Friday, May 18, 2007

Plastic dirt and grass

Somehow, the thought of football in Wisconsin being played on something other than grass (outside of Madison where grass is smoked) just somehow seems wrong. However, the Kettle Moraine school district is trying to overcome that natural prejudice and raise the money privately for a new football field.

It's not just a football field. As the Lake Country Reporter describes it,

The football field, now a regular grass surface, is used by the five high school football teams, physical education classes, the marching band, other athletics such as softball, soccer and lacrosse, and other school and community activities.
And it's not the artificial turf that sports fan have come to know and despise.
At least three generations of development after the original AstroTurf, which was artificial grass over a thin layer of rubber over asphalt, the new ProGrass is more durable and easier on athlete's bodies.

ProGrass consists of artificial grass fibers over layers of sand and pellets made from recycled rubber, gravel and a drainage option.
The injury statistical profile is different, too.
Laux said statistics show the number of scrapes and bruises increase on an artificial field, but serious injuries - those that could sideline a player for five to 20 days - decrease.

Athletes described artificial fields as having more give, more elasticity that helps with traction and cushioning.
Of course, there's one problem that could affect player safety.
Of the $120,000 already raised, the largest contribution, $15,000, came from Town Bank. Large donors will be recognized on a monument at the new field.
That's going to make it hell on wide receivers going over the middle, isn't it?

The effort to privately raise the money for a new football field hasn't been without some controversy. The school district announced earlier this year they were making $1.2 million in program cutbacks, about the same time the Kettle Moraine Field Project Committee sent out their initial fundraising letter.

We wish the Kettle Moraine school district well and hope they succeed in raising the money.

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