The recent meeting for SAD 51’s proposed $3 million artificial turf field misled the public.

One of the doctors tasked with discussing the safety of turf fields stated that there really is no difference between injury rates on turf fields versus natural grass. The first sentence of the conclusion in the article he referenced is, “The available body of literature suggests a higher rate of foot and ankle injuries on artificial turf, both old-generation and new-generation turf, compared with natural grass.” Another article specifically studying high school athletes showed a 58% increase in injuries on turf fields. Many professional athletic organizations including the FIFA and NFLPA now call for a return to natural grass to avoid catastrophic injury. SAD 51 voters should ask, does the convenience of a turf field outweigh the cost of a season- (or career-) ending ACL tear or other catastrophic injury? It is a nuanced subject. I urge the district to separate the new school project from the turf field project and let the voters decide.

Sean McCloy
Cumberland

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