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This paper presents a method for quantitative assessment of the quality of athletic fields. Impact absorption characteristics were measured using the Clegg impact soil tester, the Bruel and Kjaer 2515 vibration analyzer, and three impact hammers (0.5, 2.25, and 4.5 kg). This apparatus was evaluated on sports fields and on research plots to obtain deceleration-time curves. The impact characteristics obtained from the curves were the maximum deceleration, time to maximum deceleration, duration of impact, rate of change of deceleration, surface deformation, severity index, and rebound ratio. After a series of experiments that evaluated the effects of turfgrass management practices on impact absorption characteristics, correlation coefficients between impact characteristics and between impact hammers were deter-mined. The correlation between the impact characteristics was higher when the evaluations were on one type of surface (turf) instead of multiple surface types (turf and soil). The weakest correlation was between the heaviest and lightest hammers.
playing fields, Clegg impact soil tester, Bruel and Kjaer vibration analyzer, impact hammer, impact absorption, shock absorption, athletic fields, turfgrass
Assistant professor, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Professor of soil science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA