Artificial turf infill weight linked with game-related injuries among HS football players

Colorado Springs, Colo - Results presented at the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine showed the incidence of game-related trauma among high school football players significantly increased as the artificial turf infill surface weight decreased.  Study researcher Michael Clinton Meyers, PhD, reported that when infill weight is decreased, we significantly increase injury rate across numerous variables.  It is recommended that football fields contain a minimum infill rate of 6 lbs. per square foot. Meyers and colleagues divided artificial turf systems into the following four sand/rubber infill weight groups: 9 lbs or greater; between 6 lbs and 8.9 lbs; 3 lbs and 5.9 lbs and between 0 lbs and 2.9 lbs.  Of 1,467 high school games documented during a span of five competitive seasons in 52 participating high schools, results showed 33.7% of games were played on infill 9 lbs or greater; 27.5 were on infill between 6 lbs and 8.9 lbs; 25.8% were on infill between 3 lbs and 5.9 lbs. and 13% were on infill between 9 lbs and 2.9 lbs.  "When looking at the severity, there is no significant difference in severity of injury between the weights, we saw a significant increase in the number of injuries from the heaviest in the 9 lb to the lightest surfaces.  Meyers also noted significant differences in MRI and CTs ordered between the heaiest and lightest turfs.  According to results, a significantly greater number of X-rays and a significant number of procedures were ordered after games played on lighter serfaces.  Reference: Meyers, MC. Paper #132. Presented at American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting July 7-10, 2016; Colorado Springs, Colo