Horizontal and vertical reaction force testing for synthetic sports surfaces

Sandy Walker, Aleksandar Subic

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The changing nature of sports, and the need to play different sports in a wide range of climactic conditions, has led to sports being played on synthetic surfaces in place of natural surfaces. In recent years, there has been a trend towards the creation of multi-sport facilities and surfaces, where facility utilization is increased by offering a variety of sports such as netball, basketball, indoor soccer, volleyball, inline hockey and martial arts, all being played on the same surface. The “one size fits all” approach to multi-sport surfaces may not however be appropriate from an injury prevention perspective, due to the different performance needs of different sports. For this reason, sports are now played on a variety of point elastic, multi-layer, synthetic sports surfaces. Sports surfaces can therefore be highly complex structures, often constructed from many elements which contribute to compound behaviour patterns. Despite such a wide range of playing surfaces, there is a lack of knowledge relating to the suitability and performance of various surfaces for specific sports. In order to improve the understanding of sports surfaces and help quantify their performance characteristics and injury prevention potential, an angular, mechanical impact device has been developed in this research, which can strike a sports surface with a controlled mass at different angles to measure the resultant horizontal and vertical forces generated. It is the aim of this paper to review the performance of this impact device, illustrate its effectiveness and validity in determining horizontal and vertical reaction force attenuation effectiveness and assess the potential to evaluate injury risk on different sports surfaces, and in particular for netball.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)34-42
    Number of pages9
    JournalSports Technology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Ground reaction force
    • Horizontal
    • Impact
    • Injury risk
    • Netball
    • Sport surface
    • Test
    • Vertical


    Dive into the research topics of 'Horizontal and vertical reaction force testing for synthetic sports surfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this