How Long Is A Track Around A Football Field Use Rubber Mats to Protect Your Track From Unnecessary Cleat Damage

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Use Rubber Mats to Protect Your Track From Unnecessary Cleat Damage

Summer is approaching and football practice is starting at many high schools and colleges. Practicing soccer means walking—hundreds of feet each day—crossing the oval track that often surrounds school soccer fields. Running tracks can cost a small fortune and they look good. How well they stay beautiful depends on the measures taken to protect the track surface. Consider using rubber floor mats to protect your driveway.

Floor mats can be used to prevent damage to the track from football players, lawn care machines and other types of equipment that are required to move onto the infield. Until damage and expensive repairs are required, road protection is often an afterthought or not considered at all. Protection methods used may include placing plywood over the track, carpet scraps, or any other product not designed to protect the substrate underneath.

Plywood is heavy, warps over time, and is not very attractive. Coaches or athletic directors have to “remember” to put the plywood in, take it out, and find someone to do that permanent job. Plywood that bends presents a risk of buckling, which can cause injury. Finally, if your school has invested big dollars in track, stadium, field painting, and big game decorations, damaged plywood tends to detract from the entire experience.

Using carpet scraps can work a few times, but not for long. Carpets exposed to the elements get heavy, muddy, and begin to degrade. High winds can also damage carpets and plywood. Mother nature is hard to control. The answer to this problem is to use floor mats or rubber mats that have certain characteristics:

Low profile – The rubber bands should be thin so that they do not fall in front and the wind does not blow and the product does not rotate.

Portability – If the floorboards are too heavy, the weight creates another barrier to use. It would be better if the floorboards could be rolled up for ease of use and retrieval.

Continuity – Texts must withstand keyboards, lawn equipment and tractors. Rubber mats offer this durability.

Safe COF – The coefficient of friction COF means that floorboards must provide a safe walking surface that is not slippery – even when wet. Plywood can be slippery, just like carpet, especially in wet or icy conditions.

The use of floor boards can provide protection for field roads. Most floorboards are low profile, portable and provide an acceptable coefficient of friction (COF). Unfortunately, there are hundreds of boards to choose from. What type or types of floorboards offer the best solution?

My suggestion is to consider rubber mats only. Many floorboards have a backing that looks like rubber but is actually vinyl. Vinyl degrades, breaks and disintegrates over time. Vinyl floor tiles lose their memory and won’t stay flat if they are folded and unfolded many times (especially when it’s cold). If you’ve seen floorboards with jagged edges or jagged edges, it’s probably vinyl, not rubber.

Floor tiles usually have carpet or some type of fabric on them. This feature is great for adding color, but does nothing to the functionality of the product. My recommendation is to use a rubber mat with no carpet or fabric on it.

Rubber pads offer a great coefficient of friction, are easy to roll (Portability), very durable and offer a very low profile if used in 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch gauge. Rubber pans are heavy enough to stay in place, but not so heavy that they can’t be easily moved. Some rubber floor mats offer a ribbed or pyramid surface for “safety”. This is a feature that is not needed, because the rubber already offers a safe level of behavior. These cones and cones can actually hold water and freeze, creating a slipping hazard in icy conditions, especially with coated fabric.

When choosing a product to protect your track, you may want to consider a rubber mat such as Track Shield or some other type of thin rubber mat. Products like these are durable and offer portability that allows floorboards to be used for a variety of applications while protecting the floor or substrate.

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