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Influence of Artificial Turf Surface Stiffness on Athlete Performance

Human Performance Lab, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Life 2020, 10(12), 340;
Received: 31 October 2020 / Revised: 8 December 2020 / Accepted: 8 December 2020 / Published: 10 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Biomechanics and Physiology)
Properties of conventional playing surfaces have been investigated for many years and the stiffness of the surface has potential to influence athletic performance. However, despite the proliferation of different infilled artificial turfs with varying properties, the effect of surface stiffness of these types of surfaces on athlete performance remains unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to determine the influence of surface stiffness of artificial turf systems on athlete performance. Seventeen male athletes performed four movements (running, 5-10-5 agility, vertical jumping and sprinting) on five surfaces of varying stiffness: Softest (−50%), Softer (−34%), Soft (−16%), Control, Stiff (+17%). Performance metrics (running economy, jump height, sprint/agility time) and kinematic data were recorded during each movement and participants performed a subjective evaluation of the surface. When compared to the Control surface, performance was significantly improved during running (Softer, Soft), the agility drill (Softest) and vertical jumping (Soft). Subjectively, participants could not discern between any of the softer surfaces in terms of surface cushioning, however, the stiffer surface was rated as harder and less comfortable. Overall, changes in surface stiffness altered athletic performance and, to a lesser extent, subjective assessments of performance, with changes in performance being surface and movement specific. View Full-Text
Keywords: artificial turf; performance; sport biomechanics artificial turf; performance; sport biomechanics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wannop, J.; Kowalchuk, S.; Esposito, M.; Stefanyshyn, D. Influence of Artificial Turf Surface Stiffness on Athlete Performance. Life 2020, 10, 340.

AMA Style

Wannop J, Kowalchuk S, Esposito M, Stefanyshyn D. Influence of Artificial Turf Surface Stiffness on Athlete Performance. Life. 2020; 10(12):340.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wannop, John, Shaylyn Kowalchuk, Michael Esposito, and Darren Stefanyshyn. 2020. "Influence of Artificial Turf Surface Stiffness on Athlete Performance" Life 10, no. 12: 340.

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