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Perhaps the most obvious criticism of the 2011 Las Vegas Invitational was the grass. While the fields at Star Nursery were green, those at the Silver Bowl Sports Complex were dry, dusty and hard.

But the tournament in 2012 is going to be much better, said tournament director Jon Hinkin.

Last year’s conditions were exacerbated by a drought that cut off the water supply to the Silver Bowl fields beginning in September, 2010. The lack of water made the fields unusually dusty.

But things will be different this time. Rainfall through the winter of 2010-2011, and the snow pack on the surrounding mountains were both very high. This meant a nice, high water table for all of 2011, and well-watered grass at all four anticipate venues: Star Nursery, Silver Bowl, Anthem High School, and Sam Boyd Stadium.

In some venues the grass will be dormant, but it will be strong and a good playing surface.

Hinkin said he has worked closely with the City of Las Vegas and Clark County to make sure the fields are well-watered. In addition, since a Renaissance fair in the first week of October, the Silver Bowl fields were roped off, re-seeded and watered for the remainder of October to ensure the best possible growth of the grass.

“These fields are going to be in as good a shape as we can possibly get them,” said Hinkin. “They won’t be green at the Silver Bowl fields because the Bermuda grass goes dormant in the winter, but there will be grass.”

To get more information about the Las Vegas Invitational, and the 22 different brackets of competition, go to www.lvirugby.com.