Preventing injuries is a top priority for sports coaches, so when the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada was held on artificial turf for the first time, everyone held their breath. Would this new surface help to prevent injuries or would it be a disaster waiting to happen?
Australian Sports and Leisure Management reported that the 2015 FIFA World Cup had the lowest number of injuries per match, compared to the previous decade. The injury rate of 2.12 injuries per match was significantly lower than that in 2007 at 2.34 and 2011 at 2.27 at both previous Women’s World Cups, as well as the previous four Olympic Games, which were all played on natural grass. A reduction in injuries not only benefits the player and/or team’s overall performance, but extends a player’s sporting career. It also reduces costs associated with medical treatment, rehabilitation and related equipment.
So how does artificial grass prevent injuries in athletes, both professional and amateur, as well our littlest players who are training to become the next big thing?
Padding softens falls
It’s all about what lies beneath. Our artificial turf helps prevent injuries due to our multi- layer systems which absorb the impact of a fall. Our synthetic grass systems for tennis courts, hockey pitches, soccer fields or lawn bowls just to name a few feature our Pro Play shock pad layer installed beneath the artificial grass surface. This is something that natural grass is unable to replicate, which is why there are fewer injuries with our synthetic turf systems.
Maintenance issues with natural grass
Real grass can have multiple bare patches and even terrain that can cause significant injuries to players. Maintaining a real grass playing field can be problematic, particularly when hockey sticks and the cleats of rugby or soccer boots gouge holes in the ground, creating an uneven surface in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, a quality artificial turf gives you none of these problems, just a flat, even, and easier to maintain surface all year round.
Yet another problem with natural turf on playing fields is that bare patches can quickly become wet and muddy following a good downpour, resulting in players slipping and sliding. It’s difficult to keep your footing when you are running and tackling other players, hitting balls, catching balls and running from one end of the field to the other. Most field sports require the players to move quickly, tackling and dodging other players, so a slippery field is bound to increase injuries. This is another reason why artificial grass is a more beneficial option for sports fields, simply because it has better grip. Players and athletes, are much less likely to slip and fall on artificial grass, compared to real grass.
With a solid foundation and computer aided drafting, an uneven and bumpy playing field can be transformed into a perfectly flat and even surface. With minimal maintenance required, artificial turf can remain that way for many years.
A reduction in injuries is obviously a benefit to player welfare and performance, as well as saving money and athlete down-time. Synthetic turf has proven to be a great contributor to the reduction of injuries.
For more information on our synthetic turf, call the expert team at Polytan on 1800 663 812 or send us an email enquiry.