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Proceedings 2018, 2(6), 270;

The Effect of Soil Type and Moisture Content on Head Impacts on Natural Grass Athletic Fields

Plant Science Department, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the 12th Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 26–29 March 2018.
Published: 14 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of ISEA 2018)
PDF [415 KB, uploaded 23 March 2018]


Studies are warranted to evaluate head injury criterion (HIC) on athletic fields to determine baseline numbers and compare those findings to current critical thresholds for impact attenuation. A two year (2016 and 2017) study was conducted on University of Tennessee athletic fields (Knoxville, TN, USA) to determine the effect of soil type (cohesive soil, United States Golf Association sand specifications) and grass species (Poa pratensis and Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis) on HIC. Additionally soil moisture conditions monitored were: dry (0.06–0.16 m3/m3), acceptable (0.17–0.29 m3/m3), and wet (0.30–0.40 m3/m3). A linear relationship (r = 0.91) was identified between drop height (0.5–2.9 M) and HIC value (35-1423 HIC) on granular root zones of both grass types. However, HIC on cohesive soil is a function of soil water content in addition to drop height. These results demonstrate to aid in head injury prevention on cohesive soil athletic fields the HIC can be lowered by managing soil water content.
Keywords: head injury criterion; soil water content; soil type; turfgrass head injury criterion; soil water content; soil type; turfgrass
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Dickson, K.; Strunk, W.; Sorochan, J. The Effect of Soil Type and Moisture Content on Head Impacts on Natural Grass Athletic Fields. Proceedings 2018, 2, 270.

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