Online database aims to cut turf grass injuries

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Injuries to athletes can be caused by hits from other players, falls or even the grass beneath their feet. One university is hoping to slow the rate of injuries through an online database that compares types of grass and the amount of traction they provide on the field.

The University of Pennsylvania’s College of Agricultural Science has created a database that features the results of tests on two types of turf grass, Kentucky bluegrass and bermudagrass, and one type of artificial turf, according to Penn State News. Researchers tested 30 types of athletic shoes to see how much traction the surfaces provided and included their findings in the custom online database. The information is open to the public and could be used to help athletes select shoes.

Online database correlates turf choice with number of injuries

“Although a certain level of traction is necessary for optimum athletic performance, previous research has shown that shoe selection can be a factor in lower-extremity injury risk,” Thomas Serensits, manager of the college’s Center for Sports Surface Research, told the source.

As athletes accelerate and turn on the field, their shoes can become entrapped by the ground, which can result in injuries.

The establishment of the Web-based database follows a recent report that injuries do not happen as frequently on artificial turf as they do on natural playing surfaces. The study looked at the rate of physical damage to female soccer players and found that teams averaged 7.7 minor and serious injuries for every 10 games played on an artificial surface and 9.5 for those played on real grass, according to Reuters.