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Walnut Street Journal

Setting Foot on New Turf

November 17, 2010
By: Cody Hamilton

Our North Tama football team has shown great success this year just as it has in the past years. It's very exciting and the climate-controlled atmosphere is beneficial for the fans and players alike. And the artificial turf, despite it's benefits, can wreak havoc on the players' "A" game.

The artificial turf, which is used in the UNI Dome as well as many other stadiums, does have it's "pros" and "cons". The turf is made of several different layers, which provide a rugged and strong material while still providing the padding needed to break the impact of a bone crushing fall. Since this turf doesn't need watering or grooming it is projected to be a cheap alternative in the long run to real grass, but with a half-million dollar price tag, this may be questionable. The bulk of the turf is made of ground up tires, which make a sturdy, yet padded surface. And, the "grass" or "turf" is made of nylon and polypropylene. This combination is designed for a rugged weather and wear-resistant surface, which is intended to last nearly a century. And, the weather resistant material makes for an indoor/outdoor surface. The solid, pothole-free surface prevents twists and sprains. It sounds like the perfect playing surface, but some think otherwise. Nathan Jones, senior lineman for North Tama, states that turf can be slippery when running with the grain or when trying to stop on a dime. " He states sometimes your feet just go out from under you. Turf burns are also a common side effect.

The ground tires that are use in the turf also have dust and chemicals that trigger allergies and even asthma. When usde outdoors, these chemicals kill vegetation and with the rain soaking them in the ground, nothing can grow on the soil for years. The rugged grass material also collects bacteria from sweat, blood and dead skin cells. With the ground up tires storing massive amounts of heat, this creates a breeding ground for the bacteria. The artificial turf can also causes large burns referred to as "turf burns". These burns along with any other open wounds are a perfect opportunity for these bacteria to multiply and cause infection. Treating any open wounds is a must-do after being exposed to the turf.

Article Photos

The North Tama football team is once again on it's way to the Dome. Considering the "pros" and "cons" of the turf, the adjustment in the playing surface should put both teams to the test. It will take every ounce of physical and emotional discipline for these teams to come out on top. It should be an exciting and entertaining game!!



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