An issue that surfaces regularly when players experience a totally new synthetic turf concept, is the claim that the surface is either too slippery or too rough to find their footing. Finding the right balance is complicated and involves much more than just the yarn or the carpet concept.
A former top hockey player who was asked to comment on the newly introduced dry-turf concept he had just played on claimed that the surface was too rough. Dutch football players interviewed after their game on a new non-filled or mineral filled synthetic turf concept indicated that the surface was too slippery. Both interview sessions were part of data-gathering exercises that are compulsory for any company wanting to introduce a new synthetic turf surface to the Dutch market. Alarmed, the Dutch FA (KNVB) even commissioned the Department of Movement Sciences of the Free University of Amsterdam, to establish exactly what their members were talking about. “We video-taped several games on these new concepts and had the footage analysed by a scientist. He noticed a high incidence-rate when the surface was damp with dew or wet from the rain,” says Patrick Balemans of the KNVB. Incidents were grouped in one of ten different categories, ranging from managing to remain upright to falling down completely, either with or without having the ball, and whether this happened while running, shooting, passing or receiving. “We noticed an incident every few minutes, something we find unacceptable. However, the type of incident and incident rate differed between the various non-filled and mineral-filled concepts as well as between the various surfaces in each category, making it even more difficult to find common ground.”
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