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QBC, Player Safety

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Turf Wars: MOM vs Those Tiny Rubber Specks

You may have noticed some peculiar little rubber bits finding their way into unexpected places – your car, the garage, the bathroom floor, and even the dryer. You might be wondering what these tiny black specks are and where they're coming from.

Rest assured, these little bits of rubber are from the infill of the artificial turf on the football field.


While they may seem like an inconvenience, it's important to understand that this rubber layer plays a crucial role in keeping your players safe from injury.

Let's dive into the significance of these infill materials and how they contribute to a safer playing surface for your beloved football stars.

Consistency and Uniformity

One of the significant advantages of artificial turf is its all-weather playability.

Natural grass fields can be unpredictable, especially with the extreme weather that we sometimes experience here in Valparaiso. ❄️🌦️🔅

Uneven surfaces, divots, and muddy patches pose significant risks to players, leading to slips, trips, and falls.

Artificial turf has drainage underneath it. This helps provide a playing surface that remains the same throughout the game, minimizing the risk of injuries caused by unpredictable field conditions.

Enhanced Shock Absorption

sprinturf-layersArtificial turf is designed with shock-absorbing properties, incorporating cushioning layers (That crumb rubber you find everywhere) that mitigate the impact of falls and tackles. 

This aspect is particularly beneficial for high school athletes, since their bodies are still developing and they can be more susceptible to injuries.

The improved shock absorption of artificial turf can significantly reduce the risk of injuries, such as fractures and sprains.

Reduced Maintenance and Eco-Friendly

Natural grass fields require continuous maintenance, including mowing, fertilizing, and watering. When not adequately cared for, natural grass can become compacted and uneven, increasing the risk of player injuries.

Artificial turf, on the other hand, requires less maintenance and is free of pesticides and fertilizers.

While this is a cost-reduction to the school, its also great for the environment.

One artificial turf field:

  • Diverts ~20,000 tires from the landfill
  • Saves the need for up to 60,000 gallons of water per week
  • Offers a durable, even playing surface for the entire season.

About The Valpo Vikings Turf

sprinturf-installation The turf at VHS is produced by Sprinturf, right here in the United States.

Our current artificial turf was initially installed in 2019 and was refurbished this spring as a part of ongoing maintenance to keep our field performing as well as our athletes. 

The Valpo Vikings have played on turf since 2008.

If you haven't had a chance to walk on it, meet your player out on the field after a game and feel for yourself.

If you'd like to nerd out, 🤓 watch this video about how the turf is made. (skip to 6:30 if you want to see how its installed)

The benefits of artificial turf are clear: a consistent playing surface, reduced risk of injury, enhanced shock absorption, and all-weather playability.

The turf at VHS is providing a safer environment for student-athletes and ensures that the sport remains enjoyable and accessible for generations to come.

So when you see those little rubber crumbs... maybe just ask your student-athlete to dump out their shoes before getting into the car. 😉

Topics:   QBC, Player Safety

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