Source: Brock International

Boulder, Co. (January 12, 2012) - According to recent statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control, emergency room visits for sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, has increased among youth by 60% during the past decade. While parents, organizations, coaches and athletes debate the need for specialized helmets or harsher penalties on players who tackle above the neck, Brock International prevents concussions by starting with the playing field itself.

"More comprehensive education, better technique and treatment immediately following traumatic brain injuries is essential," says Brock CEO Dan Sawyer, whose shock pad and drainage layer used underneath synthetic turf playing fields reduces the likelihood of traumatic brain injury by up to 50%, "We can also prevent more concussions by starting from the ground up and building safer fields that enhance playing characteristics and speed."

A growing number of teams understand this thinking, like the University of Oregon Ducks. The 2011 Rose Bowl and Pac-12 Champions place a high value on the safety of its student-athletes. Their synthetic turf playing field, designed to maximize playability and safety, includes Brock's shock pad and drainage layer underneath the surface. The same is also true of Stanford University, Boise State and others interested in making the game as safe as possible.

While concussions may occur in any sport or recreational activity, www.stopconcussions.com notes football is the number one sport for this type of injury for players of all ages. A study commissioned by the NFL found that ex-pro players over age 50 were five times as likely as the national population to receive a memory-related-disease diagnosis. Just two days ago, a group of former players filed a concussion lawsuit against the NFL.

Research firm BioMechanica, LLC studied the estimated risk of head injury on synthetic turf surfaces with Brock underlayment and found the product reduces the likelihood of traumatic brain injury by up to 50%, provides the same G-Max and playability as a pristine natural grass field and mitigates field hardening over time. In evaluating Head Injury Criteria (HIC), also known as critical fall height, Sports Labs LLC found that Brock PowerBase offered significant improvement in HIC when compared to a turf field that featured a stone base.

However, you don't have to sacrifice optimum playing field characteristics and speed for safety thanks to Brock PowerBase. G-Max is an ASTM measurement used to determine the likelihood of a head injury. A well-maintained natural grass field reads about 90 - 110 g's, and will deform under running loads between 4-8 mm. But natural grass fields are often overused, and high performing, fast synthetic grass fields can be stiff and lack this level of impact absorption. While synthetic turf fields constructed with pads or e-layers underneath provide greater safety, they can feel unnaturally bouncy or too soft, which leads to greater player fatigue. Brock PowerBase has engineered an effective solution; the average G-Max rating of a field constructed over PowerBase is 95-100g's, the same as a professional level, perfectly maintained natural grass field, without being too soft.

About Brock International Brock International is the leader in performance base systems for synthetic turf. With over 20 million square feet of Brock Performance Base in play underneath athletic fields worldwide, the company engineers the best, safest and most sustainable playing surfaces in the world for athletes at all levels. Brock has handled hundreds of successful installations for clients ranging from NFL teams and major universities to community parks. In October 2011, Brock became the first company in the industry to have a Cradle to Cradle Certification CM for its combined drainage and shock pad product. Offering the only product in the market that can be closed loop recycled, the company's technologies reduce the overall energy cost of constructing a field by 50%. Made in an ISO and TS certified manufacturing facility of 100% recyclable and non-toxic material, Brock PowerBase is certified to the world's most stringent environmental standards.

Emily Attwood is Managing Editor of Athletic Business.