Sports are dangerous



With Pleasanton ISD electing to overhaul Eagle Stadium with a new artificial turf playing surface, there has been a fairly big uproar about player safety on the new turf.

Here’s the thing, any sport is dangerous. Athletes run the risk of getting injured the moment they step out to play, regardless of the sport or surface.

As someone who played sports competitively for 17 years, I should know.

I still have damage to my shoulder from multiple dislocations. My knees feel like a folding table snapping into place. My ankles are weaker than a Big 12 defense. I was a punter, the least likely position to get injured, right?

I also suffered a few concussions from my time as a goalkeeper when I played soccer.

I spent most of my football career on artificial turf. In fact, every single home field I’ve played at was turf.

When talking to PISD Athletic Director Tab Du- mont on Thursday for this week’s story, he outlined the process the committee went through to reach a verdict on the proposed turf.

What was the number one factor they brought into play? Player safety. If it wasn’t safe, no turf.

But why are people against the turf?

I’ve heard people cite studies about how bad turf is as far as an increased risk of injury goes.

Most of those ideas go back to the early days of Astroturf.

Astroturf was pretty much a carpet you could put down and play sports on.

It was bad. It felt like you were falling on cement and you could not get any traction on it. When you did get traction, you were slipping and stopping at a high rate of speed.

Both of those factors led to quite a bit of severe injuries.

John Powell, of the University of Iowa, was able to prove the early iterations of artificial turf caused more knee and ankle injuries, and concussions in his 1992 paper.

We’re on the fourth generation of synthetic turf fields and they haven’t been better.

When done right, these fields are as close as you can get to natural grass.

In a 2013 article for the Philadelphia Inquirer, certified athletic trainer Justin Shaginaw asked, “But are there any facts behind these assumptions that more injuries occur on turf than grass?”

What he means by that is findings in multiple studies conflict each other and the results are a wash. Some studies say turf is safer than grass. Others say turf is a demon causing lower body injuries.

No matter, you’re likely to get injured playing sports at all.

One response to “Sports are dangerous”

  1. Mary Elimon says:

    Great article.

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