Artificial Football Field Turf vs. Natural Grass for avoiding Cranial Injuries

In many football fields throughout the world, particularly professional fields, field turf has been used to replace the natural soil grown grass that used to be common everywhere. Since it first came into use during the 1960’s, field turf has been a common choice in settings where constant heavy use has made maintenance of natural grass too much of an effort to bother with. Field turf is also popular (and the only practical option) in covered or partially covered professional fields where there isn’t enough sunlight available to let natural grass grow thickly enough, or where the constant watering that natural turf needs would be too expensive

 

However, aside from its obvious maintenance benefits, another important question is how safe field turf is for the athletes who have to use it during some of the roughest moments of a football or soccer game. The biggest safety question relates to concussion safety, since this can be one of the main causes of lasting injuries or even fatalities during a sports match. So, is field turf safer than natural grass, or vice versa?

 

Head injuries aside, one of the most common issues with field turf has been its resistance to letting a fast moving player slip and slide along if he or she falls during a game. While this may seem like a good thing at first glance, surveys conducted by the National Football League Players Association in 1996 and other years found that as many as 83% of players disliked playing on artificial turf exactly because they thought it caused them to suffer more injuries than with grass. Players complained of friction burn caused by the turfs resistance to sliding and of even worse problems caused by what they call “foot-lock”, when the joints lock up and get hurt because the field stops the legs from sliding with a hard uncontrolled motion.

 

If these complaints can be considered as valid, then there is a good argument for field turf being more dangerous for concussive head injuries, since less sliding freedom leads to more bumpy rolling and the possibility of a player banging their had hard enough to suffer a concussion.

 

The complaints of not enough slipperiness were considered serious enough to prompt industry efforts at developing a new type of artificial grass that feels and acts much more like natural turf. One recent replacement for the original and more slide resistant Astroturf has been a new brand called FieldTurf.

 

However, laying a few criticisms down against natural grass fields, the fact that they’re grown over soil can lead to some tricky and dangerous problems as well. During rain or heavy moisture, large patches of the field can become muddy, form small sinkholes and in turn cause players to suddenly fall hard enough to cause traumatic head injuries. Furthermore, when natural grass dries out again during rainless periods, hard spots in the former muddy areas can lead to some serious cranial injuries if a player hits them with his head. Artificial turf doesn’t suffer this problem since its surface is uniformly soft-padded and mud free.

 

In conclusion, it seems that while older brands of field turf were indeed more disliked and even dangerous to players’ cranial safety, newer developments in artificial turf have dramatically lowered safety concerns by making the grass softer and much less resistive to sliding movement. Some of these developments are backed by industry studies, several of which have indicated that the latest modern artificial turf surfaces actually reduce cranial injuries slightly. One study in particular, conducted by the Human Performance Research Center at West Texas A&M University showed that modern turfs can reduce cranial and cervical injuries by as much as 47%.

 

The debate still rages over whether natural grass of field turf is safer for players’ heads, but it does seem that the tide is turning slightly in favor of technology instead of nature.

About the author: When Earl Reidlen isn’t covering football field safety equipment, he’s busy spending time with his family and working on his sailboat that he’s building from scratch.

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Inspirational Sports Stories

Turning Tragedy Around

Sharks are freaking scary. I know that they say to punch a shark in the nose if you get attacked, but seriously, who has the presence of mind to remember that when a hundred ton shark is coming at you? And how many of us can get back in the water after a shark attack?

Bethany Hamilton did.

On Halloween day, 2003, Bethany, a 13-year-old surfer, was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark. The shark ripped off her entire left arm, right below the shoulder. She got back to shore and her friends’ father made a tourniquet out of a surfboard leash. By the time she got to the hospital she had lost 70 percent of her blood.

It’s amazing she survived.

What’s even more amazing is that she was surfing just one month later. She taught herself to surf with one arm and then started surfing competitively. In 2004 she won an ESPY award for Best Comeback Athlete of the Year and won a “courage award” at the 2004 Teen Choice Awards. In 2004 she also wrote her autobiography, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board.

In 2005, she won first places in the National Scholastic Surfing Association National Championships. Then, in 2008, she began competing full-time on the Association of Surfing Professionals World Qualifying Series—that year she finished second against some of the biggest names in women’s surfing.

In 2011 the movie based on her life and book, also named Soul Surfer, was released. Bethany performs all the one-arm surfing moves in the film.

Bethany took a massive tragedy and turned it into so much more. She’s become a minor celebrity, and launched an entire career, which just goes to show that if you don’t sit around whining about how life is unfair, some good can come out of something so bad.

Old Doesn’t Mean Washed Up

Mixed Martial Arts is thought to be a young man’s game. At least, it was. In 2007, 43-year-old Randy Couture came out of retirement to challenge 27-year-old Tim Sylvia for the UFC Heavyweight title.

Almost everyone thought Couture would lose, badly. In fact, most people thought he’d get seriously injured or maybe even killed.

Since this is under inspirational stories you probably can guess that he won. But, he didn’t just win. He dominated the much younger Tim for five full rounds.

The moral of this story? Age doesn’t mean a goddamn thing if you’re in shape.

Way More than Survival

It’s impossible to write about inspirational sports stories without mentioning Lance Armstrong. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996 and told he had a 10 percent chance of survival. But Lance didn’t die.

In 1999, he won his first Tour de France. And, in 2005, he won his seventh straight Tour de France.

Lance Armstrong has started Live Strong, an organization dedicated to everyone having a happy, healthy life.

Armstrong’s story is the ultimate story of survival. Not only did he beat death, but he pushed to be the best in every area of his life.

What can we learn from Lance? Never take “no” for an answer.

Top 10 Women Athletes with the Best Abs

When it comes to choosing women with the best abs it gets harder. Some people don’t like a woman who is too cut. All of these women are in great shape with great bodies. We don’t think we’ll get any disagreements to this list. If we’re wrong, tell us. If we forgot anyone, tell us that too. Again, this list is in no particular order.
female abs

Best Sports Star Abs

1. Hope Solo
2. Maria Sharapova
3. Danica Patrick
4. Anna Kournikova
5. Caroline Wozniacki
6. Serena Williams
7. Alex Morgan
8. Marion Jones
9. Michelle Wie
10. Gabrielle Reece
11. Sheryl Swoopes

Top 10 Male Athletes with the Best Abs

We’ve compiled this list of the male athletes with the best abs. This list is in no particular order. If we left anyone off, or if you disagree with anyone on this list, please let us know.
abs

Best Sports Star Abs

1. Cristiano Renaldo
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Reggie Bush – football
4. David Beckham
5. Ussain Bolt
6. Didier drogba
7. Bill Goldberg
8. Michael Jai White
9. John Cena
10. Diego Forlan
11. Micah Richards