Prompted by a reader query, a new report finds a Colorado sports medicine specialist explaining what he sees as the differences between turf and grass fields. Understanding what separates these types of surfaces from one another is something that could appeal to athletes.
Turf fields have come about as a result of organizations wanting to host numerous types of sports on one field that doesn’t necessarily require constant upkeep. But grass and turf fields each have their advantages. Turf isn’t going to damage as easily, whereas one cleat planted into a grass field can create a divot. But grass is softer and impacts tend not to be quite as jarring as they are on turf.
As the doctor notes, though, advances in turf makeup have been such that there’s no real way to say that one form of field is safer than another. Although the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has found that data may suggest strain and torque are more common on turf, they acknowledge that it’s impossible at this point to identify any inherent risks that should prompt serious concern. With so many factors to take into consideration, athletes and parents with student athletes shouldn’t be fearful that one surface is being used instead of another.
The doctor have does one easy safety recommendation for those participating in an activity on turf. He explains that smaller cleats designed for turf are preferable on such surfaces because they can be used as a means to reduce torque.