Footing quality is a function of the health and type of grass as well as the soil conditions. Certain grass types have a stronger shear strength and will offer more stability. A compacted soil will create conditions that are difficult for cleats to penetrate. Compacted fields must be aerated frequently and the watering schedule should be evaluated based on what the field actually needs.
Heavy divoting is a sure sign of poor soil conditions and lack of oxygen in the soil. First, have the soil tested to understand structure and then begin a program of aerating monthly to relieve compacted conditions. Overwatering is also a common cause of heavy divoting.
Sidelines on a football field can be the most difficult area to maintain a healthy stand of grass. These areas should be aerated at least monthly with shallow tines and yearly with deep tines. Sideline covers are the best method to protect grass plants.
If spots are sunken one inch or less, topdress with a quarter inch of sand or clean topsoil per week until the spot is at grade with surrounding areas. Areas sunken greater than one inch will need sod removal and fill with clean topsoil from below and replace sod.
First become aware of the ingredients of your paint; some paints are toxic to grass plants. Do not over-apply as heavy paint can choke out plants. Aerate heavily painted areas to break up crusted paint and allow oxygen back into the soil.
The area between the hash marks should be aerated monthly and grass seed should be applied immediately following. Grass may be pre-germinated for faster establishment.