A new independent research project at the University of TN Center for Biomechanics used live athletes to determine if the use of a shock pad (Brock PowerBase/YSR) under artificial turf changed the ground forces and the way the athletes’ bodies responded to those forces during various athletic movements when compared to an artificial turf system without a shock pad. A change in ground forces during athletic activity may result in an increase in the risk of lower extremity injuries (LEI) (i.e. a field that is too soft may increase the risk of LEI.) The goal of a quality sports surface is to produce a firm fast and responsive field for play, but one that also increases Critical Fall Height and lowers G-Max to help protect the athletes against higher level impacts and head injuries.

The study, titled: Biomechanical Evaluations of Impact Attenuation Related Biomechanics of Drop Landing, Drop Jump and Cutting Movements on a Synthetic Turf System with a Shock Pad, was conducted by Songning Zhang, PhD & FACSM, Professor, Biomechanics Director of the Biomechanics/Sports Medicine Laboratory at The University of Tennessee. A 3D high-speed video motion capture system with 12 cameras was used to obtain the three-dimensional (3D) kinematics during the test. Two force platforms were used to measure the ground reaction forces (GRF) and the moments of forces during the movement trials.

“In summary, the results from this research project demonstrate that the inclusion of the shock pad with the synthetic turf did not affect the overall loading to the body during the drop landing, drop jump and 90° cut movements. However, the inclusion of the shock pad did provide some protection to the ankle joint in the landing movement. These results also suggest that the shock pad inclusion did not negatively influence the performance related variables during the drop jump and 90° cut.”

Long story short, Brock PowerBase YSR demonstrated the ability to maintain athlete performance on synthetic turf as well as a system without a shock pad, while also increasing Critical fall height from .7 meters to 2.0 meters. This study dispells the myth that shock pads, at least Brock shock pads, make artificial turf fields soft to run on.

Download the Full Brock Shock Pad and Lower Extremity Injury Report done by the University of Tennessee Biomechanics Lab.