Member Login

Playing surface, cleat choice, and injuries: How can you limit your risk?

Recently the Board asked me for some input on playing surface and risk for injuries as this past indoor season there seemed to be a spike in reported injuries while playing. This blog will discuss the different playing surfaces and their inherent risks, how your footwear choice can mitigate that risk, and some general tips for transitioning from the different surfaces.

Firstly, the playing surface. MZU runs leagues on a variety of grass fields of differing quality, as well as outdoor and indoor turf fields, and some of you may also play indoor on a multipurpose floor as well. All playing surfaces have their respective rate of injury, typically they are compared to grass as that is the most accessible and has been used the longest. One of the perceived risks with artificial turf is a higher prevalence of knee injuries, and while that was true with the 1st and 2nd generation turfs primarily installed in the 1960-1990s, more recent turf installations have negated that risk. While the knee injury prevalence has decreased, there remains a risk any time you change surfaces. This is seen from the transition from indoor winter league to outdoor summer, summer to the outdoor fall league, and then back into the winter league playing surface. Each surface has it’s own distinct stressors that it puts on your body, and if you go from playing 2-3 hours per week on one surface and then switch to another, those stresses can cause overload or overuse injuries.

Secondly, your shoes. For the many recreational players in MZU, your cleat choice may have been directed on price point, look of the shoe, or how comfortable they were. There are a variety of cleat choices that offer benefits depending on the sport, the playing surface, even what position you play, so it can be daunting for a rec player to make an informed choice. The reality is that while certain cleats offer advantages in certain situations, for most players those small advantages are negligible, and so perhaps the most beneficial decision is to make one based on injury reduction. The only type of cleat you want to be cautious about wearing on multiple surfaces is a “bladed” cleat. Most cleat tips are circular or conical in design, where bladed cleats are longer and designed to give enough grip to turn and generate force on a hard dry field. This same design on a softer wet field, or artificial turf has been shown to increase rates of knee injuries as the blades sink into the surface and stick. Wearing turf or general cleats on all MZU surfaces are safe bets from an injury prevention approach.

Finally, as you start gearing up for the glorious summer league, there are a few tips that you and your team can take to try to minimize the risk of injuries. Building capacity in your tissue before taking on an increased load or intensity such as in games. Convince your team to run a few practices, or get out and go for a toss, or play some mini games. This concept also applies if you are changing your cleats, either from turf shoes to grass cleats, or maybe you just got a new pair. To limit injury wear them for the first 25% of practice, or your toss around, and then increase that percentage over a couple weeks. One of the big gaps I see with many teams is the warm-up is lacking. Having a good warm up that increases your heart rate, increases blood flow to the extremities and gets muscles ready to work will improve performance and most importantly decrease injury rates in the game!

So to bring us back full circle, any time you transition playing surfaces you have a higher risk of injury, however none of the surfaces you play on in MZU have an inherent increase in risk. Your cleat choice can play a part, but mostly bladed cleats on wet grass or turf. Having a proper transition with surface or footwear change can help mitigate risk as can getting in a 5-10 minute warm up before the game. Hopefully this information helps you have a full year of fun with MZU regardless of the playing surface!

Matthew Moore is a Certified Athletic Therapist and co-owns Premier Athletic Therapy & Sports Medicine. He is an avid MZU player and is currently an Assistant Athletic Therapist with the Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club that competes in Major League Soccer.

MZU Subbing Policy Update

Effective start of 2023 Summer League, we are updating our MZU substitute player policy.

There are some key changes from the previous version, so again we ask that you read carefully. If you have any questions at all, please email:

Why are we making these changes? Our reasons are many but here are some of the primary ones:

  1. To increase the available pool of players by eliminating individual ‘games played’ limits for players during the regular season.
  2. To allow registered players to sub in playoffs.
  3. To reduce the number of rescheduled games by enforcing roster compliance, as well as introducing a point penalty system to further encourage teams to provide a timely notification to the opposing team of any requested substitute players and ultimately play games as scheduled.
  4. To provide clear requirements on the expectations between teams and the league when requesting subs.

You can find the complete policy on our Subbing Page.

Thank You!

MZU Board of Directors

2023 QVxMZU Summer League!!!

We are super excited to announce that Summer League registration is NOW OPEN!!!

For all the details on both our traditional Summer League as well our new Wednesday Summer Hat League and where to register, please click here


Announcing: MZUxQV – Wednesday Summer Hat League!

