gym floors keep athletes safe

How Gym Floors Keep Athletes Safe from Injury

Whether you’re running a high school squad or a pro basketball team, you want your players to be safe when giving their all on the court.  Most coaches are concerned with how the games are played, especially in contact sports. One more factor significantly impacts the players’ safety when competing – the gym floor.  In this post, we’ll talk about just how much a quality hardwood gym floor can impact on injury rates and player conditioning.

The Importance of a Quality Gym Floor to Keep Athletes Safe

When it comes to determining the quality of an indoor gym floor, the current guidelines are specified by the American Society for Testing and Materials in their ASFM F2772 rules.  If you’re interested in learning more about the specific standards, we recommend you read their guidelines.

On this page, we won’t delve too far into the numbers.  Instead, we’ll focus on how a top-standard gym floor can reduce the likelihood of player injury.  Let’s get into the specifics of how quality gym floors keep athletes safe. 

Improved Traction Prevents Injuries 

In fast-paced sports that require a lot of jumping and quick movement changes, proper traction is vital in preventing injuries.  Gym floors that fail to provide adequate traction, or have too much friction, can cause players to slip, fall, and injure themselves.  For this reason, hardwood floors, especially high-quality ones used by professional teams, must adhere to precise specifications.

These requirements are outlined in great detail in the ASTM F2772, which defines recommended coefficients of friction for safe and secure player movement.  When replacing a gym floor, you’ll also want to consider what sports will primarily be played on your floor before choosing the surface.  The recommended hardwood floor standards indicate that the sliding coefficient value should be between 80 and 110 for sports like:

  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Handball
  • Indoor soccer.

Easier on the Player’s Joints

Just like traction, the right amount of shock absorption is critical for a quality hardwood floor.  A good sports floor with sufficient shock absorption capabilities helps reduce long-term joint problems in the players who use it.  Quality sports floors offer many health benefits for users of all ages.  Older players will feel less strain on their joints and ligaments. Younger players who are still growing will be much safer.

Basketball is the best example of an indoor sport that can be hard on the joints.  Running into another player, landing poorly, or falling hard can lead to severe injuries among basketball players.  The worst part about this is these injuries are purely incidental.  They also can’t be predicted and can lead to acute problems. Some players risk never fully healing from injuries.

A quality hardwood gym floor should have a shock absorption of at least 10%, and a minimum of 22%, if used for sports that are played on a high competition level.  Anything under these numbers is considered non-compliant with the ASTM F2772 criteria.  Indeed, gym floor surface is critical for athletes’ safety. But the subflooring also plays a significant part in the floor’s shock absorption capabilities.

More Stability

Another crucial factor that plays into both player safety and performance is vertical deformation. Vertical deformation refers to the floor’s ability to adjust to an athlete’s activities.  For example, how jumping or falling impact the floor.  The higher the quality of the basketball court floor, the better its vertical deformation capabilities will be.  However, more isn’t always better.  The floor must have the right amount of this ability. This all depends on the sports being played. Too much vertical deformation isn’t necessarily a good thing. 

While not enough vertical deformation increases the chance for player injury, too much can significantly affect how the game is played.  According to ASTM’s standards, the maximum vertical deformation of hardwood floors should be five millimeters.

Gym Floors with Reduced Noise Keep Athletes Safe

For some, acoustics are important. A quality gym floor that’s appropriately installed significantly reduces noise compared to regular courts.  Reducing noise will help players focus and help eliminate other distractions in the gym that could lead to accidents.  Besides the floor itself, the architectural design of your sports facility also has a significant impact on athlete safety and gameplay.

Hardwood maple sports floors offer the best performance when it comes to all of the factors mentioned above.  Hardwood maple sports floors also positively impact player performance, such as ball rebound, area deflection, and many other factors affecting the game.

Regular Gym Floor Maintenance Keeps Athlete Safe

Regularly maintaining your hardwood gym floor plays a major role in keeping your players safe. This is why you should mop your floor daily and use cleaning solutions recommended by your manufacturer.  Aside from this, there are quite a few things you can implement in your regular gym floor maintenance routine.  Of course, beyond basic maintenance, we recommend that you screen and recoat your gym floor annually, and sand and refinish it every 10 to 15 years.

Give Your Gym Floor the Best Treatment

If you’re looking to improve your sports facility, but you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the information on this page, don’t worry — we’re here for you!  We have extensive experience spanning for over a decade and a half and will help you make the best choice for your gym. We’ll ensure that your floor is the best and that it not only performs excellently, but is also safe for all who use it!

Regardless if you just need an annual screen and recoat, or are building an entirely new sports facility, contact us today!  Simply fill out our short online form or call us at (973) 801-7219 to request a proposal or schedule a consultation. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.