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  • Field Turf

    There was a question before that was asking whether Field Turf causes more knee and ankle injuries than grass, well here is an article I read on


    NFL panel finds some knee, ankle injuries more common on turf

    Associated Press
    NEW YORK -- An NFL panel found that certain serious knee and ankle injuries happen more often in games played on the most popular brand of artificial turf than on grass.
    The league's Injury and Safety Panel is presenting its study Friday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in New Orleans.

    The report examined the 2002 through 2008 NFL seasons, comparing games played on grass to those on FieldTurf. It found that the rate of anterior cruciate ligament injuries was 88 percent higher in FieldTurf games -- a conclusion that the manufacturer of the synthetic field hotly disputes.

    Panel chairman Dr. Elliott Hershman, a New York Jets team orthopedist, said it's too soon to make any recommendations on what surface teams should choose. More research is needed on issues such as whether players are wearing the right types of shoes on artificial turf.

    "At this point, we want to stimulate more discussion," Hershman said.
    The panel has presented its findings to league owners, the NFL Players Association and companies that make artificial turf. The study has been submitted for publication.

    "The paper is designed to stimulate further discussion, inquiry and improvements in playing surfaces," league spokesman Greg Aiello said. "It does not draw any conclusions about the cause of the injuries analyzed. Our panel states in the report that additional analyses, data from future NFL seasons, and studies of injury rates on synthetic turf and natural grass surfaces, including for other athletic populations and levels of football, are needed before any conclusions can be drawn or recommendations made."

    Nine NFL stadiums currently have FieldTurf (Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, New England, Atlanta, Minnesota, St. Louis, Seattle and the new Meadowlands Stadium).

    NFL teams began switching from the old carpet-style turf to the springier, more grass-like surface in 2000. By the end of the 2008 season, 14 stadiums used a brand of next-generation turf, while the rest had grass. Too few games were played on brands other than FieldTurf to include them in the study, Hershman said.

    The panel started to notice a higher rate of injuries on the new turf in evaluating the data that the NFL compiles each season, Hershman said. Once enough games had been played on the newer surfaces to do a scientific analysis, the panel found that anterior cruciate ligament injuries and a more serious type of ankle sprain occurred at a higher rate that is statistically significant.

    The rate for the ankle sprains was 32 percent higher on FieldTurf than on grass. Medial collateral ligament injuries and a less serious type of ankle sprain also happened more frequently, but the difference wasn't statistically significant.
    Hershman noted that the NFL research might not apply to lower levels of football or to other sports.
    FieldTurf president Eric Daliere argues that the panel's methods are faulty and cites research by Montana State professor Michael Meyers that has been published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine. Meyers' work, though, has only looked at high school and college football, and not the NFL. FieldTurf paid for Meyers' recent study that found lower overall injury rates for college games played on the surface.

    "Michael Meyers has come to a very different conclusion on a different level and his is a real study, not just a report," Daliere said. "He mentions poorly designed (analyses) -- and this is the kind of work he does -- and that the statistical analysis by the (NFL) panel was also flawed.

    "I don't put a lot of weight in it and think if is unfortunate it is coming out this way at this time."
    Meyers said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that he told the NFL in 2008 "there are too many glaring omissions and biases in the study to reach any valid conclusions." He questioned why certain factors that could influence injury rates weren't included and noted that some teams didn't play any games on FieldTurf during some of the seasons studied.
    Other university scientists and statisticians also expressed concerns, he said, and the panel withdrew its report after those meetings.

    Hershman disputed that.
    "Nobody withdrew anything," he said. "We actually did some review of our data based on some of the thoughts they raised, and we validated our data. Because we did all that, we now feel our data is valid, relevant and statistically significant."
    FieldTurf promotes the safety benefits of its product on its Web site.

    "As a company," Daliere said, "the safety of the athletes really is in our DNA. It's what FieldTurf focused on from the very beginning when we replaced traditional Astroturf with something dramatically safer."
    Daliere mentioned that Hershman's team, the Jets, will have FieldTurf in its new stadium.

    A close look at the panel's data might not have much effect on NFL teams that know they can save money on maintenance in the long run by using FieldTurf rather than grass. The study estimated that if every stadium with grass were to switch to FieldTurf, that would result in only five additional ACL injuries per season across the NFL because of the infrequency of the injury.

    The NFLPA's biennial poll of its players last year showed that their four favorite fields were grass: Arizona, Tampa, San Diego and Carolina. Four of the next six were FieldTurf.

Related Topics


  • evil disco man
    FieldTurf will be in Dome only one year
    by evil disco man
    FieldTurf will be in Dome only one year

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    The first artificial-turf field at the Edward Jones Dome lasted 10 NFL seasons. The next one will be retired after only one.

