Checklist for Artificial Turf

Suppose you are in a planning meeting where the merits of artificial turf are being discussed for your school. Several people have spoken in favor of the idea, centering mostly on how it will save in maintenance costs, and while not said directly, make the school and football program look cool. You can appreciate the need to consider your schools image, but don’t put much faith in the maintenance saving numbers because the figures don’t come directly from your school. You think there are more issues to be discussed, but you don’t know where to start.

Following is a list of questions you will want answered before you vote:

  1. How safe is artificial turf for our students?
    Check the status of current research in the following areas:

    • Exposure to crumb rubber dust
    • Playing on very hot surfaces in summer
    • Exposure to pathogens like MRSA
    • Increased risk of serious leg injuries
    • Increased head trauma from faster athletes.

Remember that the absence of data does not imply no risk – only that areas have not been studied yet.

For more information, go to

  1. Should the opinion of the people who play on artificial turf be ignored?
    A 2008 survey of NFL players highlighted these results:

    • 84% of players said playing on artificial turf contributes
      to more injuries
    • 91% believe playing on artificial turf causes more
      soreness and fatigue
    • 92% believe playing on artificial turf is likely to shorten
      their playing careers.
  1. How many years will the playing surface last? What will it cost to replace it? What will be the source of funds to replace it? Is this the best use of those funds?

  1. Does an artificial field fit with the schools policy of being environmentally responsible? Does the school plan to plant trees as a carbon offset? Where will 1,861 trees be planted?

  Artificial Grass
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