Injury occurrence and footwear performance on artificial soccer turf
Li Ning Sports Science Research Center, Beijing, P.R. China 1. ARTIFICIAL SOCCER TURF Artificial soccer turf has been controversially discussed in relation to game characteristics, injuries, and footwear throughout its developmental stages. The first generation of artificial turf was originally directed towards American football and dates back to the 1960s. One of the first installations was at the Astrodome in Houston, TX, USA (Levy et al., 1990). It solely consisted of a concrete bottom layer covered by a short and dense artificial fiber carpet. The second generation was developed in the 1980s, featuring an elastic bottom layer covered by a carpet of longer and less dense artificial fibers with a sand infill. The third generation was developed in the 1990s, keeping the elastic bottom layer but featuring a more elaborated fiber carpet having a combined sand and rubber infill. This general structure represents the gold standard of artificial soccer turfs today with further developmental efforts ongoing by numerous manufacturers. Due to the different manufacturers, exact specifications of the different components as wells as manufacturing and installment processes of artificial soccer turf may vary.