PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The NCAA Division I National Championship for women’s volleyball will be hosted here in Pittsburgh this weekend.
It takes a lot of work to transform PPG Paints Arena before the players and coaches come to town.
How do you turn the Pittsburgh Penguins’ house of hockey into a volleyball venue by lunchtime?
The flooring provider for the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Volleyball championships is a company called Sport Court. They brought the floor to Pittsburgh in a bunch of wooden crates load in the back of a semi-truck.
Their tiles will snap together and will sit on top of the ice where the Penguins play, with a few extra layers.
“These are specially engineered sport surfaces that have the same playability as a hard surface,” explains Stephanie Corrigan of Sport Court. “However, they have improved shock absorption, and the same coefficient as friction [as a solid wood floor].”
What you can’t tell from afar is that the floor only looks like wood.
It is wood in name only.
“The surface is not wood. The Sport Court surface is engineered tile, so it’s a modular tile surface. We have improved the surface over time so now we have the top level with our Maple Select product.”
So even though the company calls it Maple Select, there is no wood in it. It is all engineered for these championships.
The crews will work about five hours to lay the floor at PPG Paints Arena, but they had been hard at work before the tiles arrived.
First, they had to cover the ice. They installed a basketball floor on top of that.
Next came thin rubber sheets to cover the basketball floor and then the Sport Court is laid down on top of that.
As for the actual Sport Court install, Corrigan says it’s a snap.
“They started at about 7:00 a.m. today, and it will take approximately five hours,” she said.
In all, it takes about 10,000 10-inch tiles to make the floor. Sport Court employees are here to make sure it goes together as it should.
“We have our head technician who leads actually the PPG Paints Arena team to do the installation so it’s a team effort between the arena and our team,” explains Corrigan.
Because the surface is synthetic and sits on a rubber layer, it actually gives and moves with every dig, set and spike of the volleyball championships.
“The student athletes can have the pleasure of competing at the highest levels without concern about the wear and tear on their bodies,” says Corrigan.
Now all they need are the teams, the coaches and the fans.
They arrive later this week.