Latest News

February 22, 2017

Traction research benefits athletes at all levels.

February 2, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Collin Meyers, a 2010 graduate of the turfgrass science program in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, will accompany the Atlanta Falcons as they take the field at the Super Bowl in Houston on Sunday.

February 1, 2017

The NFL, in partnership with the NFL Players Association, has developed this video that summarizes important information for football players as they choose their on-field shoes. For the last eight years, bioengineering experts advising the NFL’s Musculoskeletal Committee have been collecting and analyzing scientific and medical data to provide information to clubs’ medical and equipment staffs so they can help players make informed choices about the shoes they wear.

March 2, 2016

Penn State helps keep NFL fields safe for professional athletes

February 25, 2016

Penn State's Center for Sports Surface Research has published two new guides addressing measurement and management of surface hardness on athletic fields. These guides - one for natural grass and one for synthetic turf - explain techniques to measure surface hardness as well as maintenance practices to reduce surface hardness. These guides are available under the 'Resources' section our website.

July 22, 2015

Synthetic turf fields are occasionally irrigated for temperature and playability reasons. This report includes research results on the effect of irrigation on surface temperature, traction, and soccer ball roll.

July 14, 2014

A recent study by Penn State University’s Center for Sports Surface Research, entitled ‘2014 World Cup Shoes – Traction Comparison’, has provided valuable information regarding the traction levels of commonly worn soccer cleats on both natural and synthetic turf.

October 8, 2013

Tom Avril, writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, recently traveled to Penn State to learn about the research at the Center for Sports Surface Research. His article describes traction testing at Penn State including the newly released traction database.

September 19, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Athletes looking to maximize performance on the playing field sometimes seek footwear that provides the best traction. But it's important to balance the need for good traction with the risk of injury, according to turfgrass researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

June 4, 2013

Throughout this series, we will focus on a sometimes overlooked but critical component affecting the safety and performance for athletes of all ages – the playing surface.

March 14, 2013

Can turf-type tall fescue be established on an athletic field during the summer and be ready for fall play? Is perennial ryegrass a better choice for summer establishment? Find out the details of our study that focused on turf-type tall fescue use on athletic fields.

February 21, 2013

The Big Ten Network show BTN LiveB1G recently featured Penn State's Center for Sports Surface Research.

February 21, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Three teams of Penn State students recently competed in the Sports Turf Managers Student Challenge, and two earned Top-3 finishes in their divisions.

January 20, 2012

In addition to the monofilament synthetic turf wear testing program currently underway, Penn State’s Center for Sports Surface Research is now offering a few lucky facilities the opportunity to have a sample of their new slit-film fiber fields tested for upright fiber wear resistance.

September 7, 2011

In the past, synthetic turf was blamed for contributing to athlete injuries. But, as synthetic turf has evolved into a surface that more closely resembles grass, has injury risk changed? In this edition of the Sportsturf Scoop, we look at the latest research comparing injury rates on infilled synthetic turf and natural grass.

June 30, 2011

Gmax is one of the most commonly tested characteristics of athletic fields. But, what does a Gmax test tell us? What is the science behind the testing? In this edition of the Sportsturf Scoop, we address those questions and more as we breakdown the process of this important test.

June 7, 2011

The next video in our Sportsturf Scoop series examines one of the biggest issues with synthetic turf – high surface temperature. In this video, we look at reasons why these surfaces get hot and under what weather conditions peak temperatures are reached. We also focus on the effectiveness of attempts to reduce surface temperature along with current research we are conducting here at Penn State.

May 27, 2011

Penn State’s Center for Sports Surface Research is offering a few lucky facilities the opportunity to have a sample of their new field tested for upright fiber wear resistance. The data will be compiled in an online database and be available to the public. If you are installing a new field at your facility and would like to be considered for our testing, all you have to do is fill out this form. You will also be required to collect a sample at your facility and mail it to us. Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to test all fields being installed but plan to test several of each and every monofilament product being installed in today’s market place. We plan to test several samples from each available product each year. Currently, we will only be accepting monofilament products. Email us at for more details.

January 24, 2011

This year's national Sports Turf Manager's Association annual conference was recently held in Austin, TX. Besides professors, Turfgrass staff, and Beaver Stadium grounds personnel, Penn State sent 19 students including 12 undergraduates from the 4-year turf program, 4 two-year turf students, and 3 turf science graduate students. These students traveled to the event to either compete in the SAFE Foundation's Student Challenge or receive a SAFE Scholarship or both. We took a couple graduate students to help manage/coach the undergraduate students.