Just in a couple of hours from Indianapolis, Indiana, the three high schools have joined the trend of replacing their natural playing grass fields with synthetic grass. Buerk Field, Ron Weigleb Stadium and Gene Sartini Field of Floyds Knobs now feature the artificial turf surfaces. Synthetic grass field is bringing joy and relieve to the players and the directors.
The battles of logistical nightmares are finally ending for athletic directors and maintenance personnel by make a decision to put an artificial synthetic turf. Every day the schools had to constantly water the grass field, limit foot traffic on the grass field and keep the grass field alive. "There was a need that existed because we had so many teams (five, counting the neighboring junior high) practicing," school's athletic director reported to the associated press regarding the need of changing their field to the synthetic grass. "It just kind of grew from a necessity to what we could do, what could be done other than giving us more practice space." Making the final decision to lay artificial synthetic turf on the sports playing fields is worth it because the end result will automatically benefit the school and the environment.
Some of the factors that most high schools in Indianapolis, IN consider to turn towards synthetic turf are space, cost, and maintenance. Space has always been a concern at New
Albany high school, with its land-locked city campus they constantly had to worry about keeping the grass field in shape for players to successfully practices.
Other factors that went into the decision of artificial grass included cost savings on maintaining a grass field and safety for athletes. On its two fields,
the Floyd County School Corporation spent $1.3 million, which was funded by a bond issue from a state. Providence officials did not reveal the price tag for their new facility; however, at the end the cost was not relevant to what the faculties of schools thought to be beneficial for their sport players. According to the staff, "It's a lot safer environment and practice area for the athletes. Our ability to use the same area over and over is a plus. I can see more and more teams getting it." Louisville city high school players' injuries and the environmental impact on the earth made it worth the price for the final verdict.
The three high schools further analyzed the benefits before making a final decision to lay the synthetic grass on their filed. Safety is number one benefit to use the synthetic turf that many consider. According to a five-year study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, high school athletes on the more yielding artificial turf had 55 percent fewer neural injuries, 47 percent fewer cranial or cervical injuries and a 45 percent reduction in long-term injuries. A three-year study among college athletes recorded 74 percent fewer muscle tears and 42 percent fewer ACL knee injuries.
Playability is another concern that was brought on the table. The director of facilities for the Louisville city high school said the current grass fields supports only 22 events per year before deteriorating. Games played soon after a heavy rain would reduce the field to a dirty mess where it would increase the chances of player's injuries. After the initial installation cost, the three schools saved money on water, sprinkling system installation and repair, labor costs for maintaining the grass field and machinery for keeping it in shape.Many other neighborhood high schools in Floyd Nobs, Indianapolis are also making a decision to switch the grass field to the artificial grass. The move to artificial turf is not limited to the larger schools. But it is more prevalent among Class 6-A programs, with 20 of the 32 teams in the highest grading arrangement, including cities around Louisville, Indiana, now on board.