In order to evaluate which sports floor surface to choose according to the use of a facility, ASTM International developed in 2009 a specific standard for North American market: the ASTM F2772. It is based on four criterias that together determine minimum requirements for a safe surface.
A quality floor with a superior level of shock absorption will reduce the rate of joint injuries that athletes can develop over time. This type of injury, often related to overuse or too hard surface, is among the most common. High performance athletes who run, jump, change direction quickly and pivot will appreciate a surface that absorbs better and it will also be highly preferable for growing young athletes.
While a quality flooring system cannot prevent accidental injury, it will reduce the impact during falls and limit the chances of chronic injury as well as the severity of some accidents.
This criterion measures the amount of give of the surface which means the ability of the floor to adjust vertically as an athlete jumps or falls on the court. Too much vertical deformation is not ideal for high performance athletes as the floor will absorb their running energy and can feel like running in sand, which will tire the athlete. On the other hand, not enough vertical deformation is harder and could lead to injuries.
The right amount of give depends on the purpose of the facility. Your local Funktion dealer can help you determine the right surface for you.
Another major cause of injury is slipping on a surface when the surface does not have enough traction. Athletes playing basketball or tennis for example change direction quickly and they need to be able to do their movements easily on a surface that provides good traction. Conversely, a surface that is too adherent will have an effect of blocking some movements and can be dangerous, hence the importance of selecting a quality floor that meets the ASTM F2772 standard with a sliding coefficient between 80 and 110. This standard ensures that there is a good balance between sliding and traction.
However, no matter what surface you choose, daily maintenance is essential to avoid slipping on the floor and getting injured.
The last criterion of the standard is the ball rebound. It is mainly related to the practice of basketball and determines the ball’s behavior when dribbling for ideal playability. No matter where the player is on the court, he needs to be confident that the ball bounce will be the same everywhere. Rebound must be precise and uniform to allow athletes to perform with a minimum percentage of 90% compared to the rebound on concrete.
The human eye can perceive a 2 mil indentation. ASTM F970 does not mean that there is no indentation in the product, on the contrary, it defines the acceptable amount. That is, less than 5 mils.