Artificial Turf Helps Athletes

by | Nov 15, 2010 | Recent News

The first well-publicized use of AstroTurf,  is the Houston Astrodome in 1966. This marked the beginning of synthetic turf athletic fields. Yet, this first generation of synthetic is essentially a short pile carpet with foam backing. So in that regard, to say artificial turf helps athletes would be incorrect.

Since then, design changes give us a greater variety of synthetic turf athletic fields. One type of synthetic turf is fabricated using synthetic fibers, manufactured to resemble natural grass. The base material stabilizes and cushions the playing surface. The fiber ingredients are typically nylon, polypropylene or polyethylene and are connected to a backing material.

Also, base material consists of one or more granular materials worked in between fibers during installation. Common base materials are granulated crumb rubber, flexible plastic pellets, sand, and rubber-coated sand. A combination of sand and crumb rubber is most common. So today, artificial turf helps athletes a lot! If nothing else, it dispels myths.

Dispelling Myths: How Artificial Turf Helps Athletes

A common misconception circulates that there are more sports injuries on Synthetic Turf than natural turf athletic fields. However, many factors influence the rate of sports injuries, including the type of playing surface. Also, these risk factors include level of competition, skill level and age. In addition, shoe type, previous injury, and a number of other physical characteristics are factors. We identified five studies comparing injury rates among athletes on Synthetic Turf and natural turf fields.

These studies conclude there are no major differences in overall injury rates between natural grass and Synthetic Turf. Each study could find some difference in specific injury type. However, no consistent pattern could be found. The bottom line is artificial turf helps athletes.

Sports Casts Artificial Grass in a Positive Light

Shedding light on the false accusations means Artificial Turf is finally getting some positive reviews. Yet, you wouldn’t believe what it is. Artificial Turf helps athletes with agility? That’s right! College football player times on a standard agility drill were 3% faster on Artificial Turf Fields than on natural grass. However, there is little difference in their times for the 40-yard dash, a new study finds.

The study includes 24 players. Average 40-yard dash times for artificial turf came in at 5.34 seconds versus 5.33 for natural grass. Their average on the pro-agility shuttle test was 4.49 seconds on Synthetic Turf and 4.64 seconds on natural grass.

“It appears that straight-ahead sprint speed is similar between field turf and natural grass, but change-of-direction speed may be significantly faster on field turf,” Graydon L. Gaines, of Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., and colleagues writes in the October issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Study authors say the lack of difference in 40-yard dash times is surprising. Synthetic Turf produces less slippage between the shoe and surface and should produce faster sprint times. Yet, results may have been affected by differences in the shoe sole and stud configuration used in the study, the researchers suggested.

The investigators also note reduced slippage associated with Artificial Turf may increase an athlete’s risk of injury while making sudden direction changes, “although evidence for this is currently lacking.”

Paradise Greens Can Help

For your Artificial Turf field needs please visit Paradise Greens’ website at or call the office at 480.586.0655 to speak with a sports field specialist about your specific project.

We create amazing artificial grass spaces every day,. We would love to have yo as a customer. Together, we can make your yard come to life. And, if you need a sports field, we can do that too!

Check out our blogs to see some of our amazing installs. Customers include private batting cages, bocce ball courts and putting greens! So stop by our Scottsdale showroom. Look at our samples. Then, let us get to work for you!

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