Traction, as it relates to field quality, involves the athlete, studded footwear, and the turf. Traction involves two types of forces: those acting in a vertical manner that compress the turf and those that act horizontally and produce a shearing or tearing effect on the turf. The objectives of this research were to develop and evaluate an apparatus to measure the horizontal forces associated with traction, compare this apparatus with other devices routinely used to quantify traction, and examine how different turfgrass stand characteristics combine to influence traction.
An apparatus, termed PENNFOOT, was developed and field tested. PENNFOOT consists of a framework that supports a leg and foot assembly that can be used to measure both rotational and linear traction using different footwear under various loading weights. When we compared PENNFOOT to other traction measuring devices, the force values we obtained from different grass species and varying cutting heights provided low correlation values.
Experiments were conducted to determine the effect of turfgrass and soil conditions on traction of turf areas. Tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass provided the highest traction values whereas perennial ryegrass and creeping red fescue provided the lowest. Higher linear traction values occurred with lower cutting heights.
Although more work is needed on the turf and soil characteristics that influence traction, the PENNFOOT with its versatility seems appropriate for traction evaluation.
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