Sports: Students Weigh In on Grass Vs. Turf
by Aydn Morris
Each year more and more sports fields change from natural grass to artificial grass in order to improve the cost and looks of their complex. Though it may be more dangerous for the athletes to play on turf rather than well-maintained grass.
Artificial grass (turf) holds many benefits to athletes, as it can be easily maintained and can allow the athlete to perform better. Although turf may have many benefits, it also has strong negatives as it is significantly harder on the body than grass is.
Turf fields have been highly preferred by Bosco athletes to play on due to how badly grass fields may be maintained. Artificial grass has been installed more in high school and college-level sports due to how much cheaper it is to maintain over time compared to natural grass.
Turf fields have not had the greatest history when it comes to injuries, as many athletes like to play on turf fields, in a long-term decision grass is more recommended to play on to prevent injury.
“Grass has give. If you are a soccer player and are constantly running and changing directions, or a football player and plant your foot and turn, turf does not have the same give as the cleats tend to stick on the rubber pebbles. Which can cause lower body injuries because when having to quickly change directions, the foot will not be able to move rather than with grass. Your foot will be able to move and slide which will relieve pressure from the joints,” said trainer Melody Mohebbi.
As a long-term decision for the athletes, grass would be better from a health standpoint. But, many high school athletes would rather play on a turf field due to the belief that their performance is better.
“Playing on a wet grass field or a slightly muddy field, you get scared to overcommit because you may slip, whereas on turf you know you will stick to it,” said senior lacrosse captain Noah Citek.
There is also the factor that many of the athletes performed most of their career on turf fields which gives them the comfortability of feeling safer on turf compared to grass.
“I have been playing on turf all of my life. When I play on turf and I plant my foot, I feel like I won’t slip. Especially on my cuts when I am running,” said senior Arizona commit and running back Rayshon Luke.
This safety and comfortability may come from the lack of having well-maintained grass fields as kids which can cause trauma to not wanting to play on grass.
“I was playing Pop Warner in the eighth grade with my friend Khalil Williams and we used to play on the West Coast Dolphins. I was playing corner and he was playing wideout and mind you, he did not even take a step but when the ball was hiked, he just slipped and did the splits and ended up hurting his groin and he has been having groin issues ever since. Ever since that situation at the park, we did not like the idea of playing over there,” said Rayshon Luke.
Due to the fact that it can happen on a grass field that is not well maintained, high school athletes turn away from it, but if the grass was well-maintained athletes would prefer playing on it rather than turf.
“The expense of grass fields would be worth taking care of over turf because if grass fields were well taken care of I would prefer it over turf. But many grass fields are usually muddy and slippery,” said sophomore soccer player Marcos Velasco.
Turf fields have been the safest for high school athletes so far in their careers due to the low maintenance of grass fields. But a well-maintenance grass field is by far the overall preferred and a much safer place to play for athletes.