Turf’s Up: Is Synthetic Grass Good or Bad for Athletes?

The Metro section of today’s Oregonian offers an article that suggests a trendline away from grass and towards artificial turf in Oregon’s high schools.

Reporter Scott Learn (great surname for a guy who writes about schools) opines that this trend is especially prevalent among wealtheir schools. No wonder. The best artificial turf can cost up to $900,000.

Scott points out that Wilsonville, Tigard, West Linn and private Jesuit now have artificial turf, and that 11 of the 16 schools in the statewide 6A football playoffs this year had gridirons that were similarly equipped.

I have heard anecdoes that these fields accentuate certain types of well, rug burns. For baseball, those burns could be experienced in slides and dives. In football, just about any tackling action might do it.

Of course fans of artificial turf will point to the fact that synthetic grass is easier to maintain than the more natural variety.

So my questions to you athletes, friends or relatives of athletes: is artificial turf preferable to grass? Is it worth the investment?

1 Comment so far

  1. warner (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

    Don’t know the answer to your questions, but you can include (no surprise) Lake Oswego High and Tualatin High schools as also having turf. I know at Tualatin, the grass turf took quite a beating, so I assume over the long run it’s better for the school. For the athletes? Not sure.

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