SOURCE: GeneralSports Venue

August 06, 2008 16:33 ET

Michigan State University Study Ranks GameDay Grass 3D From AstroTurf Closest to Natural Grass in Study of Multiple Turf Systems

AstroTurf's GameDay Grass and Field Turf at Opposite Ends of Findings Presented at the North American Congress on Biomechanics

RALEIGH, NC--(Marketwire - August 6, 2008) - According to the results of a Michigan State University study, which was selected for presentation today at the North American Congress on Biomechanics Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, AstroTurf's GameDay Grass 3D most closely replicated natural grass in a comparison of 16 types of synthetic and natural sports turf, based on the torque, force and friction generated by cleated athletic shoes. A summary of the research is available at http://www.astroturfusa.com/news/MSUStudy.html.

The study, funded by the NFL Charities Foundation, evaluated the potential impact of football playing surfaces on lower extremity injuries caused by excessive torque, or the rotational friction produced when cleated shoes dig into the field.

"This highly anticipated study validates the introduction of new technologies by AstroTurf, such as GameDay Grass 3D with Root Zone®, to enhance player performance and safety," said Jon Pritchett, CEO of GeneralSports Venue (GSV), the exclusive licensee of the AstroTurf brand in the U.S. "It is indicative of our continued dedication to be the leading innovator in synthetic sports turf."

In the Michigan State study, the GameDay Grass 3D system with all-rubber infill had the lowest average torque of all synthetic turf systems tested, second only to natural grass. Researchers credited the fiber structure of the GameDay Grass 3D system, the only fiber structure containing a Root Zone -- a simulated thatch layer at the base of the system -- with the low level of frictional resistance. Researchers noted that the Root Zone reduces the amount of infill required for a stable system and may reduce compaction of the infill layer.

The high amount of torsional friction generated in high-performance sports creates concentrated force that is transmitted to vulnerable ankle and knee joints, precipitating injuries. The Michigan State research team used 10 pairs of cleated football shoes in conducting five trials on 16 separate playing surfaces, for a total of 800 samples. The study measured the mean peak torque produced by various shoe/surface interfaces.

The research summary indicated that the highest mean torque was produced by the Field Turf system, a result attributed to the amount of space, or gauge length, between the rows of fibers. According to the study, the greater gauge length in the Field Turf system (3/4" versus 3/8" in all other systems tested) may result in deeper cleat penetration into the infill and, in the case of densely compacted infill, higher torque.

"According to this study, the risk of injury due to increased stress on knee and ankle joints is elevated on artificial turf systems that have less fiber and more infill, and have a greater potential for compaction," said Dr. Rod Walters, President of Walters Inc., Consultants in Sports Medicine, and former Director of Sports Medicine at the University of South Carolina. "The good news is that breakthrough innovations such as the Root Zone in AstroTurf's GameDay Grass 3D represent a significant advancement in the evolution of synthetic turf, making it much more realistic and forgiving than most of the standard artificial turf systems currently in use, something that coaches, athletic trainers and athletes should be very excited about."

The North American Congress on Biomechanics (NACOB) is the combined annual meetings of the American Society of Biomechanics and the Canadian Society for Biomechanics. It is held jointly every six years to promote the exchange of ideas and foster new collaborations in the field of biomechanics.

About AstroTurf

The iconic AstroTurf brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies, leveraging the industry's only vertically integrated manufacturing system. The relaunch of AstroTurf, including the enlistment of football legend Archie Manning as ambassador for the brand, has positioned it again as the leading innovator in the synthetic turf industry, with a growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities selecting AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority and safety. AstroTurf® is a registered trademark of Textile Management Associates, Inc. To learn more, visit www.astroturfusa.com.

About GeneralSports Venue

Based in Michigan and with headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., and 23 regional offices throughout the U.S., GSV is a certified Minority Business Enterprise that offers a range of integrated services for sports venue owners, operators and developers. GSV's professional services include project development, design, estimating, finance, revenue generation, program management and construction for sports venues. Aided by its sports turf division, GSV has been among the fastest-growing companies in the sports construction industry. GSV is the official supplier in the category of synthetic turf and related sports surfaces to U.S. Communities, a national purchasing alliance serving over 30,000 public agencies. To learn more, visit www.generalsportsvenue.com.

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