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The Costs and Benefits of Turf Fields

turf field

Even though many do not know it, turf fields are what injure athletes the most. As an athlete, I would have to say that I very much admire the turf fields. The “grass” is soft and silky and running on it makes a person feel weightless. The turf also does not get muddy under the rain, a plus for almost every student.

The turf field are made to protect athletes from injuries and help the environment by saving water. However, I am not so sure that it helps to prevent injuries as well as it likes to think. The NFL had a study in 2010 that showed ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries happened 88 percent more on turf fields than it does on natural grass.
With all the injuries, why haven’t we gone back to playing on natural grass?

“I would prefer natural grass,” claimed Mr. Fahrner, a coach and Physical Education teacher at Richard Montgomery.

Turf actually costs a lot of money—close to 1.2 million dollars. This money could be proportioned to resolving the issue of increasing enrollment. Montgomery County is in the process of expanding school classrooms and constructing new schools under the Capital Improvements Program (CIP). The way it is now, almost half of the schools in Montgomery County spend 1.2 million dollars on a field that they can get from nature.

“We need a turf because our fields get muddy and mess up the grass,” said Vince Bryan, a student from Blake High School. Yes, Bryan is right but I would not say that we “need” turf. Frankly, the turf is just rubber on top of more rubber. That rubber can actually burn a person’s skin if he/she slides across it.

Sure there are many reasons why everyone likes the turf. “Rain doesn’t stop us, it is only lined, and the P.E. class can use it,” said Mr. Fahrner. Turfs are easier to maintain. You do not have to water it every now and then. However, when you think about it, where does all the water go when it rains? I mean does the turf absorb it or does the rain go under to turf to a sewer drain?

The county is helping the athletic department with the turf fields. But what happened to the math department, science department, social studies, language, English, arts or the other electives? I am sure they need something in their department to further aid their students. Why treat one department differently from the rest?

Article by the MoCo Student Writer Syllia Newstead of Richard Montgomery High School

Graphic by the MoCo Student Graphic Artist Claudia Espinoza of Richard Montgomery High School 

Montgomery County should stay with natural grass. There is no point in paying ton of money for a field when you already have one.

About The MoCo Student

In 2012, Student Member of the Board of Education John Mannes created a countywide press network to help build a conduit to share fresh and relevant information written by youth to the wider Montgomery County student body.

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