Discussion in 'Referee' started by ProfZodiac, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. ProfZodiac

    ProfZodiac Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 17, 2003
    Boston, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So on Armistice Day (I can't call it Vet's Day, sorry...) I get to ref a BU-14 on the bran' spanking new FieldTurf field Southboro has installed. I am, as my peers would put it, ampt. I am also, however, worried about any safety concerns. FieldTurf has been bashed like Kovalenko going in studs up with two feet on someone's gut. Should I protect the players a little more than I would, seeing as they could potentially slip on this surface?
  2. Paul Schmidt

    Paul Schmidt Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    Portland, Oregon!
    If it's brand-spanking new, it'll probably get rave reviews. The problems will probably relate more to getting caught in the turf than excessive slippage.

    In 2-3 years, be concerned, perhaps very concerned. The stuff starts out well, but doesn't hold up over time. It'll probably combine slickness AND getting caught if you stick in.
  3. Jimjamesak

    Jimjamesak New Member

    May 3, 2003
    Anchorage Alaska
    It only goes bad if it's not that well mantained. But I really wouldn't change anything at all really I mean safety for the player is the biggest concern for us. Besides stupidity, on any surface, should be punished the same and besides players can slip on grass too. So I really wouldn't change anything except for maybe some little things.
  4. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You'll be surprised how true field turf plays. I've only disliked field turf and other similar surfaces when the weather is hot. What you'll notice is that the springy nature of the surface saps the life out of your lower legs. At least that was true for me. It's easy to run on, but the surface makes you work for it.
  5. Stan

    Stan New Member

    Aug 23, 2002
    field turf and similar products

    My local HS has just installed a Sprinturf field; artificial grass filled with rubber pellets.

    I have watched several games on it, and refereed about 6 games on this surface.

    It plays very well. The ball runs true, does not seem to skitter, but conversely, does not die as quickly as on regular grass. Teams cannot play long balls into the corner and expect them to die and be collected by onrushing wings. The ball will roll all the way to the touch or goal line. However, I have seen balls roll along the touchline for 40 yards without rolling out of bounds. The surface is about as close as most mortals come to playing on stadium-smooth grass, and certainly beats most multi-purpose HS fields, which often look like a WW1 battlefield scene.

    Frost and dew are problems, but not much worse than regular grass. It drains extremely well, and is playable in pouring rain.

    Because the plastic grass is made of strands, and not any sort of loop, it does not catch studs in a dangerous way.

    It has a bouncy feel which is easy on my knees, but does seem to soak up energy over time a little faster than grass (but far less than mud!)
  6. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The one thing you might want to watch is how the ball spins off the surface from a punt or high ball. I remember some strange bounces because the ball tends to back spin. It might not happen, but it's something to keep in mind.
  7. Quaker

    Quaker Member+

    FC Dallas
    Apr 19, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree that the problems are much more likely to come from the surface being too sticky than too slick. In some situations where natural grass will give, FieldTurf will not.

    The danger is that when the surface doesn't give, one of your body parts does. I tore an ACL about 3-4 years ago playing on FieldTurf, and I firmly believe that injury would not have happened on grass. Coming down a bit awkwardly, my foot stuck on the surface which didn't give. Unfortunately, my knee did.

    The other feature one quickly learns about FieldTurf is that it causes rug burns. Expect fewer slide tackles.

    However, the bottom line is that I don't see anything that would affect an official's approach to a game on FieldTurf.
  8. penquinref

    penquinref New Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    new jersey
    Beware the rubber pellets!!!!!
    When players go down on their faces they can (and will) get an eye ,ear and mouth full of ground up firestone specials!!.,and when you get home, take your boots and socks off out side as you will have about a pound of that stuff in you.

    PS Indoor shoes work well!!
  9. Statesman

    Statesman New Member

    Sep 16, 2001
    The name says it all
    Turf is great so long as you don't wear cleats. Like penquin said, use indoor shoes (smooth rubber sole) or turf shoes. Too many injuries happen from players sticking and tearing ligaments -- nasty stuff. Keep the ball deflated to around 8 psi instead of the typical 12-15. It'll help keep the game flowing a bit better and not quite so out of control. Also watch for blood when players do slide tackles as some might skin a knee. It's always a good idea as a player to wear neoprene over the knees when playing on turf for this reason.

    Also, I would be pretty adament about shinguards following the rules on size. Some players don't have as much experience on turf and may come in dangerously on a slide. The game moves a lot faster so mistimed tackles might be a problem. If so somebody could really get hurt if their shinguard isn't adequately protecting them.

    Other than that just ref the game like you usually would. Be prepared to do some more quick sprints and movement to avoid the ball. The sport is still soccer though, nothing has changed there!

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