Field safety has always been a priority for sports professionals, facility staff, coaches and players. In that respect, nothing has changed. But, at the same time, everything has changed.
Concussions, as one example, have been elevated in importance as head trauma and its effects become clear, and as athletes realize that concussions occur with equal frequency on all sports fields. Player deaths resulting from heat related causes are also changing the scheduled times for practices and games throughout the world. The entire sports community is experiencing enhanced awareness, focus and sensitivity to field safety related issues.
When a player impacts the playing surface (the ground), there are three things involved: the player’s body, any protective gear they are wearing and the playing surface. Anyone who thinks the field surface is not a significant and contributing factor to whether or not the athlete is injured has never played sports.
The most recent change is the awareness of the role of natural grass playing surfaces and their impact on athletes’ injuries. While it is true that the synthetic turf surfaces are increasingly popular today, they have been subjected to the scrutiny of performance and safety testing for decades. In fact, rigorous performance and safety testing is a direct contributor to the synthetic turf industry’s evolution. Arguably, today’s synthetic surfaces are safer and consistently perform at a level above previous generations.
Natural grass surfaces have only recently been held to the same standards as synthetic turf surfaces. Legal challenges regarding players being injured on natural grass surfaces that were allegedly in unsafe condition, have amplified the call for natural grass surfaces to be tested with the same scrutiny that synthetic turf surfaces have been subjected to for over a decade.
It only makes sense that any sports field, regardless of whether it is synthetic or natural, be maintained in the safest state possible. All fields, natural and synthetic, should be tested to verify that the field is indeed safe every time the players take the field and be maintained in the safest state possible. All fields, natural and synthetic, should be tested to verify that the field is indeed safe every time the players take the field.
For more information on field safety, maintenance and testing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TURFconsultants is the ideal source for information regarding the synthetic turf industry. TURFconsultants provides consulting and engages in public speaking events as well as offers an opportunity to receive fact-based information and proven tools to assist in navigating the complexities of the turf industry.