Franciscan University has begun construction of a new turf field. This is exhilarating to all student athletes. Recently, some friends and I went up to look at the progress, and we screamed with joy when we laid our eyes on the bright green of the turf.
Why does this excite us so much? Let me tell you. Imagine running hard across a grass field, your cleats sinking into the ground and tearing up grass and dirt as you go. Your shoes become brown and caked with dirt, and out of nowhere you step into a hole and your ankle bends in strange ways.
Imagine it has just rained the night before, and you slip on the wet grass and get a face full of mud. No, your coach just called you to tell you practice is canceled, because practicing on a dirt field after rain is dangerous and environmentally unfriendly.
But wait, your coach is moving the practice location … up to the turf field. Life is good.
Turf fields are great. They increase playability, eliminate the problem of weather that can put a hold on practices and games and make field maintenance a breeze.
A turf field has a better surface, being flatter and sturdier than a grass field. Because of this, athletes have better ball control and can play their game without worrying about the ground beneath them. The turf provides broader access and can be played on all the time. Artificial turf, with rubber pellets for cushioning, is easier on a player’s body during falls.
The weather can make a huge impact on outdoor sports. The biggest change when switching from a grass field to a turf one is weather. Weather no longer becomes a problem on turf. Players can play through rain and snow on that bright green plastic.
Maintenance also becomes much easier with turf fields. You don’t have to water a turf field, or spray pesticides or herbicides on it. Grass fields can get easily ruined by the wear and tear of games and must be maintained regularly to last more than two years. Grass fields can form holes and ditches from use, and this creates many more injuries on the field.
Turf fields are cleaner, as there is no dirt, bugs or sprouting weeds. They last longer, and don’t show wear and tear as fast as grass fields. Turf can be used in winter conditions, and athletes can play through rain or shine.
Not only are turf fields better to play on, but they look good. The crisp cuts and lines of the field pop out to the eye and give the sport an impressive look. All student-athletes like to look good playing their sport, and the new turf field will help our athletes strut a little harder.
More and more schools are seen switching from grass to turf fields. Even though they are not cheap to obtain, they are worth it in the long run. Who knows, maybe one day the whole world will be turf.