Michigan State University Study Ranks GameDay Grass 3D From AstroTurf Closest to Natural Grass in Study of Multiple

Wed Aug 6, 2008 4:34pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

  RALEIGH, NC, Aug 06 (MARKET WIRE) -- 
According to the results of a Michigan State University study, which was
selected for presentation today at the North American Congress on
Biomechanics Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, AstroTurf's GameDay Grass
3D most closely replicated natural grass in a comparison of 16 types of
synthetic and natural sports turf, based on the torque, force and
friction generated by cleated athletic shoes. A summary of the research
is available at http://www.astroturfusa.com/news/MSUStudy.html.

    The study, funded by the NFL Charities Foundation, evaluated the potential
impact of football playing surfaces on lower extremity injuries caused by
excessive torque, or the rotational friction produced when cleated shoes
dig into the field.

    "This highly anticipated study validates the introduction of new
technologies by AstroTurf, such as GameDay Grass 3D with Root Zone(R), to
enhance player performance and safety," said Jon Pritchett, CEO of
GeneralSports Venue (GSV), the exclusive licensee of the AstroTurf brand
in the U.S. "It is indicative of our continued dedication to be the
leading innovator in synthetic sports turf."

    In the Michigan State study, the GameDay Grass 3D system with all-rubber
infill had the lowest average torque of all synthetic turf systems tested,
second only to natural grass. Researchers credited the fiber structure of
the GameDay Grass 3D system, the only fiber structure containing a Root
Zone -- a simulated thatch layer at the base of the system -- with the low
level of frictional resistance. Researchers noted that the Root Zone
reduces the amount of infill required for a stable system and may reduce
compaction of the infill layer.

    The high amount of torsional friction generated in high-performance sports
creates concentrated force that is transmitted to vulnerable ankle and
knee joints, precipitating injuries. The Michigan State research team
used 10 pairs of cleated football shoes in conducting five trials on 16
separate playing surfaces, for a total of 800 samples. The study measured
the mean peak torque produced by various shoe/surface interfaces.

    The research summary indicated that the highest mean torque was produced
by the Field Turf system, a result attributed to the amount of space, or
gauge length, between the rows of fibers. According to the study, the
greater gauge length in the Field Turf system (3/4" versus 3/8" in all
other systems tested) may result in deeper cleat penetration into the
infill and, in the case of densely compacted infill, higher torque.

    "According to this study, the risk of injury due to increased stress on
knee and ankle joints is elevated on artificial turf systems that have
less fiber and more infill, and have a greater potential for compaction,"
said Dr. Rod Walters, President of Walters Inc., Consultants in Sports
Medicine, and former Director of Sports Medicine at the University of
South Carolina. "The good news is that breakthrough innovations such as
the Root Zone in AstroTurf's GameDay Grass 3D represent a significant
advancement in the evolution of synthetic turf, making it much more
realistic and forgiving than most of the standard artificial turf systems
currently in use, something that coaches, athletic trainers and athletes
should be very excited about."

    The North American Congress on Biomechanics (NACOB) is the combined annual
meetings of the American Society of Biomechanics and the Canadian Society
for Biomechanics. It is held jointly every six years to promote the
exchange of ideas and foster new collaborations in the field of
biomechanics.

    About AstroTurf

    The iconic AstroTurf brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport
and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered
technologies, leveraging the industry's only vertically integrated
manufacturing system. The relaunch of AstroTurf, including the enlistment
of football legend Archie Manning as ambassador for the brand, has
positioned it again as the leading innovator in the synthetic turf
industry, with a growing number of high schools, colleges, professional
sports teams and municipalities selecting AstroTurf-branded products for
their premium quality, technical superiority and safety. AstroTurf(R) is a
registered trademark of Textile Management Associates, Inc. To learn more,
visit www.astroturfusa.com.

    About GeneralSports Venue

    Based in Michigan and with headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., and 23 regional
offices throughout the U.S., GSV is a certified Minority Business
Enterprise that offers a range of integrated services for sports venue
owners, operators and developers. GSV's professional services include
project development, design, estimating, finance, revenue generation,
program management and construction for sports venues. Aided by its sports
turf division, GSV has been among the fastest-growing companies in the
sports construction industry. GSV is the official supplier in the category
of synthetic turf and related sports surfaces to U.S. Communities, a
national purchasing alliance serving over 30,000 public agencies. To learn
more, visit www.generalsportsvenue.com.

    

CONTACT:
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