MEASURING THE TRACTION PROFILE ON SPORTSFIELDS: EQUIPMENT DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING

M.B. Roche, D.S. Loch, R.E. Poulter, L.C. Zeller
Traction is recognised as an important component of the overall playability and safety of a sportsfield. It relates to the "grip", or footing, provided through an athlete’s shoe when in contact with the surface, and is normally measured by the torque generated when a weighted studded disc apparatus is dropped onto the turf and twisted manually. This paper describes the development of an automated traction tester, which mechanises the dropping and twisting of the weighted studded disc. By standardising these operational stages, more repeatable and reliable results can be expected than from the original hand-operated design where positioning of the disc and speed of rotation are controlled manually and so can vary from one measurement to the next. As well as measuring the maximum torque reached during rotation of the studded disc, the automated traction tester generates a profile of torque showing changes over time and calculates the angle through which the studded disc moved before reaching maximum torque. These aspects are now covered by a utility patent (PAT/AU/2004270767). Use of the automated traction tester is illustrated by comparative data for a range of warm-season turfgrasses, by comparisons of traction under different surface conditions generated by wear on Cynodon dactylon cultivars, and by the effects of environment, management and playing patterns on traction across a multi-use sports stadium.
Roche, M.B., Loch, D.S., Poulter, R.E. and Zeller, L.C. 2008. MEASURING THE TRACTION PROFILE ON SPORTSFIELDS: EQUIPMENT DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 783:399-414
http://www.actahort.org/books/783/783_42.htm
traction, torque, warm-season grasse
English

Acta Horticulturae