Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Ronald Bucinell




playing, surface, turf, injuries, surfaces


Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries have become more common in athletes over the past decade which is believed to result from playing on more artificial turf surfaces. This study tested the playing surface theory by building upon a previous study conducted with Albany Medical Center which tested surface samples using an axial-torsion load frame located at Union College. The motion that causes most ACL noncontact injuries is replicated by the load frame which pushes and rotates a shoe against the playing surface and measures the torque it experiences. The foot position, normal load, degree of rotation and rate of rotation were set to comply with ASTM standards. Four types of soccer shoes: round studded, bladed studded, soft ground, and turf shoes were fit on to a prosthetic foot to be tested. Kentucky bluegrass, new and old artificial turf with rubber infill, and gym turf were the playing surfaces considered. Each combination of shoe type and playing surface was tested five times and the average of those five trials was analyzed. It was determined that natural grass provides the traction needed for game play without reaching dangerous torque levels and has appropriate cushion to limit impact joint injuries in players. In addition, round studded cleats provide traction and relatively low torque on both natural and artificial turf surfaces. The results will allow players to choose an appropriate shoe for the surface being played on and influence what types of playing surfaces are installed, ideally reducing the number of ACL injuries in soccer players.