The Importance of Gym Floor Maintenance

Basketball Tournament Gone Wrong


A friendly basketball tournament in Wisconsin took a turn for worse a few weeks ago when a 14 year-old 8th grader was impaled by a piece of the wood gym floor. The court is located in Middleton Fieldhouse in Wisconsin and was hosting a 34-team basketball tournament. The young woman was impaled by a 3-4 inch sliver of wood that became dislodged as she slid across the floor. She suffered no internal damage and is expected to make a full recovery. This most likely could’ve been prevented had the floor been checked for quality or had proper gym floor maintenance.

It’s important to remember gym floor maintenance techniques so that an incident like this doesn’t occur at your own gymnasium. A thorough dust sweeping every morning should be a routine activity for the caretaker of the floor. The dust has settled over night and if not cleaned, it could cause small scratching on your floors when someone walks on the surface. Not only should a sweeping occur daily, but a damp wash should also take place on a regular basis. Over time, scuffs and stains will be present on a gym floor, it is important to use specific cleaning supplies given by your installer to remove these blemishes.

A re-coat is crucial for a floor’s upkeep and appearance. It is recommended that a floor be re-coated every year, but it’s understandable that some organizations do not have enough money in their budget for a yearly coating. A re-coat gives the floor a fresh new look but it also helps repair any damages to the finish. It is important to remove any blemishes on the floor before hand or else they will be coated over again and the same blemishes will be permanent.

Inspections and maintenance should be performed on all sports flooring on a regular basis, and especially before a large tournament. A thorough inspection and/or prior upkeep of the floor would have prevented this incident from happening. Clearly there was a structural issue with the specific floor board in question, an issue that would have been spotted during pre-tournament inspection.

Although this is an extreme example of what can happen when a floor is neglected, it still serves as an excellent reminder that proper care and maintenance are essential to maintaining a fully functioning and safe facility.


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