Improving artificial sports fields
‘‘There will always be some injuries on sports fields due to the nature of the sports being played.’’
Sports lovers can look forward to improved artificial turfs in Auckland in the future.
Auckland Council manager of sports parks Grant Jennings says 11 turfs now have crumb rubber infills.
‘‘These outcomes include greater re-usability of the infill and less waste to landfill, no odour, better whole of life costing, lower potential heat issues, and greater focus on green engineering outcomes,’’ he says.
Jennings says they are con- tinually researching options to achieve several improved outcomes.
‘‘Recycled rubber crumb is not the only infill material that can be used in artificial turf systems.
‘‘Other options currently available are EPDM [ethylene propylene diene monomer], a synthetic rubber TPE [thermoplastic elastomer], and cork.’’
Popular sports codes including football, rugby and touch rugby use artificial turf at some grounds around Auckland.
While it is impossible to prevent injury in any sport, ACC revealed data from its ‘no fault’ scheme shows lacerations, punctures, stings, soft tissue injuries and fractures are the top injuries resulting from play on artificial turfs.
‘‘There may be instances where an accident occurred as a result of [playing on artificial turf] but this detail wasn’t recorded in the accident description on the claim form,’’ ACC senior media advisor Stephanie Melville says.
‘‘The level of detail provided can vary greatly. For this reason the data cannot be presented as definitive.’’
College Rifles director of junior rugby David Gainsford says burns and scrapes are two notable experiences they have had from the use of artificial turfs in sports like rugby, touch rugby and lacrosse.
‘‘This increase is due to the fact the fields are used at least twice as much as natural fields and the volume of numbers using the fields at one time,‘‘ Gainsford says.
Auckland Council maintains all synthetic fields are certified to Fifa and IRB international standards, as per the use of the field, and a current certification is maintained.