Facility Guide to Selecting a Volleyball System | PSS Guest Post

  Play Environment First, you need to determine what type of volleyball will be played on your system. Generally speaking, there are systems available for two types of play – competitive and recreational. Competitive volleyball play requires that the net be a certain height, depending on who is playing. Men’s net height should be 7’ 11-5/8”, women’s net height…

Basketball Season: Indoor Checklist

Hussey Telescopic Bleachers

It won’t be long until we’re moving indoors for Basketball Season, is your gym ready? Below are some of our featured telescopic bleacher and athletic equipment posts with maintenance and safety tips at the forefront.

PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE: THE HOW-TO & WHY Given the right care, your telescopic bleachers will last generations, but it takes effort, care and knowledge on your part. Just like your car needs an oil change, your telescopic bleacher needs preventative maintenance to ensure proper operation…

TELESCOPIC BLEACHERS: OUR NUMBER ONE TIP FOR CARE There is a reason we gave away popcorn samples at all of our trade shows this year – each one had a reminder inside to clean under the bleachers, the number one preventative maintenance tip we share. Whether its food, soda, or dust and debris, all have an impact on the operation of your telescopic bleachers…


I’m sure if we were to sit down with you and discuss your current telescopic bleacher situation, the first thing you would say is, “Well, that sounds nice, but we don’t have the funds for that.” Capital improvement projects are an investment, and investments take time so if you don’t already have funds set aside, have a donor prospect or dedicated fundraising team with time to prepare, your options may seem limited…

BUILDING SAFETY MONTH: 5 SAFETY PRODUCTS YOU NEED IN YOUR GYM | PSS GUEST POST Locks and safety straps are designed to prevent ceiling-hung and wall-mounted gym equipment from falling in the event of a cable or winch failure. If the equipment were to malfunction and start to fall, the lock or strap would engage and stop the unit from creating more damage and possibly injuring players, fans, or facility personnel. Safety straps should always be installed with non-stationary ceiling-hung and wall-mounted basketball systems, and equipment locks should always be used with mat storage systems and electrically-operated divider curtains…

HOW TO INCREASE THE LIFESPAN OF YOUR BACKBOARD | PSS GUEST POST When choosing a backboard, first evaluate what your level of play will be (e.g. collegiate competition play, high school competition play, youth/k-8 play, or recreational play).  Matching your backboard to your play level will ensure that your board can withstand the level of usage without damage or multiple replacements, thus increasing the lifespan of your board. In addition, it will prevent overspending on equipment that you don’t need…

And perhaps the main one you should check out…

BUILDING SAFETY MONTH: GYM SAFETY SESSIONS Our mission is to continue to educate the community on bleacher and athletic equipment safety. Many of you have expressed interest in additional knowledge and this is a hands on opportunity to continue your education, right in your facility…

Have Questions?

Let's schedule a free gym safety session!

Get to Know: Performance Sports Systems


Performance Sports Systems (PSS) has been supplying the architectural community with superior athletic equipment for nearly 90 years. With a focus on quality and customer satisfaction, their innovated approach to gymnasium construction and design layout functionality provides designers unequaled options and solutions to accommodate the varying needs of sports facilities. PSS holds the philosophy of “going the extra mile,” ensuring their products surpass the expectations set by other sports equipment manufacturers, solidifying their position as a supplier of choice for athletic arenas in both the United States and Canada. In addition, PSS has a corporate commitment to source products that are friendly to the environment and we manufacture products using reclaimed material when available.

The PSS staff of engineers is dedicated to new product development, innovation, and continuous improvements, while making safety foremost priority in product designs. Our partnership spans many years and allows us both to maintain high levels of customer contact, availability, and personal service and support. Included in our partnership is product certification and our requirements to use factory certified installers.

In 2012, FEC joined the PSS Certified Maintenance Program, Orange Zone, adding it to the already robust Maintenance Solutions & Service programs. Teaming together provides customers with an unparalleled maintenance and service support as both dealers and their installers are trained and certified in the process of evaluating equipment conditions to identify any issues that may be of concern to the user. Continued education is available and utilized for both dealers and installers, ensuring everyone is up to date on innovation and processes.

PSS Has a variety of gym equipment available as listed on their website along with spec sheets and Showcase Facilities.

Ready for a Gymnasium Redesign?

Designing your play environment shouldn't be a workout! From Backstops to Volleyball Equipment to Batting Cages and Controllers and more, we have your solution.

Did You Know: Additional Products & Solutions


When it comes to our products and installations, if you’re an architect, you’re likely familiar with Stevens Industries and Hussey Seating Company, our featured vendors for Plastic Laminate Casework and Seating, respectively. As a Construction Manager or General Contractor, we’re known for our dedicated in-house installation team and our Project Management. If our Maintenance Solutions team has been out to your facility, perhaps you know us best for our Code Compliance Inspections, Repairs, and Emergency Services for Bleachers and Athletic Equipment. From the start of a project through the cycles of maintenance and repair, Farnham Equipment Company provides a solution.

