The inaugural SportSURF Conference:

Science, Technology and Research into Sport Surfaces (STARSS)

17th & 18th September 2007

Was held at Loughborough University, UK

The inaugural SportSURF conference was held at Loughborough University on the 17th and 18th September 2007. Both days of the conference were attended well with over 70 delegates from across the world.

A CD proceedings of the conference was produced which includes all papers given at the conference. If you would like a copy of the CD (ISBN 978-1-897911-30-3) please contact me at for further information.

The conference was split into 6 sessions with a number of presentations given during each. Below you can download a copy of each presentations given during the conference. The organisers would like to thank all the authors for permission to make their presentations available on this site. Reproduction of these presentations is not allowed without the authors permission.

1.    Biomechanics

Dr V Stiles: Biomechanical Response to Variations in Natural Turf Surfaces During Running and Turning

Dr K Meijer: The Influences of Soccer Pitch Stiffness on Biomechanical Loading of the Lower Limb

Dr M Carre: Relevance of Mechanical Tests to the Traction of Studded Footwear on Surfaces

2.    Maintenance and Environment

Mr Mike Abbott: The Importance of Maintenance

Dr I James: The Effect of Particulate Contamination on the Infiltration Rates of Synthetic Turf Surfaces

Mrs M Sanchis: Study on the Effect of Maintenance Operations and Season on the Traction of Natural Grass Pitches

Mr A Walker: Grass is Not Always Greener: The Application of Life Cycle Assessment to Natural and Artificial Turf Sports Surfaces

Dr M Bartlett: Engineering soil profiles to reduce earthworm populations

3.    Test Methods

Mr Alastair Cox: Current and New Test Methods

Mr R Verhelst: Development of a Setup for the Study of Ball Roll Behaviour in Soccer on Artificial Turf

Dr C Young: A Review of Mechanical Impact Testing Devices for Sport Surfaces

4.    Measurements and Modelling

Dr C Walker: Computational Modelling of Athlete-Surface Interactions

Mr Hans Cappon: Multiturf: Innovation in Multifunctional Artificial Turf Fields for Sports

Mr Manuel Forero Rueda: Racetrack Turf Impact Measurements for Jockey Head Injury Risk Analysis

Mr E O'Donnel: Using the Lightweight Deflectometer to Evaluate Sport Surfaces

Ms K Severn: Temporal and Spatial Investigations on Water Based Hockey Fields

Prof. P Strying: Reduction of Friction on Artificial Ski Surfaces: Athlete-surfaces Interactions

5.    Yarns and Carpet

Peter Van Reyen: Desso Ltd

Mr R Verhelst: The Sliding Tester: A New Device for Artificial Turf

Mr S Rambour: A New Method to Test the Resilience of a Yarn for Application in Artificial Turf

Mrs M Sanchis: Reference Model for the Development of the Artificial Grass as a Surface for Golf Practice

Rene Koerhuis: TenCate Thiolon

6.    Governing Bodies Session

Bruce Cruse - The ECB

Steve Williams - The FA

Jean Claude Le Clef - The FIH

Geoff Webb - The IOG

Simon Winman - The RFU

Previous information from the conference:

Conference Programme – Day 1

17th September 2007

09:00 – 09:45 Registration


09:45 – 10:00 Welcome Talk – Dr Paul Fleming (Network Manager)

Welcome to Loughborough, SportSURF Background

Conference Information

10:00 – 11:00 Keynote Presentation 1 – Dr M Shorten (Biomechanica)

Sports Surfaces and Injury: The Missing Links

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee Break
11:15 – 12:15 Session 1 – Biomechanics

