TSAC Report 51—Reducing the Risk of Injury

by Rod Pope PhD
TSAC Report March 2019


This article is the first of a continuing series on practical, evidence-based approaches to reducing the risk of injury while developing tactical strength and conditioning. The focus of this article is on how to reduce non-contact ACL rupture injuries from turf and artificial fields.

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This article originally appeared in TSAC Report, the NSCA’s quarterly, online-only publication geared toward the training of tactical athletes, operators, and facilitators. It provides research-based articles, performance drills, and conditioning techniques for operational, tactical athletes. The TSAC Report is only available for NSCA Members. Read more articles from TSAC Report 



1. Beutler, A, de la Motte, S, Marshall, S, Padua, D, and Boden, B. Muscle strength and qualitative jump-landing differences in male and female military cadets: The jump-ACL study. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 8: 663-671, 2009.

2. Dowling, A, and Andriacchi, T. Role of shoe–surface interaction and noncontact ACL injuries. In: Noyes F, and BarberWestin, S. (Eds.), ACL Injuries in the Female Athlete. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg; 2012.

3. Drakos, M, Hillstrom, H, Voos, J, Miller, A, Kraszewski, A, Wickiewicz, et al. The effect of the shoe-surface interface in the development of Anterior Cruciate Ligament strain. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 132(1): 2009.

 4. Hershman, E, Anderson, R, Bergfeld, J, Bradley, J, Coughlin, M, Johnson, R, et al. An analysis of specific lower extremity injury rates on grass and field turf playing surfaces in National Football League games: 2000-2009 seasons. The American Journal of Sports Medicine 40(10): 2200-2205, 2012.

5. Owens, B, Mountcastle, S, Dunn, W, DeBerardino, T, and Taylor, D. Incidence of Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury among active duty U.S. military servicemen and servicewomen. Military Medicine 172(1): 90-91, 2007.

6. Pope, R. Case report: Injury surveillance and systematic investigation identify a rubber matting hazard for ACL rupture on an obstacle course. Military Medicine 167(4): 359-362, 2002.

7. Pope, R. Rubber matting on an obstacle course causes ACL ruptures and its removal eliminates them. Military Medicine 167(4): 355-358, 2002.

8. Shimokochi, Y, and Shultz, S. Mechanisms of noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injury. Journal of Athletic Training 43(4): 396-408, 2008.

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Rod Pope, PhD

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