The Safety of Artificial Turf vs. Grass as a Sport Playing Surface

Mo soccer

Safety aside, soccer and a muddy, grass field: a boy’s idea of heaven!

The World Cup has arrived, at last, and brought with it already the first controversy of the tournament: did Fred flop?
But in the world of football/soccer, there is another, older controversy: turf vs. grass. We revisit this issue by looking at a previous blog post (it is very difficult to write while watching Mexico vs. Cameroon!).
Turf vs. grass: which is safer? Take a read, and let us know what you think.

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine Blog

I was interviewed last week for a newspaper article which looked at the debate over a local school’s intention to transform a grass playing surface to artifical turf.

Among the controversies in sports medicine, the turf vs. grass wars are not the loudest nor the meanest, but they have been among the most persistent ever since 1966, when the Houston Astros first introduced a synthetic turf playing surface in the Astrodome, and dubbed it Astroturf.

Picture_of_Reliant_Astrodome Reliant Astrodome

The history of the Astrodome makes for interesting reading:  of note, the original intention was for the surface to be natural grass, and the makers of the dome had installed traslucent skylights to allow for grass to grow on the indoor surface.  Alas, not enough light made it to the playing surface, the grass died, and Astroturf was born.

The progress of science and technology have seen Astroturf give way to…

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About sportingjim
I work at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio USA, where I am a specialist in pediatric sports medicine. My academic appointment as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics is through Ohio State University. I am a public health advocate for kids' health and safety. I am also the Deputy Editor for the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

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