The effect of different playing surfaces on soccer skill and sprint performance
Due to rising numbers of people playing football, and limited availability of traditional grass surfaces, demand for pitch use has increased, particularly in densely populated cities and areas of the world. Surfaces such as sprung wooden gym floors, hard courts and artificial turf pitches have been seen as alternatives to grass fields. However, questions have been raised about the legitimacy of how much artificial pitches actually imitate the playing conditions of grass. Player perceptions are often negative regarding artificial surfaces with athletes indicating that artificial turfs are more physically demanding and make ball control harder. Playing style has also been observed to change with increased short passing observed on artificial relative to grass turf. Therefore, the aim of this study is to assess how different surfaces (grass, artificial, wooden and hard court) will affect football-related performance (skill, sprint, agility) in elite male players.
Student: Reilly O’Meagher (BSc Honours candidate)
Collaborators: Dr Andrew Foskett (Massey University) and Dr John O’Reilly (Chinese University of Hong Kong)