Wednesday Summer Hat League

Joining MZU this Summer?! Add some extra Ultimate to your week, at no added cost! We’re happy to announce our Wednesday Summer Hat League:


  • 7v7 w/ WFDF Gender rule A
  • 8 teams
  • Up to 18 players per team. We have space for 72 female matching players and 72 male matching players.
  • 7 regular season games
  • 3 weeks of playoffs
  • No Additional Cost! (must be registered in the standard MZU Summer League)
  • Rain-outs will not be rescheduled, except during playoffs.


1. How can I join?

You must be registered in MZUxQV Summer League. During registration, answer ‘Yes’ to “Do you want to enter the draft for the 2023 Wednesday Summer Hat League?” in the summer league registration questionnaire.

2. How does the draft work?

8 GMs will draft teams in a snake style draft. GMs can start with either gender match as their 1st pick, but must alternate gender match with each subsequent pick.

3. Can I be a GM?

Yes – Email to be added to the GM List.

4. What if more than 8 GMs volunteer?

We will draw names.

5. What if more than 72 players of either gender register?

We will draw 72 names from the registered player pool and teams will be drafted from those players.

6. What if less than 72 players of either gender register?

We will adjust the team composition and/or on field ratio if need be to keep to 8 teams.

7. Can I be a GM and a player?

Yes, but as a player other GMs can draft you to their team. You will not automatically be on the team you are drafting.

8. I’m a GM, once the draft is over what do I need to do?

Nothing! Once teams are formed there will be no trades and you will play with the team you have been drafted to. Be sure to spectate and cheer on your team!

9. Is the Draft Live?


Spring 2023 Build-It-Yourself (BIY) League EOI

MZU is pleased to announce its Spring 2023 Build-It-Yourself League!

League format is 6-on-6 speedpoint. Games are at the Techniplex on Monday nights, March 6th to May 15th, and will be 55 minutes long starting at 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm. 11pm may be a possibility depending on the number of teams interested.

Teams will get 11 weeks of play: 8 weeks of regular season + 3 weeks of playoffs.

Captains are invited to express interest by midnight, February 15th using this form.

MZU x QV – 2023 Winter Hat League

Registration is CLOSED!

The New Year brings new opportunities to shake things up and make new friends! This year, we’re aiming to start strong by making the Quidi Vidi Brewery 2023 Winter Hat League our most spirited, inclusive league yet!  We’ve got three divisions for you to choose from! 

Before we get to the details, feedback from our most recent hat league stated that we have room for improvement in welcoming players of all skill levels to this wonderful sport!


Fall 2022 BIY

MZU is pleased to announce its Fall 2022 Build-It-Yourself League!

League format is 6-on-6 speedpoint. Games are at the Techniplex on Monday nights, September 26th to December 12th, and will be 55 minutes long starting at 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm. Trying no 11pm’s.

The league has room for 24 teams. If more teams express interest a lottery will be held.

EOI will be open from September 8th to the 18th followed by registration being open from September 19th to the 23rd.

By weeks, playoff formats and cost will all be determined based on number of teams.

Captains can fill out the EOI form here.

MZU x QVB Fall Hat League 2022

Fall Hat League!

Get ready for the 2022 Quidi Vidi Brewery Outdoor Fall Hat League!

Team Composition: 10 players, with a composition of 5 male-matching and 5 female-matching players per team (may change based on registration numbers).

Note: Hat teams are built to blend experienced, intermediate, and beginner players on each team, to try to achieve skill parity between teams and to allow newer players to learn from more experienced players.

  • Field Composition: 5v5
  • Fields: King George V Turf Field
  • Format: Zuluru Ranking System, USAU+MZU Rules, pull after each point
  • Team Building: Space for 18 teams (90 female-matching and 90 male-matching players), MZU Board Team Building
  • Registration: Begins: Wednesday, August 17th, noon / Ends: Sunday, September 4th, midnight (or when full)
  • Signup: Register as an individual or in pairs
  • When: Sunday nights, games at 7pm, 8pm, and 9pm (55 minute games)
  • Duration: 7 weeks – September 11th – October 30th (no game Thanksgiving Sunday)
  • Cost: $35 per individual + applicable UNL fees
  • Jerseys: NOT provided in Registration

Register Here!

Winter 2022 Build-It-Yourself League

MZU is pleased to announce its Winter 2022 Build-It-Yourself League!

League format is 6-on-6 speedpoint. Games are at the Techniplex on Monday nights, February 28th to May 16th, and will be 55 minutes long starting at 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, and 11pm.

Teams will get 9 weeks of regular play + 3 weeks of playoffs. The league has room for 24 teams. If more teams express interest a lottery will be held.

Cost is ~ $1075 + the applicable individual UNL fees.

Captains are invited to express interest by midnight, February 20th using this form.

All of the league details can be found here.