WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- College football players'
times on a standard agility drill were 3 percent faster on
artificial field turf than on natural grass, but there was little
difference in their times for the 40-yard dash, a new study has
The study included 24 players whose average on the 40-yard dash
turned out to be 5.34 seconds on field turf and 5.33 seconds on
natural grass. Their average on the pro-agility shuttle test was
4.49 seconds on field turf and 4.64 seconds on natural grass.
"It appears that straight-ahead sprint speed is similar between field turf and natural grass, but change-of-direction speed may be significantly faster on field turf," Graydon L. Gaines, of Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., and colleagues wrote in the October issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
The study authors said the lack of difference in 40-yard dash
times was surprising. Field turf produces less slippage between the
shoe and surface and should be expected to produce faster sprint
times. But the results may have been affected by differences in the
shoe sole and stud configuration used in the study, the researchers
The investigators also noted that reduced slippage associated
with field turf may increase an athlete's risk of injury while
making sudden direction changes, "although evidence for this is
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers
football injury prevention tips.