Artificial Turf Innovation Leads To Success (Sponsored)

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Ed Defore Sports ComplexEd Defore Sports Complex


Beating the Georgia Heat with BrockFILL

After reading research, touring fields, and further investigation, Macon-Bibb County made the decision to create a safer, higher-performing playing environment for their student-athletes. Ed Defore Sports Complex was scheduled to have two fields renovated this spring. They chose Brock PowerBase/YSR shock pad systems to go under the AstroTurf 3D3 Blend HD with Rootzone turf system for both of their fields. The timing was fortuitous since BrockFILL, a new advanced and environmentally friendly organic infill, was being manufactured just down the road in southern Georgia. This advancement in synthetic turf technology significantly cools the field and is non-resilient, resulting in a faster and more natural playing surface.

"Heat here is crazy, especially in the months that we play football, so that was a huge factor for us," says Athletic Director Barney Hester. "With the technology that's out there now, you have to think safety before you think anything else. I felt that once we chose Brock, BrockFILL was a no-brainer."

The combination of BrockFILL, the PowerBase/YSR shock pad system, and AstroTurf's high-density, low-pile-height turf create a firm, fast surface for the athletes. This was an important factor for the coaching staff of the West Side Seminoles, one of the football teams that uses the field.

"You can get out of cuts quicker. The wide receivers, the running backs, the linebackers, those kids are explosive kids, so they try to get from point A to point B as fast as possible. This type of surface helps that because it's not as bouncy as the rubber beads," says Head Football Coach "Spoon" Risper. "You want a fast surface. The skilled athletes love it, and even the linemen these days, they love a fast turf. That's one of the main things you're looking for when playing on turf."

RELATED: BrockFILL "Brings New Life" to Ed Defore Sports Complex

Kenan StadiumKenan Stadium


Student health and wellness a priority – from intramural to elite athletes at the University of North Carolina

Excitement is mounting for the 2019 North Carolina Tar Heels football season. The team has already sold out every home game, brought back Hall of Fame Head Coach Mack Brown, and rolled out substantial facility upgrades for its athletes — most notably, the newly renovated Kenan Stadium, which features a Brock PowerBase/PRO synthetic turf shock pad system to protect the athletes every time they run out of the locker room to 51,000 screaming fans.

What people might not know about the recent stadium upgrade is that it's been part of a much larger, campus-wide initiative. University administrators first met five years ago to discuss their master plan to create safe playing environments for all of their student-athletes — from intramural warriors to the elite athletes taking to the gridiron.

"They are not just worried about the scholarship athletes, they are worried about the club athletes, the recreational players, the intramural players and the casual players, so I think they just have a very strong awareness for student health and wellness," says Dan Dodd, the Landscape Architect behind the striking design of Kenan Stadium.

The Brock Shock Pad system was a critical component of every field design. The 25-year warranty, its cradle-to-cradle certifications for environmental impacts, and the ability to hit safety and performance measurements comparable to great natural grass fields were incredibly important factors, according to Dodd.

Once the planning and considerations for the campus fields took shape, the shovels were kicked into the ground and work began on the first of the six fields on campus. "We knew what we wanted, putting Brock under these fields was a must for us," says Casey Carrick, the current Director of Athletic Grounds and Turf Management.

Pearl High SchoolPearl High School


Zero migration during heavy rains, BrockFILL stays in place

After 10 years playing on a synthetic turf field comprised of a stone base and a crumb rubber infill, Pearl High School will become the first school in Mississippi to install Brock PowerBase/YSR pads and the first to install Brock USA's infill, the all organic BrockFill.

Water has been an issue for years when it comes to synthetic turf fields, especially in places like Mississippi where it rains substantially. The field faces two main issues. The first is improper drainage where water accumulates on the field and forms big puddles, leaving the surface waterlogged and unplayable until the water can be removed from the field. The second issue is migration of the infill. As water accumulates on the surface, it picks up the infill with it and places it down unevenly somewhere else on the field.

"We get a lot of rain down here and when it rains, it rains heavy. One of my concerns was that the wood infill was just going to wash out like everything else," says Principal Field Architect Jamie Wier. "Then I learned how the BrockFILL really absorbs water, how it sinks in rain, and I thought, 'I'm sold. I am ready to try this.' This past weekend we had five inches of rain. If you have a field with crumb rubber, it's all washed to the edges or to the sides and you have to come back and re-rake it, but not BrockFILL."

Superintendent of Pearl Public School District Ray Morgigno also commented on migration of infills during weather events.

"We had a pretty good rain yesterday morning, and I was actually out at the field last night with the architect and the BrockFILL had not moved at all," says Morgigno. "We were very pleasantly surprised that it really didn't move at all. We were thinking it would all move to the edges, but it didn't. It just weighted down, so that was exciting to see."

Dartmouth's head football coach Buddy TeevensDartmouth's head football coach Buddy Teevens


Dartmouth College leads in safety from the turf up

In 2016, Dartmouth installed a state-of-the-art athletic field in order to maximize the safety for its players. Dartmouth's Memorial Field upgrade included Brock PowerBase/PRO and it has made a noticeable difference to the athletes.

"We're far safer now than we were with our old surface," head football coach Buddy Teevens said. "Bringing in the new turf, the Brock surface, has been tremendous for us. It's a little bit more forgiving. It's going to take a little less impact to one of my players."

Dartmouth gained notoriety when the organization implemented robotic tackling dummies instead of tackling each other and was featured in the NFL media campaign "The Future of Football." In the documentary, coach Teevens discussed how coaching is changing, with an increasing eye toward player safety, and how every measure - from safer fields to practice protocols - helps make the game safer.

Coach Teevens and the Dartmouth football program demonstrate how safety measures taken with players lead to a successful and winning team. After the construction of the new turf stadium with Brock PowerBase/PRO and the implementation of new coaching techniques and policies, the Dartmouth Football team lead the Ivy League in tackles and cut missed tackles by 50 percent.

"My defensive coordinator asked, 'How did that happen?!' My response was, 'We tackle more than anybody else. We just don't tackle each other,'" Coach Teevens said.

RELATED: Dartmouth Football Head Coach Preaches Player Safety

This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of Athletic Business with the title "Artificial Turf Innovation Leads To Success." Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.


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