An important part of any sport is the playing surface. With the right surface, you get optimal performance. You will also get maximum pleasure and results. In addition to these, athletes will be preserved and protected so that they are always available for selection.
This is one of the reasons why international sports bodies have specific guidelines on how playing surfaces must look. These includes the texture, the dimensions and the materials used for its construction.
The playing surface is one of the most important elements of a sports arena. It is also one of the best assets at the venue. The type you choose to use will depend on several factors. One of these is the kind of sport that is played on the surface.
Other factors that will determine the kind of playing surface that you choose can include its performance. There is also its elasticity, safety and durability, the surface’s speed, cost visual appeal and the degree of ball bounce.
There are various types of sports flooring surfaces. Both for the indoors and the outdoors. Some popular ones include PVC, artificial turfs, wood, rubber and polyurethane. Others are natural grass, concrete, clay, and so on. Most sports use either a natural or artificial turf with the exception of tracks events like sprinting.
Sprinting can be done on polymeric rubber or concrete. Artificial surfaces are more expensive to build than natural ones but they have the advantage of providing consistency every time. They also need little or no maintenance and can last a long time. Natural turfs on the other hand require more maintenance but they can retain their quality through great groundsmanship.
Sports centers and schools or any other facility can choose any flooring from the wide variety of sports flooring available. No matter the flooring that is chosen, it is important that it is the right one. It should be right both in performance for the sport and in safety for the athletes that will use it.
Benefits of Quality Sports Flooring
A quality sports flooring is not just for the show of it. Neither is it for luxury. It has to be purposeful and effective in what it is needed for. While there is a variety of flooring, they must all be playable, safe and durable. Below are reasons why getting quality flooring is essential.
You Avoid Injuries and Accidents
The right turf helps to guard against injuries. You can see more about this in this study. Sports is a high-impact activity and there is a need for good shock absorption. This helps to reduce accidents and injuries among athletes and it is the most crucial characteristic of any playing surface. No matter how good-looking a turf is, it is useless if every time athletes get on it, they get injured.
Because of the impact, athletes can sustain injuries from falling, wrong landing, or even running to each other. A quality surface with good absorption will make for an easier and comfortable impact on the joints. This in turn will help to keep athletes from getting injured. In sports like basketball and volleyball, there is a lot of jumping and running. Installing a good quality surface will ensure that the players’ feet, knees, ankles, joints and ligaments are protected.
Different flooring can affect how players get injured. Wood is one of the safest as they offer good shock absorption. Concrete and asphalt on the other hand are hard and more dangerous as they have less absorption. Also, when an athlete falls, they can easily get bruised or hurt. A good quality surface does not necessarily mean that there will be no injuries but its likelihood is drastically reduced.
It Provides Better Traction
Asides from impacts through jumping and running, injuries can happen when players slip and fall on a surface. A good sporting floor will provide good traction. Traction talks about the friction and grip provided by a playing surface. The flooring must not be slippery. It must allow for a good grip as well as easy and safe movement across the court.
It is important to mention again that the purpose of the court has to be considered. Some flooring might be ideal for sports such as volleyball and basketball but they are not likely to work for weight lifting. Weight lifting requires more traction and grip than these other sports.
A factor that can affect traction especially on hardwood surfaces is their maintenance. Proper maintenance helps to avoid slips and falls. Dusting and cleaning it daily with a recommended solution will help to preserve its traction. Additionally, the surface needs to be screened as well as recoated at least once every year. It should also be sanded, resealed, painted and refinished once every 10 years.
It Brings About Better Playability and Athletic Performance
Part of the importance of sports flooring is its ability to enhance play. For sports that require ball bounce, the court must provide accurate and uniform ball bounce. It must be responsive enough to provide good playability. The bounce must be consistent throughout the surface. This prevents players from getting caught off-guard during games.
Imagine a game of tennis or a basketball game where one area of the court does not bounce effectively. This will affect playability as well as player performance. You will not be able to test the true performance of players.
Durability and Resilience
Asides from performance, an important part of a sporting court is its durability. It is expected to last a long time and be resilient to every form of weather and fading. Sports surfaces experience substantial foot traffic so they need to be up for it. A good surface will be wear and tear-resistant with a force reduction rate that is excellent.
In addition to this, this kind of playing surface will provide stability, toughness and flexibility. Good flooring is also non-porous and impermeable. In effect, this will save you money. Instead of having to change and install new flooring in a few years, you only get to maintain it. Asides from safety, longevity is key.
Types of Sports Flooring
Having seen the benefits of a good playing surface, below are some of the most popular ones available.
Grass is one of the most common surfaces for sports. It can either be natural or artificial. It is mostly ideal for outdoor sports such as soccer, cricket, tennis, rugby, golf, etc. Grass is consistent and durable. It is also soft as well as non-abrasive. While natural grass is mostlyused outdoors, artificial can be used both indoors and outdoors. Artificial grass can also come in a variety of types ranging from 2G, 3G, 4G and so on.
This is a popular kind of multi-use sports flooring. It has a non-slip surface and soft cushioning which is great for impact absorption. It is ideal for many sports including basketball, volleyball, indoor football, sprinting, hockey, etc.
Timber floors are one of the oldest flooring materials available even outside of sports. They are durable and when properly maintained will give you the needed traction and longevity. Its impact absorption prevents players from getting hurt. It is ideal for a lot of indoor games and it is usually the default flooring for sports like basketball. Also, fitness centers and dance studios like to use it a lot.
Vinyl and PVC
Vinyl and polyurethane are similar. Most of the time, the decision to choose either one is often based on pricing. It is multi-use and hard which makes it good for supporting the feet. It is also quite flexible and can withstand lots of pressure. It comes in various colors. Some factors to consider when selecting vinyl are its thickness, ball bounce and speed of the surface.
Rubber is suitable for every weather and can be used anywhere. It is easy to install. Asides from these, it is comfortable, easy to maintain and provides a safe way to play. It also guarantees maximum protection for the feet and can come in a range of colors. You can read about the pros and cons of rubber flooring here https://www.thespruce.com/durability-of-rubber-flooring-tiles-1314691.
This is a kind of flooring material that is ideal for wet areas in a sports arena. Areas such as the shower and changing rooms readily come to mind. It can as well be used on playing surfaces that need high elasticity such as on a badminton or basket court.
Choosing the right sports flooring should be seen as a responsibility tothe community where it is installed. It is also a responsibility to the athletes that are meant to make use of the facility. The right flooring not only keeps them safe but also helps them to perform optimally. Additionally, a top quality playing surface will last longer and add value to its immediate community.
Although there are different floorings available. Each are suited to different sports. Ensure to select one that matches the right sport. Also, get a reliable flooring company that will ensure that the floor has good performance and it is durable.
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