Competitive team sports like basketball and volleyball are meant to push individuals to new heights of physical fitness and mental toughness, particularly for young athletes. But, the one thing that can bring all those benefits to a crashing halt is an injury. A sprained ankle caused be an uneven surface or shin splints from an unforgiving floor can stop a player’s development abruptly; torn ligaments or broken bones might even end a promising athletic career before it starts.
Can a sports floor prevent all injuries? No, but a well designed sports floor can make them less likely. That’s where ASTM F2772 comes in. Some properties like surface friction and vertical deformation are meant to insure performance and uniformity; if athletes know what to expect from the floor, they’re less likely to lose their footing and fall. ASTM F2772 also measures force reduction, which is also called shock absorption. Force reduction reduces stress injuries, like shin splints—the painful burning around in the shins (medial tibial stress syndrome) that runners get from hard surfaces like concrete.
As designers of athletic spaces, it is essential that we only use gym floors that meet standards like ASTM F2772. Although we can’t prevent a season ending injury, we can certainly create the conditions to make it less likely.
For more information about the ASTM F2772 standard and other sports floor safety considerations, consider scheduling an AIA Continuing Education Course from Abacus Sports. Contact us at 717-560-8050.