Hot turf in Ohio

The grounds staff of the Columbus Crew used a handheld infrared thermometer that revealed the disparity among pavement, natural turf and synthetic infilled turf on an 85 F clear day. The pavement is 115F, the natural turf 98F and the synthetic turf at 158F. Of course this is the kind of information turf managers should be
providing the users of the turf, recognizing there are
not many options. This recent observation supports
much of the research that has been conducted on
surface heating. Mitigating these temperatures is not
easy nor is it long lasting. Some have suggested a
new type of infill “cool fill” as it is often referred to
reduce surface heating. Others recommend irrigating
the surface to reduce temperatures. The Penn State
Center for Sports Surface Research has been
evaluating these issues over the last several years and
has concluded that there are different infill materials
that do heat less but for practical purposes still warm
above 135F as compared to 145F without the cool fill.
Second, irrigating synthetic turf for cooling provides
an immediate and short-lived benefit that mitigates
the surface temperature for 15-30 minutes before it
returns to its pre-wet state. It is best to offer athletes natural turf in the current warm weather conditions as there remains no solid solution for high heat stress conditions created on synthetic turf fields.