    The FieldTurf that will be installed this summer will be temporary, officials from the Rams, the Convention and Visitors Commission and the Regional Convention & Sports Complex Authority said Tuesday at a news conference on the dome's concrete floor. That's because a satisfactory removable system - a requirement for accommodating other events at America's Center - hasn't been developed, said Bruce Sommer, the CVC's director of facilities.

    But Sommer emphasized that such a system should be in place at the dome before the 2006 season.

    "We are working with all the companies that are doing" research and development, Sommer said. "And we fully expect - and they expect - by some time early next year that there will be one that we will be satisfied with. And then that will be our new permanent turf."

    The regional sports authority is footing the $168,000 bill for the temporary surface. FieldTurf is thicker, heavier and softer than Astroturf, the original dome surface. Plastic fibers that are 2 1/2 inches tall are sewn onto a backing, and then sand and small bits of recycled rubber are layered between the simulated grass blades.

    With the new turf at the dome and another being installed at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, 22 of the 32 NFL teams will be playing on FieldTurf.

    "This is important for a lot of reasons, primarily the health concerns of all the players," Rams coach Mike Martz said in a statement. "This is exciting to be able to play on a more forgiving surface." Martz, who was out of town, was not available for further comment.

    FieldTurf was placed in the indoor practice facility at Rams Park before the 2002 season and became an instant hit, said Bob Wallace, the team's executive vice president. "We realized that this is a better surface," he said. "We sometimes like working on that at Rams Park more than even the grass. We really like the surface, the softness of it and the forgiveness of it."

    Installation probably will begin in mid-July, with completion in time for the Rams' first preseason game Aug. 12. After the season, the surface will be returned to FieldTurf, which has its headquarters in Toronto.

    So, in essence, a field is being "rented" for the 2005 season to satisfy the city's lease with the Rams. It requires that by July 2005 the dome remains in the top 25 percent of NFL facilities. Without the original Astroturf surface being replaced, that condition wouldn't have been met, Sommer said.

    "This is not something that we had an option to do or not to do,"...
    -05-10-2005, 10:32 PM
  • Bralidore(RAMMODE)
    Rams Get New, Permanent Turf
    by Bralidore(RAMMODE)

    The Rams knees, ankles and all joints below the waist are crying out in happiness today. (If they could cry out in happiness, but that would be weird.) The Rams are finally installing a permanent turf solution to the Edward Jones Dome that will hopefully cut down on the “Turf Monster” injuries the Rams have been suffering over the past few seasons. Here’s the quote from the Post-Dispatch:
    Ratcliffe said Rams officials appear pleased with an AstroTurf brand that can be stored away on giant below-floor rollers, and unwound and installed for football games.
    The dome’s original turf worked that way, and it’s still stored on the rollers, said Brian McMurtry, executive director of the Sports Complex Authority. For the last six years, temporary artificial turfs have been installed for each season and then removed.
    So, the Rams were too cheap or lazy to get new turf installed on their actual rollers that they already had under the stadium. Instead they just kept buying new turf every year and putting it down like cheap carpet. The Rams were certainly putting their players at risk and we saw a few turf monster injuries just in 2009. Laurent Robinson was playing like a number 1 wide receiver and broke his leg coming down on the turf. Bradley Fletcher was playing his best football of his rookie season and came down on his leg and tore up his knee. The Rams resorted to their backup backup guard Roger Allen in the final regular season game and he blew out his knee early in the game blocking on a routine play.
    The temporary turf, which was replaced once a year for six years had to go and finally the Rams are doing the right thing and replacing it. Hopefully, the turf can get worn in correctly so that these preventable injuries will not happen any longer.

    --Courtesy of Rams Gab...
    -01-28-2010, 02:24 PM
  • RamWraith
    Rams want field at Dome to be replaced - and they'll pay for it
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Dec. 29 2004

    They are called "first-tier" provisions. And as part of the stadium lease that
    the Rams negotiated with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC)
    a decade ago, the Edward Jones Dome had to remain among the top 25 percent of
    NFL stadiums after 10 years, or else.

    Or else the Rams could move elsewhere.

    Ten seasons have come and gone. The Rams and officials with the CVC have spent
    the past couple of years touring new stadiums and working on a list of
    improvements to keep the Dome among the top eight of the 32 NFL stadiums.

    Much work has already been done. According to Larry Deskins, chairman of the
    St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Authority (RSA), $5 million to $7
    million already has been spent to upgrade luxury suites and club seats. Work is
    also under way to upgrade the sound system.

