Only One Certainty: The NCAA® Women’s 2010 Championship Will Be Played on a Court from Connor Sport Court International

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Connor's QuickLock portable will enable the best of America's women's collegiate basketball players to be at the top of their game. Surface is part of Connor's sustainability program, with the U.S. growing six times more maple hardwood than is harvested each year. Connor has supplied NCAA Final Four courts for 10 years.

Will it be Connecticut again? Tennessee is looking good, but so are Baylor and Stanford.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Women’s Final Four® will be played April 5-7 in San Antonio’s Alamodome and for the 5th year in a row the games will be played on a maple hardwood court built for the NCAA by Connor Sports Flooring, the hardwood division of Connor Sport Court International.

The Women’s Final Four court was constructed at Connor’s plant in Amasa, Michigan, a small town on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The court, a QuickLock portable court system, was constructed by Connor Sports Flooring specifically for the NCAA Final Four. It is built from maple in strict accordance with NCAA specifications. Connor Sport Court is a member of the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA) and adheres to the stringent guidelines of that organization. Connor also offers wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which identifies products from responsibly-managed forests.

Connor Sports Flooring is a Zero Waste company. Recycling, avoiding waste, innovative technology and a strong environmental consciousness are a major part of Connor’s corporate policy. Hardwood used in the courts is from a renewable resource, with the U.S. growing six times more hardwood than is harvested each year, said Ron Cerny, President and CEO of Connor Sport Court. Connor Sport Court International is headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT and its hardwood surface sales offices are headed by CSCI Vice President and General Manager Jon Isaacs in Arlington Heights, IL

In addition to the NCAA® Final Four® courts, Connor’s Amasa plant also manufactures about 750 playing courts every year for schools, gymnasiums, colleges and NBA teams.
“We are very proud of the portable courts we build for the NCAA and the NBA teams,” said Conrad Stromberg, manager of the plant and a Connor employee for the past 23 years. He cites as an example the unique parquet hardwood portable floor the company built for the Boston Celtics.

“Portable floors—such as those used in the Final Four—enable venues to quickly take them up and down. This means you can have basketball one night, hockey the next,” says Stromberg.

The NCAA Final Four courts for both men and women are manufactured from hard maple which Connor purchases as rough lumber from 60 different sawmills, most of them in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Last September the rough lumber arrived at the Connor plant.

“First it is cut to a width size of 2 and ¼ inches,” said David G. Smith, production manager at Amasa. It is then planed and defects are cut out of the wood. After that, it runs through a side-matcher, which planes it down and cuts the tongue and groove on each side of the strip. It then goes to the end-matcher which makes a tongue and groove on the end of each strip. It is graded first, second and third according to MFMA

“The NCAA gets only first grade maple,” says Smith.

The courts then go into a separate building where it is “portablized,” assembled into sections measuring 48 ¼ inches by 96 and 1/8 inches.

One of the most critical elements is the subflooring, a patented Connor structure which goes under the maple surface and provides just the right amount of resiliency and shock absorption to assure good performance and player safety.

Once each portable section is complete, it is placed in a stack of 12 under stringently controlled temperature and humidity conditions. The court is then shipped out for finishing.

At The Ohio Floor Company in Apple Creek, Ohio, finishers lay out the floor and then carefully sand the surface. Two coats of seal follow. Seal keeps the finish and paint from being absorbed. Then the logos and other decorative elements are painted on the court. Finally, one coat of gloss provides that familiar shine that says “Final Four” basketball.    From the finishers it is shipped to the playing sites.

To see a portable Connor court assembled in quick-time action, go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLD6fkrEs7A.

“Floors from past championships have often been purchased by winning schools, with some being sold as part of the fund raising effort for that college’s athletics,” said Ron Cerny. He added that Connor also provides the playing surface for the NCAA Men’s Final Four, this year scheduled for April 3-5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

About Connor Sport Court International
More athletic events are played on Connor Sport Court surfaces than on any other sports flooring in the world. Connor sports floors have established themselves as the standard for professional and elite sports since the company was founded in 1872. Sport Court® is a registered trade mark of Connor Sport Court International. Since 1974, it has identified the original and authentic modular sport surface, continuously improved and patented to provide the highest levels of quality and performance. Connor Sport Court is proud to be the only sports surfacing company in the world that is independently audited and verified as “Zero Waste” and fully ISO 9001:2008 certified.
For more Connor Sport Court information contact:

Jeff Morton, Marketing Manager
Connor Sport Court
801-712-6411
jmorton(at)sportcourt(dot)com
http://www.sportcourt.com

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