Artificial Football Pitch suitable for all weather conditions

Grass sports pitches were the popular and only pitches used until some decades ago.  They have been overtaken by artificial sports pitches. Artificial sports surfaces have become a popular choice for sports such as football, hockey, tennis, netball and are even used in athletics tracks and Multi Use Games Areas where a variety of sports can be played. The extensive use of artificial grass particularly as a football pitch is the result of numerous benefits offered by them.  

However, it was not the case initially. In the 1980s, some football clubs in Europe like QPR’s Loftus Road, Luton Town’s Kenilworth Road, Oldham Athletic’s Boundary Park installed artificial surfaces, which they called plastic pitch. However, owing to their hard surface, the artificial grass surface caused more injuries to the players and so their use was banned by English FA in 1988.

Today, it is altogether a different scenario. The advancements made in this field have removed all the drawbacks of artificial pitches. For instance, an artificial football pitch offers the same playing characteristics as that of a natural grass soccer field. However, unlike the latter, it can be used in all weather conditions, like long dry summers, frozen winters, or heavy rainfall, owing to its excellent drainage system. An artificial football pitch requires minimal maintenance when compared to a natural grass sports field.

The artificial turf for a football pitch is made up of polyethylene or polypropylene fibres lubricated with silicone. The synthetic fibres of a football pitch are in-filled with sand and rubber granules to create a surface that is durable, porous, and consistently uniform. A football pitch also features a ‘shock pad” underneath the top layer which offers cushioning to players against injuries when they slide or fall on the surface.

Natural in appearance, skin and joint friendly, high in shock absorption, the synthetic fibres of an artificial soccer turf ‘carpet’ are tufted into a canvas and a layer of latex is applied on its back. This ‘backing’ is so strong that moles cannot dig through it.

The numerous benefits of an artificial soccer turf have compelled both FIFA and UEFA to approve the use of these synthetic sports surfaces at various levels of play. Similarly, UEFA, the European Football League has also approved playing the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Cup, the qualification matches for the World Cup, and the European Championships on artificial soccer turf.

The approval for synthetic grass came after FIFA introduced an extensive test programme in 2001. The test included parameters like ball rolling, bouncing, sliding characteristics, heat development, shock absorption, wear and tear, and many more. The artificial soccer turf passed this test and became widely accepted amongst different sports facilities of the world.

Source by Steve Nelson


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