Artificial turf is a man-made surface manufactured from synthetic materials like polypropylene or polyethylene. Made to look like grass, an artificial turf has become a popular choice for a wide variety of sports, which were originally played on natural grass pitches.
Ever since the first artificial turf, known as “Astroturf”, was installed in the newly built Astrodome in Houston, Texas in 1965, the popularity of these artificial sports surfaces gained momentum. Today, a variety of sports, including football, hockey, netball, athletics, tennis, and many more are played on these synthetic sports surfaces.
Artificial turf has become a permanent feature for field hockey. With the introduction of artificial turf pitch, the game of hockey has become much faster and consequently, more popular. Players can now make fast passes with precise ball control. In fact, some rules have been amended and techniques refined to suit the new pace of the game. For instance, a hockey player can now try techniques like reverse stick trapping and hitting on an artificial hockey pitch. The shape of the hockey sticks has also undergone a change to produce optimum results whilst playing on an artificial surface.
An artificial hockey turf can be of three types, namely the water-based pitch, the semi-water pitch, or the sand-filled surface. Water-based pitches are designed for elite level field hockey. These pitches do not have a sand-infill and therefore minimise the abrasive effect caused by sand. These pitches however, require a sprinkler system for prolonged showering of the pitch prior to their use and occasionally during half time intervals. The semi-water pitch is another option available for field hockey. These pitches can be sprayed with water. Being sand-dressed (and not sand-filled), these pitches can be confused with unfilled “water based” pitches. The third type of artificial turf for hockey is a sand-filled artificial turf. It is suited to ambitious amateur teams. Thus, there is an artificial turf ‘pitch’ solution to suit every hockey club, at every level and every budget.
Whatever be the type of artificial hockey turf you opt for, uniform playing characteristics, predictable ball behaviour and optimal grip are some of the benefits that a player can enjoy on an artificial turf. A renowned artificial grass manufacturer will ensure optimum playing characteristics of these surfaces.
Artificial sports surfaces can be used all year round irrespective of weather conditions. In addition, the shock pad underneath the top layer of an artificial turf offers cushioning to the players. They need not have any worries about injuries whilst sliding and falling during the game.
Source by Steve Nelson