Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology

First Advisor

Disa L. Hatfield


Problem Statement and Background: As artificial turfs (AT) become more commonplace, the number of recreational athletes playing on them increases. Some aspects of performance such as speed appear to be better on AT; yet higher rates of injury have been reported. Despite this information, there are still few published studies on outcomes of athletic playing surfaces on athlete performance. Further, there is no research that compares individual performance on AT, hard surfaces and different composite natural surfaces. The purpose of this study was to compare athlete performance on AT against two different natural turf bases and a hard surface. Methods: Forty-three subjects, twenty-one males (age: 20±1.82 yrs.; height: 177.53±5.87 cm; weight: 78.44± 11.59 kg; body fat: 11.17±4.45 percent) and twentytwo females (age: 22±1.32 yrs.; height: 161.37± 6.47cm; weight: 60.94± 10.24kg; body fat: 27.16±7.08 percent) were randomized and performed a single countermovement jump (SCMJ), repeated countermovement jumps (RCMJ), and single depth jump (SDJ) on four different playing turf surface bases; [(peat soil composition turf (NT1), sandy loam composition turf (NT2), one AT, and one hard surface (HS)]. Surface test order was randomized and maximum force (N), power (W) and jump height (cm) was recorded for each jump. Repeated measures ANOVA with Bonferonni post-hoc was used to determine SCMJ, RCMJ and SDJ differences in performance on playing surfaces. Statistical significance was set at p≤0.05. Results: There were no significant differences in maximum force or jump height on different surfaces. Males had significantly higher force, power and jump height on all surfaces compared to females. Single counter movement jump power was lower on the iii peat/soil structure (NT1) compared to all other surfaces [(NT1: 1530±389W) vs. (NT2: 2369±866W), (AT: 2312±945W), HS: 2245±796W)]. Repeated counter jump power force and power was not significantly different across surfaces. Conclusions: Differences in performance between genders were observed. The only significant difference in performance on different turfs was lower power during SCMJ on NT1. Greater eccentric loading prior to the concentric portion of jumping enhances power production through the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC). The difference in power between surfaces was not observed when RCMJ and SDJ were performed, and may be due to the increased reactiveness of the SSC in repeated jumps and depth jump overcoming the reported decreased density of the peat soil composition of NT1. Due to marginal differences between athletic performance and playing surface type, future research comparing playing surface type and rate of injury should be considered.