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Concussion Study Focuses on Poorly Maintained Fields


Improving helmets and teaching safer tackling techniques are two of the more common responses in the sporting world when the topic of avoiding serious head injuries comes up.

One aspect of the games that rarely comes into the conversation about avoiding head injuries is field conditions. One organization is calling attention to that potential link.

A recent New York Times article reports that the Concussion Legacy Foundation calls attention to a link between head injuries and poorly maintained fields, citing synthetic turf fields in particular.

The foundation encourages grounds managers and sports associations to treat their fields as seriously as they would other sports equipment designed to protect athletes.

“We have no national conversation on the technology underneath an athlete’s feet,” the authors wrote in their report, the Role of Synthetic Turf in Concussion. “Helmet technology is an area of great attention and investment, and surfaces deserve the same attention.”

The Times article cites three statistics that indicates fields may account for a share of the concussions: The foundation report shows that 15.5 percent of concussions in high school sports occur when players hit their head on a playing surface.
• Another study found that 10 percent of concussions sustained by high school and college football players came after players hit their head on a field.
• In the NFL, one of seven concussions happens when a player’s head strikes a synthetic or grass field.

Read the complete Times article here.

This Quick Read was submitted by Dave Lubach, Associate Editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions, dave.lubach@tradepress.com.

Read more on grounds management at www.facilitiesnet.com/groundsmanagement.

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