ASTC Director Matt Roche recently attended the 2016 Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) Conference which was held in San Diego, USA 19-22 Jan. A clear focus of the Conference was on player safety. Two areas in particular that were highlighted during the numerous presentations made by keynote speakers were on injury prevention and shoe-to-surface interaction of the athlete and the turfgrass. During the presentations made by some of America’s leading scientists and biomechanical experts one tool was commonly referenced: The Turf-Tech Shear Strength (Shear Vane) Tester. The Shear Strength Tester, also known as a shear vane apparatus, allows the operator to assess the stability of a sports field or natural turf root system. In addition to shear vane testing, the Turf-Tec Shear Strength Tester can also be used to test the types and depth of cleats that will perform best in a sports field and environment. This includes home and away or training and game day venues. Knowing the correct cleat for play is to ensure proper footing during fixtures or training and will also reduce slipping and create safer playing environments for athletes. Following discussions with several leading researchers and having met with Ground Managers of elite venues from across the USA, they are happy with how the Shear Strength Tester has performed as a measuring tool. The NFL also had guidelines in place where Ground Managers of elite venues are to assess their fields before and after fixtures using the Shear Strength Tester and other tools to report on the turf performance and safety parameters. During the STMA Conference ASTC ordered the delivery of a Shear Strength Tester for experimental use and for testing of surfaces within major stadia and community sports fields across Australia . The tool which arrived in Oz in early February is the first unit to arrive in Australia. Time will be spent by ASTC comparing the Shear Strength Tester verses existing traction testers which can be difficult to maneuver and transport. Keep posted for future reports on the Shear Strength Tester and how the performance testing tool performs under Australian conditions. For further information on the device please visit http://www.turf-tec.com/TSHEAR2.html or see our range of Performance Testing Tools.