    As for a new artificial turf, well, that issue remains stuck in neutral. And
    has been for some time. But it has become an issue in recent weeks, largely
    because of rookie running back Steven Jackson's sore right knee.

    Jackson is the future of the St. Louis running game. He has been the feature
    back in two Rams games this season, carrying a heavy workload of more than 20
    carries against San Francisco on Dec. 5 and against Philadelphia on Monday.

    Both games were played at the Dome; and in both games, Jackson couldn't finish
    the contest after banging his knee on the artificial surface too often.

    "The turf is pretty bad," Jackson said after rushing for a career-high 148
    yards against Philadelphia. "It's like you're taking two hits on every play,
    basically. Your opponent hits you, and then the turf does. There's not too much
    give to it."

    Jackson suffered a bruised right knee and a slightly torn ligament against San
    Francisco. That caused him to miss the game against Carolina the following week
    and, according to a Rams official, may have contributed to Jackson not playing
    in Arizona.

    Jackson returned to play against Philadelphia, but once again left in the
    fourth quarter because of a bruised knee. Jackson is expected to play against
    the Jets.

    After the Eagles game Martz went on the offensive on the subject of the Edward
    Jones Dome turf. "Steven had a sore knee to begin with and then he banged it on
    that hard surface," Martz said. "It's like cement. ... That surface, by the
    way, really does need to be changed. It's just a shame that you have guys that
    make all this kind of money, such great athletes, playing on a horrible surface
    like that. For both teams, home...
    -12-30-2004, 05:00 AM
  • AvengerRam_old
    My concussion policy.
    by AvengerRam_old
    Here's what I would implement immediately:

    1. Find the best anti-concussion helmet technology an make it MANDATORY.

    2. Conduct study to determine whether there is a correlation between artificial playing surfaces and concussions. If there is, require the use of whatever artificial surface is determined to be the lowest impact type in existing dome stadiums, and require all new stadiums to be open (or use retractable domes) to allow for natural grass surfaces.

    3. Mandatory minimum of 1 week off for any player sustaining a concussion. Severe penalties for teams who fail to report a concussion in order to avoid this policy.

    4. Mandate that any player suffering more than one concussion in a single season MUST be placed on injured reserve. Again, severe penalty for failure to report incidents.
    -12-01-2009, 08:14 AM
  • RamWraith
    Crash landings at The Ed come to an end
    by RamWraith
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist

    The Rams have enjoyed a splendid offseason to date.

    But the most significant move of all wasn’t made at Rams Park. It was made at the Edward Jones Dome, where officials finalized plans to install state-of-the-art FieldTurf for home games this season.

    This change was long overdue. The various officials who manage the Dome have finally figured out how to install the surface for football games without compromising its multi-purpose flexibility.

    The old rug rolled right up after games, which made it quite convenient. But its absence of padding had a devastating impact on the team.

    Playing eight games a season on that surface -– plus preseason and playoff games -– took an ugly toll on the players.

    What was that surface like? Place a throw rug on your basement floor, take a running start and then jump -- knees or shoulder first -- onto the rug.

    AAAAARGH! As you head to the hospital for X-rays, you can appreciate just how hard that “artificial turf” at the Dome really was. Throw in all the massive rug burns game after game and you can understand why the Rams hated playing on the stuff.

    To ask players who are that big, fast and strong to wage war on a glorified parking lot . . . that was just nuts. Every other dome team in the NFL had made the upgrade.

    Rams president John Shaw seemed ready to take drastic action if the folks down at The Ed didn’t follow suit. Fortunately, technology prevailed, solutions were discovered and the Rams will be somewhat safer as a result.

    Back in the day, Lawrence Phillips suffered lingering knee injuries after playing at the Dome without knee padding.

    (He believed that the absence of padding would make him faster. In fact, eating less, drinking less and training more would have made him faster. But L.P. never figured out much during his ill-fated tenure here.)

    There is no telling how many games, yards and touchdowns running back Marshall Faulk lost by playing home games here. He’s had too many knee injuries to count, largely due to all that contact on the asphalt-like “football field” at The Ed.

    Quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Marc Bulger also took a beating on that “playing surface,” with all those crash landings after getting sacked in those empty-backfield formations.

    Rookie running back Steven Jackson was slowed much of last season by knee injuries suffered on that not-so-magic carpet.

    The Rams played fast and won big on that fast track, but at great cost to their physical well-being. The new surface won’t make the games injury-proof, of course, but it WILL offer lots more give.

    As a result, coach Mike Martz, who campaigned relentlessly for the change, should squeeze more out of Faulk in the twilight of...
    -05-12-2005, 05:05 AM