Injury-Saving Turf Installed in Alumni

After about two years of planning and deliberation, the Boston College Athletic Department has announced that it will install new turf in Alumni Stadium. The base layer of the new field, made by Brock International, is designed to reduce brain injury by up to 50 percent.

The project, which will be carried out by BC graduates Ryan and Trevor McCourt, is scheduled to be completed by the first game of the 2012 football season.

Joe Shirley, Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities, said that while most fields can last up to eight years, BC’s field has not lasted as long due to its long hours of availability: 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., from approximately Thanksgiving to Easter.

The bottom layer of the new field will consist of a Brock PowerBase, which uses a carpet tile filler and shock pad. A PowerBase can reduce the G-max, or force of each fall, and therefore prevent injuries. The field will also last longer than most others.

According to a press release distributed by the Athletic Department, “In evaluating Head Injury Criteria (HIC), Sports Labs LLC found that Brock PowerBase offered significant improvement in HIC when compared to a turf field that featured a stone base.”

The top layer of the new field will be similar to other fields and consist of an AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D60H field and a crumb rubber fill. However, it will make use of new technology that allows the crumb rubber fill to settle into the root layer of the faux grass. This will provide for less of a “splash” when players fall.

“If it prevents even one injury, it’s worth it,” Shirley said.

A similar system is currently being used on BC’s soccer field on Newton. According to Shirley, players cannot feel a difference between a field that uses a Brock PowerBase and a field that uses regular stone filler.

Stanford University, Oregon State University, and Boise State University are also using Brock PowerBases, with much success.


March 29, 2012

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