But did you know we offer additional products and solutions to fully meet your needs?

In the Classroom

Wood & Metal Lab Casework: ICI Scientific offers a complete line of wood casework, fixtures, custom fume hoods, work surfaces, safety showers, work stations, overhead service centers and more.

Vocational Shop Equipment: Everything you need from woodworking storage cabinets and both steel and wood work benches to vises.

Mobile Shelving Units: Today’s classroom is designed with multi-use flexibility. Mobile shelving units are versatile with multiple backing options including additional shelving, whiteboards, tack boards, and magnetic surfaces.

In the Gym:

Athletic Equipment: Farnham Equipment Company is a longstanding partner with Performance Sports Systems, providing a solution for all of your Athletic Equipment needs from backstops, divider curtains, volleyball systems, batting cages, mat hoists, and more.

Scorers Tables: Whether it’s a simple 8-ft table or a custom LED scorer table, we can work with you on artwork design and color options as well as make sure that you’re set up for appropriate sight lines and egress.

Wall Pads: Customized to fit your space and to stand out with your school logo.

Team Seating: Clarin by Hussey Seating Company provides portable seating from the traditional series to VIP and full-bleed artwork options and color frames – your team will stand out.

Throughout the Building:

Visual Wall Displays & Custom Millwork: From the eye catching Media Center partitions at the new Fairfield Elementary Schools to the bright design of built in benches at Northwood PK-12 School and the custom design of Northwest Local Elementary Schools’ neighborhood feel of houses and sunshine, you design it, we can make it happen.

Wall Panel Systems: Whether you’re interested in adding laminate wall panels to the auditorium, as Harvey S. Firestone CLC did or providing them in mixed-use space with whiteboards and television access similar to Miami Trace High School, or a custom cafetorium like Perrysburg Hull Prairie Intermediate School – we have [your walls] covered.

Library Shelving & Equipment: We offer a complete Line of Contract Furniture, Library Seating, Library Shelving, Circulation Desks, Tables, Equipment, & Library Supplies using modular construction, allowing rearrangement of freestanding components.

Additional Products: Drapes and shades, cafeteria tables, operable partitions, classroom furnishings, and stage curtains.


Bleachers & Grandstands & Accessories: Outdoor Seating customized to fit your needs whether that is a complete turn-key solution including bleacher removal and site-work and/or design assistance, we have your solution. Our team can guide you to the best manufacturer should you want a complex I-Beam Bleacher, Elevated Bleacher, or Non-Elevated Bleacher.

Portable Bleachers: To be fair, we offer portable bleachers for both indoor and outdoor. From Hussey’s Maxam1 Portable that blends perfectly with your traditional telescopic seating to aluminum tip n roll bleachers in the Natatorium, there is a flexible solution. Outdoor aluminum portables are great for the practice field, to accommodate the High School Band, or to provide overflow seating options.

Playground Equipment Inspections: A new offering from our Service Team, we’re able to bundle your Telescopic Bleacher, Outdoor Bleacher, and Athletic Equipment Inspections with a complete Playground Equipment Inspection, keeping all of your inspections in one place with our cloud based system for future reference.

Do You Have a Project Coming Up?

Let us know how we can assist you from product, design, installation or maintenance. 

Summer Break: Preventative Maintenance Resources


We may be in the heat of July, but I’m sure your mind is already looking ahead to the start of school this fall as you check maintenance items off of your to-do list. We wanted to make it a little easier for you when it comes to Telescopic Bleachers, Athletic Equipment, Playground Equipment and more with a quick resource guide to some of our previous Preventative Maintenance posts.

Telescopic Bleachers

Outdoor Bleachers & Grandstands

Athletic Equipment:

Playground Equipment

Additional Resources

What Can We Do for You?

Whether you need to schedule your annual inspections and repairs or need parts, we have you covered. 

Gym Safety Sessions: A Follow Up

Not long ago, we were invited to a facility for a Gym Safety Session. There were approximately 12 people in attendance, many understood why they were invited to attend and some had obvious frustration that their attendance was required, they operate the equipment on a regular basis after all, so why should they attend?

This is a large facility, multiple gymnasiums, two large bleacher banks that were installed 20+ years ago along with extensive athletic equipment including divider curtains, basketball back stops, batting cages, and more. With a facility this large and many coaches passing through, there are a lot of hands on the equipment. They recently had repairs completed on both the bleachers and the divider curtains, spurring the Gym Safety Session to ensure their equipment would continue to operate properly post-repairs.

Again, why should everyone attend? Even if they already know how to operate the equipment?

Simple. You don’t know what you don’t know.


Every once in a while, with that many hands on deck, it’s good to get everyone back on the same page.

You don’t know what you don’t know.

It can seem simple, plug in the pendant controller and push the button….open the panel box and flip the switch. But if you don’t know what you’re looking for during operation, there are hazards and possible equipment damage. It’s good for everyone operating equipment to have a baseline of understanding on operation and troubleshooting.

During our session, we did a crash course on proper operation, including trouble shooting and walking under the bleachers. We reviewed best practices for the facility and who should actually be operating the bleachers.

