Yokosuka Naval Base commanding officer Capt. Daniel Weed on Monday.

Reservations for the field are made through Purdy Fitness Center. Priority goes first to sailors, second to high school use and then to the community, Rhodus said.

Migrated

stars and stripes videos


around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up