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July/August 2010

Impact attenuation testing equipment for turf playing surfaces.

Turf Playing Surfaces

A major revision to an ASTM International standard that had covered shock-absorbing properties of North American football fields has expanded in scope to encompass a broader range of field configurations. The standard, F1936, Specification for Impact Attenuation of Turf Playing Surfaces as Measured in the Field, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F08.65 on Artificial Turf Surfaces and Systems, part of ASTM International Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities.

“Before the change, F1936 was technically limited to the evaluation of impact attenuation on North American football fields,” says Parker Wood, owner, Sports Turf Solutions, and an F08 member. “Now, there are specific test plans for North American football, soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse, field hockey, baseball, softball and rugby.”

Among the other significant changes to the specification are:

  • A 25% increase in the number of required test points;
  • A protocol for selecting an appropriate test plan for fields that are lined for more than one sport; and
  • A requirement to regularly verify that the test equipment is operating at a prescribed level of accuracy.

Wood notes that, for the time being, the basic g-max requirement remains the same. For a field to be in compliance with ASTM’s specification, the g-max value reported for each test point must still be less than 200 g’s. However, a separate review is under way to determine if there is new research or other evidence to support changing the requirement in a future revision.


Technical Information: Parker Wood, Sports Turf Solutions, Salinas, Calif.

Phone: 831-484-2138

ASTM Staff: Christine Basile

Phone: 610-832-9728