Natural and synthetic grass. A comparative study on the incidence of muscle injuries for senior athletes

Montesano Pietro
Department of Motor Sciences and Wellness, University of Naples “Parthenope”, Italy


The study was conducted, for six months, to verify the incidence of the type and quality of the surface of the soccer fields with reference to the performance of the athletes and the percentage of muscle injuries. Artificial grass and natural grass playing fields were chosen to test the reactions of a sample of fifty amateur soccer players, registered for two teams between 25 and 35 years old and the average age of the sample was 34.7 (SD +/- 4.26) with an average weight of 77.4 (range 68-89 Kg.) and an average height of 178.3 cm (range 168- 187 cm). The athletes underwent three months training and competitions on each surface and the results showed a greater percentage of injuries on artificial turf fields than on natural grass. The team that carried out the first three months (November-January) taking advantage of the synthetic grass, denoted, in the following three months (February-April), an improvement in the performances in terms of continuous attendance during official competitions. Monitoring was carried out by detecting the conditions that led a player to leave the field, then to interrupt the activity, which had consequences in participation, training and matches. Injuries were classified according to the time of absence from sporting activity. Data collection, carried out through observational methods with computerized transcription in relation to the number of lower limb muscle injuries, showed that, in total, the sample of athletes suffered 36 muscle injuries (of which 5 relapses) equal to about 72 % These events occurred mostly during training (around 68%) compared to races (around 32%). There were 10 minor injuries (contractures - 27.8%), moderate ones 18 (strains - 50%) and severe ones 8 (tears - 22.2%). The affected muscle areas were mainly located on the femoral quadriceps, the biceps femoris and the calf (soleus and gastrocnemius). Research has shown that synthetic grass has caused more injuries than natural grass.

Key words:

soccer, natural glass, synthetic grass, injuries

Full article:

Natural and synthetic grass. A comparative study on the incidence of muscle injuries for senior athletes


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