Over the years, the field at LPC has become worn down, bat- tered and untidy. However, LPC has recently received the pleasure of its very own AstroTurf installation, making the field safe again for players to continue playing on the turf.
AstroTurf, a manufacturer of synthetic turf fields, uses special materials and ingredients to not only prevent the dangerous symptoms of sports play but provide the best field possible to improve athlete’s performance. AstroTurf was first used in a professional sports venue fifty years ago this year, the Astrodome.
LPC’s previous turf field recently approached its expiration date, ultimately making it time for the historic brand, Astro Turf to be the ones to install a new field for our athletes to benefit from and enjoy.
The turf features Supernatural Hemp EPDM rubber. Hemp fibers are woven throughout the rubber material. The hemp wicks water, cooling the field up to 40 degrees. Zeolite Clinoptilolite, another main ingredient, made up of organic minerals used in the main infill provides a honeycomb molecular shape which allows it to absorb and slowly release water for noticeably cooler field temperatures up to 52 degrees.
LPC is only the second field in the Bay Area to have Supernatural Hemp EPDM installed by Astro turf, right behind De La Salle High School.
Each field built is overseen by an AstroTurf Construction Manager. These managers are experienced professionals with degrees in either engineering or construction management and are ASBA-Certified Field Builders.
Inez Ayyera, the construction manager for the field at LPC supervised the project during its two and half months of construction. Starting on Aug. 15th, the field was made inaccessible until its completion in the middle of October.
In the meantime, according to Andrew Cumbo, the Head Coach for the men’s and women’s soccer team, “The intercollegiate soccer teams moved all training to the grass field and KIN Flag Football moved to the synthetic turf field at Cayetano Park, which is less than one mile away from campus.”
Cumbo was one of the individuals who expressed his concern as the renewal date for a new turf field drew nearer. He stated, “Since we are the ones who use the facility often, it’s important to let our supervisors know when these things happen so that they can support the campus.”
Joseph Vitale, a Flag Football player at LPC expressed his satisfaction with the new field, saying, “I really like the new field. It’s a lot better than the old one because it feels a lot better when you fall and you don’t get as cut-up.”
When installing the field at LPC, AstroTurf used Brock’s Powerbase YSR. This base is the industry’s first complete base replacement technology for synthetic turf and was used just above the foundation of the field.
It is optimized to enhance player safety and performance while improving field drainage. Before installation takes place, the material is run through a series of tests to optimize player’s safety.
The Head Injury Criterion test, the Gmax test, and the deformation test are all used in making a safer field all while giving athletes the competitive edge they need to perform at a high level.
HIC is the internationally recognized test standard for head injuries. The test is used to pre- vent concussions and is the same test used in playgrounds, automotive crashes, wall padding, pole vaulting and the WR Reg22 standard for artificial turf.
There is also a Gmax test. It measures the shock attenuation performance of a sports surface. G-max testing refers to a result in gravities which is the ratio of the maximum acceleration/deceleration that is experienced during an impact. A high result means that a surface has low shock attenuation characteristics.
The last test used is the Vertical deformation test, which is how much a field is deformed when ran upon. This measurement is important because if a surface is too soft an athlete risks ankle, knee and other joint and soft-tissue injuries.
If the surface is too hard, issues like concussions or impact injuries can occur. Brock systems provide stiff panels that spread the running load out over a much greater area to provide a firm platform for a field. At the top of the surface, “pistons” are engineered to allow for the right amount of deformation during running.
AstroTurf ’s systems have taken the necessary steps to ensure the protection of our athletes from injury. For students interested in getting a closer look, the field is located to the right of the 2500 building if you were facing it from parking lot P.
Stay tuned for the upcoming soccer season schedule for fall 2020.
Maxwell Lander is a staff writer for The Express. Follow him at @maximuslander.