Saturday, March 20, 2010

Third Generation Turf still not as good as grass soccer surface for MTBI

The predicted risk of head injury from fall-related impacts on to third-generation artificial turf and grass soccer surfaces: A comparative biomechanical analysis

Authors: Peter Theobald a; Liam Whitelegg a; Leonard D. M. Nokes a; Michael D. Jones a
Affiliation: a Trauma Biomechanics Research Group, Institute of Medical Engineering & Medical Physics, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
DOI: 10.1080/14763141003690245
Publication Frequency: 4 issues per year
Published in: Sports Biomechanics, Volume 9, Issue 1 March 2010 , pages 29 - 37
Subject: Sport & Exercise Science;
Formats available: HTML (English) : PDF (English)
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The risk of soccer players sustaining mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) following head impact with a playing surface is unclear. This study investigates MTBI by performing headform impact tests from varying heights onto a range of third-generation artificial turf surfaces. Each turf was prepared as per manufacturers specifications within a laboratory, before being tested immediately following installation and then again after a bedding-in period. Each turf was tested dry and when wetted to saturation. Data from the laboratory tests were compared to an in situ third-generation surface and a professional grass surface. The surface performance threshold was set at a head impact criterion (HIC) = 400, which equates to a 10% risk of the head impact causing MTBI. All six third-generation surfaces had a >10% risk of MTBI from a fall >0.77 m; the inferior surfaces required a fall from just 0.46 m to have a 10% MTBI risk. Wetting the artificial turf did not produce a statistically significant improvement (P > 0.01). The in situ third-generation playing surface produced HIC values within the range of bedded-in experimental values. However, the natural turf pitch was the superior performer - necessitating fall heights exceeding those achievable during games to achieve HIC = 400.
Keywords: Artificial; head; injury; soccer; turf

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