What Do Players Prefer?
If given the choice of playing on a natural grass surface that deteriorates throughout the season or a 3G surface that maintains its quality which would you choose?
A great surface absorbs big impacts and is firm and fast to run on.
Heat stress is a safety issue. A cooler surface can improve hydration, performance and recovery.
Foot stability and faster cleat release may result in lower incidence of ligament injuries, plus better speed.
HIC; ASTM F355-E missile
The HIC impact test drops a 10.1 lb. hemisphere projectile (curved like a human head) multiple times from increasing heights and determines the Critical Fall Height of the surface. The higher the Critical fall height achieved, the safer the surface.
GMAX; F355-A MISSILE
The GMax test drops a 20 lb. flat missile from just 2 feet high. The higher the GMax value, the harder the surface. A good natural grass field (the benchmark for a quality athletic field) will produce a GMax below 100, and often below 80
AAA; “Triple A”
Measures vertical deformation under running loads. Also measures force reduction compared to concrete. It’s the “feel” under foot.
One Turf Concept: The knowledge you need.
Testing of a field is far more sophisticated than just a traditional Gmax test. The One Turf Concept uses a variety of test devices and methods to tell you “how does my field affect my players and my game?” By measuring traction, impacts, ball behavior and more, you will gain an answer to that question.
ORGANIC INFILLS COOL THE FIELD
Two adjacent fields; same location; same turf product; same 95 Degree day; same time of day; both were dry. The organic infill (wood) field measured 33 degrees cooler then the crumb rubber field with a cooling agent added.
Note: lower thermal conductivity of organic infill (wood) reduced heat transmission through shoes and skin.
Outside Temp: 97F
Crumb Rubber Field: 163F
Outdoor temperature: 85F
Temp gun near center of field: 170F
Drone settings: 75-175F
Grass next to field: 89F
Intersection next to field: 120F
Parking lot in shopping center near field: 125F
Outside Temp: 90F
Organic Infill (Wood) Field Temp: 135F
Two Recent Studies: 2019
AJSM: Incidence of Knee Injuries on Artificial Turf Versus Natural Grass in National Collegiate Athletic Association American Football: 2004-2005 Through 2013-2014 Seasons.
AJSM: Higher Rates of Lower Extremity Injury on Synthetic Turf Compared With Natural Turf Among National Football League Athletes, 2012-2016.
NCAA study findings
showed 27% increase in surface-caused lower extremity injuries on artificial turf vs natural turf.
Traction: Rubber vs. Wood Infill
Microplastics and Planetary health.
Definition (NOAA): Small plastic pieces less than five millimeters long which can be harmful to our ocean and aquatic life.
According to ECHA the infill material used in (artificial turf) – small pieces of end-of-life tires – falls under the definition of “intentionally added microplastics”.
ECHA – Proposing Ban on intentional addition of micro plastics to the environment – grace period: TBD (6 years?) and/or containment on sites.
CHANGE IS REQUIRED: Increase recyclables and natural products in the system.
The Solutions are Here Now!
MODERN ARTIFICIAL TURF SYSTEMS CAN:
+ Mimic pristine natural grass
+ Improve safety and reduce injuries
+ Lower temperatures
+ Reduce the environmental impact
How Do We Compare?
Acrylic Coated Sand
Outside Temp: 97F
Envirofill Field Temp: 164-167F
Outside Temp: 97F
Crumb Rubber Field: 160-163F