Artificial Grass and the MLS. Is artificial grass suitable for top-level soccer teams?
We’re pretty big soccer fans here at Purchase Green! While our favorite teams are definitely all the local schools that have PG grass on their fields, we also enjoy supporting our nearby MLS clubs (Shout-out to the LA Galaxy, LAFC, San Jose Earthquakes, FC Dallas, and Colorado Rapids).
Recently, our fellow soccer (football?) fans from across the pond at The Guardian published an article about artificial grass on soccer fields. (Check it out, it’s a good read). The article wonders whether Major League Soccer could ever hope to be considered a top football league while playing most of its games on artificial turf.
The Guardian mentions differences in ball behavior and injury concerns as the main reasons that artificial turf fields will never be considered equal to natural grass surfaces.
Well. As (admittedly) biased artificial grass aficionados, we certainly think that’s rubbish!…Or hogwash? Poppycock? (we’re not up on our British slang).
We just wanted to take the opportunity to remind readers that there’s no data showing that players are more prone to injury on artificial grass surfaces. In fact, the writer of the article even cites a study from 2013 that found players are safer and LESS likely to suffer injury on artificial grass.
We like to remind customers that any injury concerns are simply outdated stigmas that don’t take into account the incredible innovations and technological advancements made in the artificial grass industry.
Anti-static grasses and shock pads have gone a long way towards ensuring player safety on artificial grass surfaces. Anti-static additives ensure that grass does not cause pesky static shocks, while shock pads underneath the grass surface are and added layer of protection and padding. These innovations have made artificial grass safer and more pleasant to play on whether for small children on a playground, the JV soccer team, or your favorite MLS club.
Speaking of innovations; The Guardian mentions how differently a soccer ball plays and behaves on artificial grass.
Luckily, recent innovations, including non-directional fibers, have all but mitigated the differences in ball behavior. Non-directional fibers were first developed for professional baseball fields in Japan and ensures that balls bounce the same way they would on natural grass. They also help mitigate wear patterns, making them a perfect solution for sports fields and playgrounds.
Even the 2018 World Cup matches were played on artificial turf!
We appreciate soccer or football or footy, or however you say it, on any good-looking surface. Come to think of it, we’d take a game of soccer (or literally any sport) on absolutely any field at the moment.
Here’s to hoping we can get back to playing and watching the MLS AND the Premier League sometime soon. And thanks to our friends at The Guardian for inspiring this post!