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Should Turf Fields Be Mandatory?

While South Lakes has been organizing to build two synthetic turf fields, two Maryland state legislators are proposing all schools in one county install the surface.

As South Lakes High School works on raising enough money to build two turf fields at the school, across the river in Maryland there is proposed legislation to make turf fields mandatory at all Prince George's County high schools, reports the Washington Post.

The bill, introduced by Del. Jay Walker (D-Prince George’s) and Sen. Douglass J.J. Peters (D-Prince George’s), would require all of the county’s public high schools to install artificial turf by the end of 2018.

Turf fields allow sports to miss fewer practices or games due to weather. About a third of Fairfax County Public High Schools have turf fields.

The pros and cons of mandatory turf fields have been a hot topic for discussion among residents in PG County the last few weeks. Some think that if money is to be spent, it should be on basics such as classroom improvements. Others cited safety and environmental concerns.

but the school was not selected for the Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) Grant in the spring of 2012. The grant would have paid a portion of the estimated $1.4 million cost.

The school is trying again this year. The effort has received pledges from Reston Association ($50,000), Reston Community Center ($100,000) Reston   Soccer Association ($250,000), and Reston Youth Associaton football ($25,000). There would be additional money donated from the school's athletic boosters and school discretionary funds.

To read about the county's synthetic fields, click here. To read the county's policy on allocating field time to community partners, click here.

Read a comparison of the two surfaces from New York's Hospital For Special Surgery Sports Medicine Department here. To read links to several medical studies looking at whether there is an increased risk of concussions on turf, click here.

 

 

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James S January 09, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Turf fields shouldn't be mandatory, however they are more beneficial due to less upkeep then natural fields but you also have to consider that they still do need maintenance... if you go out to some of the original turf fields that the county has laid down less than 10... maybe even 5 years ago, such as Hutchinson in Herndon, you'll see how run down they are from lack of maintenance. I would prefer that schools dump the $2M into natural fields over the average expectancy of 10 years for turf fields and fix the drainage at schools such as South Lakes where the drain is on the field itself, I also think it'll be more beneficial for athletes too. Since the rise of artificial fields we are seeing more and more injuries especially to the knees due to improper footwear, since turf really has no give, studs are more likely of getting caught or sticking, I have this happen to me all the time and I wear turf shoes, and let's be serious kids aren't ready to give up their flashy studs, turf fields also barely have any cushioning too, so it's like playing on a dry field in the middle of summer with a drought year round which is something we also need to take in account especially with the rise of concussions, and also the possibilities of staph infections which I know one personal account of.
James S January 09, 2013 at 11:22 PM
I also know the many benefits of turf fields also, such as higher volumes/more use, no puddles/mud, play anytime, abrasion resistances, and so on... that's why I'm for them for training or community use fields but speaking from an athletes viewpoint I would much rather play on a maintained natural field than an artificial field any day especially at my old age ;)
The Convict January 11, 2013 at 04:28 PM
It's really quite simple for me. If Reston won't let me replace my front lawn with artificial turf, why should FCPS/SLHS be able to do it?

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