SPORTSURF 8th Workshop

The 8th SportSURF workshop was held on Wednesday 15th June 2011 at Halifax Conference Venue, University of Sheffield, UK. The focus of the workshop was to ‘Bridging the gap between human loading and mechanical test methods’.

This one day event comprised a focused seminar aiming to bridge the gap between our current knowledge of human loading on sport surfaces and the mechanical test methods for sport surfaces. Current practice and recent research findings were presented, as indicated in the programme, regarding primarily tennis and soccer, and including natural and artificial turf. The panel discussion at the end raised many interesting questions and both the challenges of human testing and the need for careful consideration of the aims of mechanical testing (e.g. for compliance, safety, performance...). There was a positive discussion on the progress made in more recent collaborations between biomechanical researchers and sport surface engineers/scientists. Key outcomes of this discussion included:

  • Biomechanical testing can be used effectively to provide boundary conditions for mechanical testing,
  • The practical feasibility of any mechanical tests needs to be considered (repeatability, cost, equipment size, testing time),
  • Detailed mechanical characterisation of surfaces will allow the influence of systematic changes in properties to be studied in human testing, increasing knowledge of human adaptation to different surface conditions,
  • The different requirements of elite and lower level performers should be considered (performance, health etc),
  • Communication of research to industry in an appropriate manner is critical,
  • There is a need to consider the role of sports governing bodies in the development of test methods and the enforcement of these.

25 delegates attended the workshop from both industry and academic backgrounds. The presentations given at the workshop are accessed from the link below.

Please note: these presentations are for viewing only, the data/figures/information remain the copyright of the authors. In some cases the content has been modified, and no presentations are available from Professor Len Nokes for confidentiality reasons.

If you would like any other information from the workshop please contact the network manager on