MPSTMA FALL WORKSHOP REGISTRATION - GENERAL MEMBERS 2015
Synthetic Turf: No Maintenance Required?
Although synthetic turf fields often look uniform from above, most users do not have a full appreciation for how variable they really are. This presentation will review the current tools and methodology used in assessing the surface hardness of athletic fields and how it may relate to concussion risk in athletes. Research will be presented demonstrating the inadequacy of current test protocols to fully characterize synthetic field maintenance requirements. Data from a prototype mobile measurement device will be presented that provides the field manager a rapid field hardness assessment of an entire field. The data collected with this new tool will be presented in a graphical context that demonstrates the variability that exists across most fields and how it relates to field use. Data will be presented that shows the need for athletic field managers to develop an ongoing maintenance program for synthetic fields as they do for natural fields. Finally, strategies will be discussed for maintaining safe uniform playing surfaces throughout the duration of the life of an athletic field.
2) Briefly discuss the current concern with field hardness and concussion risk
3) Briefly discuss the misconception that synthetic fields are very low or no maintenance.
4) Briefly describe the current methods and tools used in measuring athletic field surface hardness (or Gmax values) and what the values represent.
5) Briefly demonstrate (by video) this prototype mobile tool that allows the user to map the surface hardness (Gmax) across an entire field in less than an hour.
6) Present research data that we have collected over a large assortment of synthetic and natural fields showing
A) The variability in Gmax values between fields
B) The variabiltity in Gmax values across a single field
C) How use affects the variability on a field
D) How management may impact the Gmax values
7) Discuss the importance of performing maintenance practices that help provide a more uniform and safe playing surface.
8) Discuss possible solutions for fields that are excessively hard.
Park and Sports Turf Managers Association