1.1. Biomechanical response to variations in natural turf surfaces during running and turning

1.2. The influences of soccer pitch stiffness on biomechanical loading of the lower limb

1.3. Relevance of mechanical tests to the traction of studded footwear on surfaces

12:15 – 13:00 Lunch

Poster Displays and Exhibition

13:00 – 14:30 Session 2 – Test Methods

Invited Speaker: Alastair Cox (Labosport UK) – Current and new test methods

2.1. Development of a setup for the study of ball roll behaviour in soccer on artificial turf

2.2. Design, manufacture and performance of an in-situ artificial sports surface shockpad tester

2.3. Dynamic vs. mechanical testing of golf shoe-sole interface designs on a natural grass surface

14:30 – 15:00 Coffee Break
15:00 – 16:30 Session 3 – Maintenance

Invited Speaker: Mike Abbott (SAPCA) – The importance of maintenance

3.1. The effect of particulate contamination on the infiltration rates of synthetic turf surfaces

3.2. Study on the effect of maintenance operations and season on the traction of natural grass pitches

3.3. Temporal and Spatial Investigations on water based hockey fields

16:30 – 18:00 The Future of Sports Surfaces:

Trade Organisations and Sports Governing Bodies Forum

A special session with key policy makers including Steve Williams (The FA), Simon Winman (RFU), Geoff Webb (IOG), Chris Tricky (SAPCA), Roger Webb (FIH), Ben Woods – TBC (Sport England) and others to be confirmed soon.

18:00 – 19:00 Free Time
19:00 – Late Evening Meal

Including guest speaker (TBC) and entertainment

Conference Programme – day 2

18th September 2007

09:30 – 11:00 Session 4: Yarns and Carpet

Invited Speaker: Peter Van Reyen (Desso Ltd)

4.1. The sliding tester: a new device for artificial turf

4.2. A new method to test the resilience of a yarn for application in artificial turf

4.3. Study of users perceptions; water based pitches vs. sand dressed pitches in the UK

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 – 12:30 Keynote Presentation 2 – Dr C Walker

Computational Modelling of Athlete-Surface Interactions

12:30 – 13:30 Session 5: Measurements and Modelling

5.1. A critique of current impact devices

5.2. Multiturf: innovation in multifunctional artificial turf fields for sports

5.3. Racetrack turf impact measurements for jockey head injury risk analysis

13:30 – 14:30 Lunch

Poster Displays and Exhibition

14:30 – 15:50 Session 6 – Miscellaneous

6.1. Reference model for the development of the artificial grass as surface for golf practice

6.2. Reduction of friction on artificial ski surfaces: athlete-surfaces interactions

6.3. The grass is not always greener: the application of ecological footprint analysis in the sports flooring industry

6.4. Engineering soil profiles to reduce earthworm populations

15:50 – 16:20 Coffee Break
16:20 – 17:00 Closing Remarks – Dr P Fleming

Conference Summary – Research Knowledge and Gaps

Please note: the programme is subject to change

Conference Details:

This is the first of a new biennial conference for those interested and involved in sport surfaces. Its inception is borne out of the successful SportSURF network, bringing together many academic disciplines and industrial parties to discuss and formulate research needs for sport surfaces of the future. The conference aims to provide a unique opportunity for the discussion of current research ideas and findings, dissemination of current practice and the transfer of technology and ideas between attendees from the academic and industrial communities.

The specific objectives are:

         To establish the ‘STARSS’ conference as an enjoyable and valuable addition to the sport technology calendar.

         To further establish the SportSURF network as an international community of sport surface researchers and practitioners.

         To disseminate current high quality research from around the world.

         To provide an opportunity to all attendees for networking, and encourage young researchers to present their research.

         To identify coherent research needs for the future benefit of the sport surfaces community.

 Who Should Attend?

The conference is aimed at those involved in all aspects of sports surfaces including: academic research; industrial research; facility design & procurement; construction, management/operation and funding; sport governance; accredited surface testing; standardisation; player/athlete coaching and welfare; and sport medical sciences.

Organisation Committee

The conference is being run and sponsored by the SportSURF network. The conference committee comprises:

Dr Paul Fleming – Loughborough University

Dr Matt Carre – Sheffield University

Dr Iain James – Cranfield University

Dr Colin Walker – Strathclyde University

Dr Sharon Dixon – Exeter University

Prof Mark Batt – Queens Medical Centre

Mr Mike Abbott – SAPCA