For many years people used the traditional heavy tarpaulin to provide protection to just about everything from their wood pile to a sports field. Today, field covers are made from a light weight and very durable material called polyethylene. This material is rip-stop, stain resistant, wears well and water resistant.
For those who are not sports enthusiasts perhaps they have never seen field covers but for sure they will have seen those bright blue tarps that are in common use everywhere from construction sites to farms. A field cover is little different other than the color is rarely bright white and they are much bigger that what you would see in general use. The tarps used to protect baseball diamonds, tennis courts, football fields and track and field events are UV protected which extends their life as these large tarps are quite costly, they may also be made from a heavier gauge material.
The list of uses would never been covered if you sat all day and rattled them off. Homeowners use them for a drop cloth if they are doing indoor painting; they cover barbeques, lawn mowers and boats. Campers and hikers use them as ground cover and temporary shelter, municipality’s use them as swimming pool covers and companies use them to protect raw material that is stored outdoors.
When the tarp is used as a field cover, the thought is an outdoor sport, which is true, but they can also be used indoors to cover a very expensive gym floor from foot traffic other than sports shoes. There are many times when the school does not have an auditorium and the gym must do double duty. When it is used for a large gathering it is imperative the floor be protected, a tarpaulin field cover is ideal.
Polyethylene is perhaps the most versatile plastic ever developed. There are a number of grades; all designed for different applications and life expectancies. Low density polyethylene is used for grocery bags, children’s toys and cable and wire insulation. Being mildew resistant, and resistant to rotting, means that anything that must be protected from the elements is best done with this material. When used as athletic field covers, they can be rolled up on the side of the field with no concern that they will be spoiled when they are next used.