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Effects of Different Athletic Playing Surfaces on Jump Height, Force, and Power

Hatfield, Disa L.1; Murphy, Kelly M.1; Nicoll, Justin X.1; Sullivan, William M.2; Henderson, Jason3

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 965–973
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002961
Original Research

Hatfield, DL, Murphy, KM, Nicoll, JX, Sullivan, WM, and Henderson, J. Effects of different athletic playing surfaces on jump height, force, and power. J Strength Cond Res 33(4): 965–973, 2019—Artificial turfs (ATs) have become more commonplace. Some aspects of performance such as speed seem to be better on ATs, but there are few published studies on the effects of playing surfaces on performance. Furthermore, there is no research that compares performance on ATs, hard surfaces (HSs), and different composite natural surfaces. Forty-three subjects, 21 men (age: 20 ± 1.82 years; height: 177.53 ± 5.87 cm; body mass: 78.44 ± 11.59 kg; and body fat: 11.17 ± 4.45%) and 22 women (age: 25 ± 1.32 years; height: 161.37 ± 6.47 cm; body mass: 60.94 ± 10.24 kg; and body fat: 27.16 ± 7.08%) performed a single countermovement jump (SCMJ), repeated CMJs (RCMJs), and single depth jump (SDJ) on 4 different playing surfaces (peat soil composition turf [NT1], sandy loam composition turf [NT2], 1 AT, and 1 HS. Repeated-measures analysis of variance with Bonferroni post hoc was used to calculate differences in performance across playing surfaces. Statistical significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. Force and jump height were not different across different surfaces. Men had significantly higher force, power, and jump height on all surfaces. Only SCMJ power was lower on NT1 compared with all other surfaces. The difference in power between surfaces was not reproduced when RCMJ and SDJ were performed, and may be due to the increased reactiveness of the stretch-shortening cycle during those jumps. Because of marginal differences between athletic performance and playing surface type, future research comparing playing surface type and other aspects of athletic success such as rate of injury should be considered.

1Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Rhode Island, South Kingston, Rhode Island;

2Department of Plant Sciences, University of Rhode Island, South Kingston, Rhode Island; and

3Turfgrass and Soil Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

Address correspondence to Dr. Disa L. Hatfield,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.