The amount of wall padding a gymnasium needs has long been a topic of debate among facility operators and managers. The difficulty in assessing the right answer to this question lies in the fact that there is no regulating body on the matter, and that it can end up being very dependent on the unique needs of any particular gymnasium.
Both educational and public gymnasiums can be utilized for a number of different sports and athletic activities, each having a separate set of safety requirements, especially when pertaining to wall mats and wall padding.
Basketball is a sport in particular that requires a great deal of safety related padding when played within the confines of a gymnasium. Today, our athletes are continuing to grow bigger, stronger and faster and when mixed with a high-speed sport like basketball, the risk of injury increases dramatically. The latest installment of the NFHS rule book states that at least 3 feet of unobstructed space should be available outside of boundaries, but recommends facilities to go with 10 feet of space to ensure outright safety of participants.
Volleyball is another sport traditionally played in gymnasiums typically requiring a larger buffer zone surrounding its boundaries. If your gymnasium is designed to accommodate the play of both basketball and volleyball, the previously designed basketball safety boundaries will provide you with more than ample space surrounding your volleyball courts.
As for our recommendation, we maintain that up to 10 feet of unobstructed space surrounding a basketball court is the safest option. When it comes to physically mounting your wall mats, we install them in accordance with ASTM standard F-2440-11: mounting wall padding at a maximum of 4 feet above the actual playing surface.
Today, we are seeing more and more athletic facilities opting for complete wall padding coverage throughout their gymnasiums to maintain the highest level of safety. While it may appear to be a complex undertaking, we employ an in-house design team to deal with custom padding orders like this and others.
When it comes to the safety of our present and future athletes, we always stand on the side of safety. Reach out to a member of our established sales team to see how we can help design, manufacture and install your custom padding project.