Skip to Content

Insider Blog: Super Bowl turf has impacts on gameplay

Many remember last year's Super Bowl not just for some great plays but because of a few mishaps on the field. Super Bowl LVII coverage was full of players slipping and sliding over the turf, sometimes with no contact or obvious reason at all. This had many shaking their head, and others preparing to prevent the same problems this year.

There's no perfect answer to what caused players to fall so much last year, but several ideas. A direct focus of this controversy has been the field itself, as the NFL introduced a brand new hybrid grass surface for last year's big game. Many saw firsthand how this turf fell short for football's biggest night.

The turf for Super Bowl LVII was a new bermuda grass hybrid known as Tahoma 41 that was meant to be more durable. This also included a sprinkling of rye grass to keep the field looking fuller and greener. However, I reached out to Jim Keeven who owns and operates Selecturf in Jefferson City who says this may have not been the best terrain for football. He says in general, any synthetic or hybrid turf will be more slick than a natural grass surface. This is due to traction but also the ability of different grasses to absorb different levels of moisture. Some also suspect excess moisture caused the players to slip more during the last Bowl game.

Above all, Keeven highlights that activity on the turf before the game may have also had a big impact. As more practices are underway on the field in the days leading up, it's more difficult to keep the grass in pristine condition. By the time the big game rolled around, the turf may have been already compromised. The NFL is taking extra precautions this year to monitor the surface ahead of the game to keep the grass in better shape.

Article Topic Follows: Insider Blog

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Nate Splater

Nate forecasts on the weekend edition of ABC 17 News This Morning on KMIZ and FOX 22, KQFX.


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content