One of the options on this particular set of bleachers is to short set them, closing the first three rows of a section for scorer tables and allowing for more room on the court for team seating. When a section is short set, the increased height of the first row is now +/- 4ft. and requires a guardrail to be placed in front of it for safety and code compliance.

Staff members shared their concern regarding sight lines when the guardrail is in place and inquired about cutting down the guardrail so it would still be there, but it would be shorter, allowing their patrons to have better sight lines.

Enter safety and code compliance.

It’s important to note that the guardrails were designed and installed by the manufacturer to meet code compliance at the time of installation to keep people from stepping off of the front of the bleachers when the first three rows are closed in that area, preventing a fall hazard. Thus, altering the height of the guardrail would go against manufacturer’s design and recommendation. Often doing so, would also void any warranties on the equipment and would place all liability on the facility, not the manufacturer.

They were very wise at this facility to bring up the question while we were there. Ultimately, you don’t know what you don’t know so asking an expert when it comes to modifying a component on your bleacher is always a good idea.

More information regarding code requirements for guards can be found in Chapter 4 of the ICC-300, remember Ohio currently follows ICC-300 2012 as of November 2017. Otherwise, the most recent published version of the ICC-300 is 2017.

We took a similar approach with athletic equipment, reviewing proper operation and best practices while answering additional questions. The main panel of operation in the main gymnasium was non-momentary switches that do not require a key for operation. The switches are housed in a panel box, but as of that day, the panel box remained unlocked, allowing easy access to the equipment switches.

The gym is typically locked so access isn’t always as feasible, but what about when the gymnasium is full of people? Anyone can open the panel and flip the switch and operate the equipment. Should this happen with someone that didn’t know what they were doing, they wouldn’t know when to stop, especially if the limit switch was faulty. The end result would be damage not only to the equipment such as a backstop or gym divider curtain, but to the structural components of the building’s roof. There is also the potential hazard of a falling piece of equipment and having it come down on spectators.

All switches should be momentary type where if you let go of the switch, it automatically springs back to the off position. Many modern options are also available and recommended including a Keypad Group Controller, Touch Screen Group Controller, and WIFI Group Controllers.

Since our Safety Session, the facility has agreed to keep the panel locked to reduce unauthorized access to the non-momentary switches.

Every once in a while, with that many hands on deck, it’s good to get everyone back on the same page.

More and more facilities are posting signage in their gymnasiums warning patrons not to stand on the bleachers (seats) and that bleachers must be in full open position before use. Some facilities go so far as having written directions for operation, including remove pendant controller after bleacher is located and operator is responsible for the safety of individuals on, around, and below bleachers.

It’s not a bad idea to have a set of rules for operation including, but not limited to:

Athletic Equipment

Ayersville Local Schools | New K-12 School


Project Name: Ayersville K-12 School
Owner: Ayersville Local Schools
Architect: Garmann Miller Architects & Engineers
Construction Manager: Shook Touchstone XIII, LLC
Scope: Materials & Installation of Educational Casework, Lab Casework, Telescopic Bleachers, and Athletic Equipment
Completion: August 2018

“Don’t let the fear of falling keep you from flying,” is sprawled across the halls at the new Ayersville K-12 School, occupied by students fall of 2018. Farnham Equipment Company has been a sub-consultant on numerous Garmann Miller projects all with the same approach, on their Jan 11, 2019 blog post, Doug Rentz of Garmann Miller shared:

 “For education clients, its designers collaborate with school districts to deliver fresh, flexible spaces. From modern seating options to multi-use rooms with state-of-the-art lighting and audio/video functions, GMAE’s designers are redefining how today’s students learn.”

As part of our scope, Farnham Equipment Company provided and installed an inclusive package featuring Stevens Industries Education and Music Casework, ICI Scientific’s Lab Casework, Brodart Contract Furniture Library Shelving, Hussey Seating Company’s Telescopic Bleachers, Performance Sports Systems Athletic Equipment, and Diversified Woodcrafts Vocational Shop Equipment.


Ayersville Local Schools | New K-12 School

Want to Know More?

Drop us a line for more information on the products featured in this post

Emergency Services | Are You Ready?

  Schools are about to open their doors to the 2018-2019 school year. You’ve been working all summer, checking off maintenance needs. Fridays will soon be filled with football and gymnasiums will be hosting pep rallies. Gym class means volleyball, basketball, and indoor sports. All have students gathering, communities cheering on the home team. Are you ready?  We are….

Liberty Center Local Schools | PK-12 School

  Project Name: Liberty Center PK-12 School Owner: Liberty Center Local Schools Architect: Garmann Miller Architects Engineers Construction Manager: Shook Touchstone XI, LLC Contractor: Mel Lanzer (Bleacher and Athletic Equipment Contract Only) Scope: Materials & Installation of Educational Casework, Lab Casework, Telescopic Platform, & Athletic Equipment Completion: December 2017 Liberty Center PK-12 school includes many of our featured vendors’ products displayed in open…