BACKGROUND Artificial turf is increasingly used in professional and collegiate sports due to cost and maintenance benefits. There is emerging evidence that differences in the sports field surface characteristics have considerable impact on the athletes’ biomechanics. Such biomechanical influences may result in variations in sport performance and injury rates in these athletes. This study investigates the impact of moving from one surface type to another (natural grass (G) vs. artificial turf (T)) on injury rates among American football athletes. METHODS Data on 700 first- and second-round drafted NFL athletes (2012-2022), their collegiate and professional stadium surfaces, and injuries were collected. For each athlete, a 4-factor category variable was included to capture their collegiate to professional teams’ surfaces (G to G; G to T; T to G; and T to T), and a 5-factor category variable that grouped the athlete based on his position (chase, evasive, linemen, QB, K). Chi-Square Test of Independence (χ2 test) and logistic regression were used to analyze the association between surface differences, position groups, and injury. Results are reported as probability of injury occurring in odds ratios (OR), and statistical significance alpha was set to 0.05. RESULTS 433 athletes suffering a LE injury that resulted in a minimum of 1 game absence (GG=126, GT=119, TG=107, TT=81) were included in the statistical analysis. No statistical significance was found in χ2 test results (p=0.61). Compared to GG, injury OR were 2.05 times higher in GT, and 1.87 in TG and TT. Among position groups on GG, evasive group’s injury OR were highest, followed by linemen, evasive, and then QB. When evaluating the interaction between surface and position group influencing injury, the injury OR were 6.49 higher for QBs in GT surface category than chase group in GG. There was no statistical significance for the effect of any combination of surface and position categories with injury. CONCLUSIONS Field surface type impacts athletes’ biomechanics, potentially leading to non-contact sports injuries. Athletes transitioning from collegiate to NFL on different surfaces had over 2 times higher injury odds. However, no statistical significance was found. Future research could further stratify the group to examine the impact of field surface type on injury and performance.

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