It’s fun to play sports or watch professional athletes in their A-game. To be good at a particular sport, an athlete needs to train and train and train. Some star players even started their tracks as athletes when they were small.
Underneath the fun, excitement, sweat, and tears is the flooring. Literally. It is more important than it is given credit for.
One of the top priorities of the sports industry is safety. The last thing everyone wants is an injured player. One man down, whether it’s the star player or not, is an injury to the team.
This is why selecting the right flooring for a sporting venue is essential to the success of the sport. The correct floor surface prevents skidding and sliding, giving athletes peace of mind. Because their safety is assured, they can focus on the game.
It also gives them comfort because the surface is appropriate for the sport. Some sports require a soft surface. Some would need it to have the right amount of friction. There are also sports that need perfect sand, mud, or grass.
An area-elastic surface is a relatively hard surface that can cater to the amount of pressure applied to it. This allows the surface to respond or give back the force exerted on it. Synthetics, like urethane, rubber, and PVC, are usually used in this kind of surface. It can either be applied using sheets or a poured-in-place system. The following are important points:
- Force reduction: Because it bounces back the force of the athlete, an area-elastic surface decreases the impact on the athlete’s part by 47 percent.
- Standard deformation: A 2.3mm vertical bend or deformation is needed in order to achieve the desired results on the athletes. There should be a 15 percent difference spreading around 500mm from the point of impact by a 20-kilogram object.
- Sliding distance: The maximum sliding distance of a person should only be 0.6 meters.
Wood is one of the most popular surfaces. It does not only look pretty and elegant, but it also provides bounce and durability. When taken care of properly, this surface can last up to 70 years. The most popular wood that is used for sports surfaces is Maple.
However, the upkeep can be a massive task. Because it is a natural material, it is subject to natural factors such as humidity, weather, and temperature. It can expand, contract, and change with moisture. This makes installation tricky because the contractor needs to take into account changes in size. They also need to apply a durable coat, as wood floors are prone to scratches, especially with strenuous usage.
Natural and Turfs
The green fields of football, golf, rugby, and other outdoor sports are not just made up of regular grass. Ideally, they use natural turf that utilizes specialty grass species. This is preferred by most athletes because they are safer to play on. The soil provides an additional cushion for athletes when they impact the ground.
The biggest issue of utilizing natural turf is the amount of maintenance needed. The soil needs to be level. There can also be bald spots that can turn into mud when not treated right away.
There are also establishments that want to avoid the hassles of maintaining a large area of grass. Their solution is artificial turf. This material is made up of rubber and plastic material to simulate a grassy area that remains green all year round.
When rubber and plastic absorb heat, they tend to be extremely hot. This can lead to discomfort for the player because they will not only be suffering the heat from the sun but also from the ground. These materials also create a lot of friction which leads to “turf burn”. This occurs when the athlete slides on a surface, and the resistance causes a burn.
Choosing the Right Surface
The surface of the establishment should depend on the sport it will be utilized for. For example, basketball and volleyball can make good use of an area-elastic surface. Players of these sports require a lot of jumping. Their feet need as much support as they can get to avoid injuries. Meanwhile, football is usually played on a grassy field, so the turf is needed.
If it is a multi-purpose auditorium, taking into account the sports predominantly played and the versatility of the material is helpful. In this case, using wood floors would be practical. With the durability and bounce of wood, it can cater to a wide variety of sports—as long as it is installed properly and undergoes consistent maintenance.