In the order to answer the thesis statement of this study as to which playing surface- third generation artificial turf or grass is safer and has lower injury risk in playing football, the researcher will get data from NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association especially that NCAA keeps records on injury and related incidents for every football matches participated in by leading universities for their surveys on injury and some related incidents. The researcher will take five teams from male and female category from each season for 2010 and 2011. Hence, a total of 20 teams will be the respondents. Further, records of injury risks and incident which occurred during the pre-season, in-season and post-season will also be included on the assessment of the data for injury of football matches which were done on third generation artificial turf and grass.
Using the meta-analysis, the following points will be addressed: a) comparison on acute injuries during football matches and/ or training on a third-generation artificial turf surfaces with that matches done over grass surfaces; b) examine players who played on both surfaces instead of teams that utilized surfaces respectively; c) use injury definition as described by Fuller et.al (2010), and d) record the exposure of the teams in terms of time and injury occurrences in artificial turf and in natural grass.
The research will used the method used by Soligard, Bahr & Andersen (2010) wherein records from the coaches and referees regarding the injuries and incidents that occurred were utilized. Hence, the researcher will obtain records of each football team from their trainers/coach or health professionals in order to assess and analyze details about the severity and types of injury cases which occurred during the matches and trainings. Other factors to be noted in the research are the playing condition both during training and on the actual match, gender and the age of the players playing for all the selected teams. Moreover, the values for all acute injuries regardless of its type will also be recorded. Injuries of specific types and locations which were found to be consistent injury cases in most of the researches conducted will be studied in this research. These injuries include acute knee injuries, ankle and foot injuries, sprains, and muscle strains.
In order to avoid biases and inconsistencies in the study, each respondent teams will be given manual regarding the terminologies used in the study and on the necessary information and examples of scenarios which are relevant to the study conducted (Ekstrand, Hagglundi & Fuller, 2010). Reporting and regular feed backing will be done monthly in order to improve accuracy and consistency of reports (Dragoo, Jason & Braun, 2010).
In the assessment of the data, incidents of the crude injury rates will be computed through the utilization of the unweighted sum of the recorded total injuries and exposures of time from all the selected teams. Initially, the entire data set for injury incidence rate will be computed. The data will then be categorized based on condition (training or match), gender (male or female) and age (young or adult) (Wright & Webner, 2010). Statistical analyses on adjusted injury incidence rate ratios (IRR) on both games played on artificial turfs and on natural grass will then be performed. The specific statistical tool to be used is the Mantel-Haenzel method in order to obtain the fixed effects (Ekstrand, Timpka& Hagglund, 2006). Further, the lower 95% confidence intervals will also be computed. A significance of 0.05 level will be established.
Dragoo, Jason and Braun, Hillary. (2010). The Effect of Playing Surface on Injury Rate. A review of the Current Literature. SportsMed. (pdf).
FIFA (2009). FIFA quality concept for football turf: Handbook of requirements. Zurich: FIFA.
Ekstrand, J., Gglundi, M. Ha. and Fuller, C.W. (2010). Comparison of injuries sustained on artificial turf and grass by male and female elite football players. Sweden: John Wiley and Sons. (pdf).
Ekstrand, Jan, Timpka, Toomas and Hagglund, Martin. (2006). Risk of Injury in Elite Football Played on Artificial Turf Versus Natural Grass: A Prospective Two- Cohort Study. [pdf]. Retrieved from: http://www.diva- portal.org/smash/get/diva2:207584/FULLTEXT01.pdf
Soligard, T., Bahr, R. and Andersen, T.E. (2010). Injury Risk on Artificial Turf and Grass in Youth Tournament Football. Norway: John Wiley and Sons. (pdf).
Wright, Justir M. and Webner, David. (2010). Playing Field Issues in Sports Medicine. PA: American College of Sports Medicine. (pdf).