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This study examined the influence of 12 different synthetic sport surfaces (bitumen, concrete, 3 samples of synthetic grass, and 7 samples of rubber surfaces) on ground reaction forces at landing in netball. Ground reaction force data were obtained for 10 skilled netball players at landing after performing a typical attacking netball movement pattern. Force–time histories of the maximum peak vertical ground reaction forces (VGRF), the initial peak VGRF, and peak braking forces were determined for each trial. Results of the a priori planned comparison analysis indicated that subjects demonstrated significantly longer time to maximum peak VGRF and initial peak VGRF when landing on grass, higher peak braking forces when landing on bitumen and concrete combined, and a significantly shorter time to peak braking force when landing on grass in comparison to other samples tested. It was concluded that the rubber surfaces tested demonstrated the potential for being the most suitable playing surface for minimization of injuries in netball.
Julie R. Steele and Peter D. Milburn are with the Department of Human Movement and Sports Science, The University of Wollongong, PO Box 1144, Wollongong, N.S.W. 2500, Australia.