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Comparison of Speed and Agility Performance of College Football Players on Field Turf and Natural Grass

Gains, Graydon L; Swedenhjelm, Andy N; Mayhew, Jerry L; Bird, H Michael; Houser, Jeremy J

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 10 - pp 2613-2617
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181eccdf8
Original Research
Press Release

Gains, GL, Swedenhjelm, AN, Mayhew, JL, Bird, HM, and Houser, JJ. Comparison of speed and agility performance of college football players on field turf and natural grass. J Strength Cond Res 24(10): 2613-2617, 2010-The purpose of this study was to determine the difference in 40-yd dash and proagility times performed on field turf (FT) and natural grass (NG). Red-shirt freshmen National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II college football players (n = 24) performed 2 trials each of a 40-yd dash and proagility run on each surface. Sprints were timed by an electronic timing system (ET) and by 2 hand timers (HTs). Agility was timed on each surface by 2 HTs. There was no significant difference in 40-yd dash times between FT and NG using ET (FT: 5.34 ± 0.30 seconds, NG: 5.33 ± 0.33 seconds) or HT (FT: 5.06 ± 0.31 seconds, NG: 5.11 ± 0.29 seconds). Hand timer 40-yd dashes were significantly faster than ET 40-yd dashes on both surfaces, with the difference between HT and ET on FT (−0.28 ± 0.11 seconds) significantly greater than the difference on NG (−0.22 ± 0.06 seconds). The time differences between surfaces were significantly correlated (r = 0.12, p = 0.56). Proagility times were significantly faster on FT (4.49 ± 0.28 seconds) than on grass (4.64 ± 0.33 seconds). Thus, it appears that straight-ahead sprint speed is similar between FT and NG, but change-of-direction speed may be significantly faster on FT.

1Human Performance Laboratory, Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri; 2Physiology Department, A. T. Still University of Health Sciences, Kirksville, Missouri; 3Biomechanics Laboratory, Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri; 4Neuromuscular Laboratory, Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri; and 5Anatomy Department, A. T. Still University of Health Sciences, Kirksville, Missouri

Address correspondence to J.L. Mayhew, jmayhew@truman.edu.

Copyright © 2010 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.