Artificial Turf

The Boys U-11 Rec league Blasters play their final game of the Fall season this morning on an artificial turf field.  It’s amazing how much different it makes the game.  Damn, does the ball carry on that carpet.  Passes that are good passes on grass, go sailing out of bounds past teammates on the turf.  I do love the fact, though, that the league never has to close this field for fear of damage after rain.  Anyway, it reminded me of this recent NYT article on the growing use of artificial turf in professional soccer.   My short-take: I just hope (and assume) it simulates grass a lot better than the WRAL soccer complex in North Raleigh.  From the Times:

The professional sport that first embraced artificial turf — Major League Baseball in North America — has now come close to eliminating it.

But soccer, after decades of fierce resistance, now appears to be headed in the opposite direction, a shift made clear as Nabil el-Yaagoubi walked across French club AS Nancy’s pristine new field on a sunny afternoon and lifted it up at the corner as if he were lifting the corner of a living room carpet…

It is a bold move, inspired, despite the approximately €1.5 million installation cost in Nancy, by long-range savings, by the desire to stage concerts and other events in the stadium and by the need for a solution to the annual challenge of trying to produce a high-quality field in a difficult climate. Professional clubs in Russia, Northern Europe and Alpine nations like Switzerland and Austria have already widely adopted artificial turf to improve cold-weather playing conditions. Nancy is hardly Siberia but can get chilly and rainy.



About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to Artificial Turf

  1. Jeff Pelletier says:

    This is interesting. Having played on both, it requires a totally different skill set to master turf and grass.
    I personally prefer the real stuff.
    Hope the Blasters season ends well!

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