For those who enjoy playing it, basketball is both an incredibly fun and incredibly beneficial pursuit. It helps many people stay in shape while also promoting social connections — but if it’s played on certain unforgiving surfaces too often, such as asphalt, there may be some injury or health risks that come into play, especially for older players.
For modern basketball players, especially those with the resources to install a court on their own property, the preference is typically to use a more conducive surface to health and enjoyment. For instance, the use of post-tension concrete topped with acrylic surfacing material is a common method for constructing today’s residential basketball courts. What are some of the risks of regularly playing basketball on as asphalt surface, any why should you opt for softer, better surfaces whenever possible? Here are some basics.
First and foremost, even among those who don’t take things too seriously when playing basketball, the occasional fall is always possible — and if this happens on a hard, unforgiving surface like asphalt, the results can be painful. From bruising and scrapes to broken bones, there are plenty of potential injuries that can occur as the direct result of a fall on asphalt.
With a softer, more forgiving surface, the risk of such injuries is reduced. This is especially important as players grow older and their bones become more brittle. Injuries can set back regular players significantly and keep them out of the game for weeks or even months at a time, so avoiding these risks by playing on surfaces that are easier on the body is always a good idea.
Asphalt is also notorious for causing skin abrasions, as even a short game can result in scrapes, cuts, and other wounds. Not only are these unsightly and can often become infected if not properly treated, they can also slow down the healing process for any future injuries.
Pressure on Muscles and Ligaments
For some, the greatest single risk of playing basketball on asphalt comes in the long-term realm. Over time, the pressure placed on muscles and ligaments can cause lasting damage, as the repeated stress of playing on a hard surface takes its toll. This can lead to long-term issues with things like joint pain and even chronic injuries.
When possible, it’s always best to play basketball on surfaces that are kinder to the body. Concrete or acrylic courts with proper padding are a much better option, as they reduce the risk of falls, skin abrasions, and long-term injuries. So if you have the option, be sure to choose a surface that will make playing basketball a safer and more enjoyable experience for you.
While asphalt isn’t a huge slipping risk on its own, it’s certainly a higher risk here than acrylic or other smoother surfaces. This is due to the fact that asphalt has a rougher texture, meaning that it can be more difficult to get a good grip when playing.
This increased slipping risk can cause players to lose their balance and fall, leading to some of the same injuries mentioned earlier. In addition, this can also lead to an increased risk of ankle sprains, as it becomes that much more difficult to keep your footing on a slippery surface.
When playing basketball, it’s important to take into account the surface you’ll be playing on. If possible, try to choose a smoother, more forgiving surface over asphalt, as it will reduce the risk of falls and injuries.