Thanks for those nice comments, MOW ED. I am not a fan of artificial turf for many reasons. Often, I believe grass has not been given a full or fair opportunity to succeed when the decision to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a synthetic field is made.
One thing I see in high school soccer games on artificial fields is that as a game that is played largely on the ground the players are not able to keep up with the ball. I see some crazy high bounces and often missed passes run 30 yards and out of bounds. The grading on typical multi-use fields is far from ideal for soccer too. When a field, whether grass or synthetic, that is used for football and soccer both is surrounded by a track, the fact that the soccer field is wider causes several problems. The team benches have to go on the track. There isn’t continuous fall to the sideline, which changes how the game is played. When games are played in the rain, I have seen water accumulate ankle deep in the trough that is behind where the benches would be during a football game. Even great drainage systems can be temporarily overwhelmed. Granted, conditions that bad might cause a game on grass to be postponed, but that is not a given any more than it can be said synthetic fields are always playable. And, let’s face it, these games are played outdoors – sometimes you get rained out.
I encourage you to keep looking into it because if you know what you are doing or care what you are doing, you will be able to make a difference. Getting soccer and especially football practices off the game field is crucial but sometimes seemingly impossible. The number one thing you can do for any field is mow often and well. Of course that is not going to offset the kind of hard use you mention but fields can be intensively maintained to give them a better chance to hold up well. It has to be done continuously or in anticipation of problems not in reaction to them. You have to have cooperation from the people using the field too. In a dual sport situation, though, nothing is going to mitigate two sets of practices and games.
Thanks again for your nice comments.