News and Tribune


May 9, 2014

SYNTHETIC AGE: Three area schools switching to turf

Floyd, New Albany Providence to have surface by next school year




Fields, Glesing and Providence football coach Larry Denison are all in agreement on one reason for the switch to synthetic turf — safety.

In studies by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, synthetic turf causes 74 percent fewer muscle tears and 32 percent fewer ligament tears than grass surfaces. In addition, a synthetic surfaces cause 47 percent fewer cranial and/or cervical injuries and 12 percent fewer concussions than natural turf.

“I think injuries are going to be reduced,” Glesing said. “It’s not like the old Astroturf. That was like carpet. This is like grass.”

The synthetic turf will allow each of three football programs to primarily practice inside their own stadium. For the past several season, the Bulldogs, the Highlanders and the Pioneers prepare for upcoming games on a grass practice field located on their respective campuses.

Those practice fields are not in the best condition to play football on. Most practice fields are very bumpy and can cause players to sprain ankles or twist their knees.

“A practice field is not smooth. It’s not conducive to safety. You get a lot of ankle injuries because of them,” Glesing said.

Fields says he has seen players suffered head injuries because of grass fields.

“When I was an assistant coach under [former New Albany football coach] Kevin Roth, we lost a couple of players to concussions because they hit their heads on the ground,” Fields said.

Denison says Providence’s practice field, which is located in front of the school, also is used as a parking lot during the football season. He said sometimes before practice, his players must pick up any trash on the field so they will not trip over it while working on plays.

“Before practice, we have to look for broken bottles,” Denison said. “The synthetic turf should avoid injuries. Our kids are excited about it. They were shocked beyond belief that we were going to get it.”


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