With a variety of different types of artificial pitches available on today’s market, end users have several factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right 3G pitch for their facility and its needs.
Here are three things to consider in order to pick the right artificial sports turf.
1. What is the intended application?
It’s important to have a clear idea of exactly what the surfaces are going to be used for. Making assumptions on the best synthetic football turf for the facility, rather than consulting a qualified sports surface contractor can have hugely negative consequences on the lifespan of the pitch itself, the quality of the sport played on it, and ultimately the return on investment.
In the case of 3G pitches, this means considering whether it is going to be used recreationally, such as in a school environment, or if it’s intended for elite level football.
2. The FIFA QUALITY mark
To distinguish the differences in qualities between pitches, FIFA has set a benchmark for artificial football pitches to meet – the FIFA QUALITY mark and the FIFA QUALITY PRO mark.
The FIFA QUALITY PRO mark identifies pitches which successfully mimic the high-quality performance and safety requirements for professional football, for a typical usage of up to 20 playing hours per week. There are also stricter requirements for international match pitches, such as its size.
On the other hand, the FIFA QUALITY mark distinguishes pitches that meet the standards for community and municipal football. This includes being durable, resistant, safe and high performing in environments where there are 40-60 playing hours per week.
3. What does the end-user really need and expect from an artificial grass football pitch?
For schools in particular, new synthetic surfaces may need to be used for a multitude of activities in addition to football to fulfil their curricular obligations. Therefore, versatility and durability can often prove a key factor as to which 3G surface is chosen. There is also an increasing number of schools keen to use their sports fields as an additional revenue stream by making it available to community sports clubs.
Those looking for a multi-use playing surface should consider a 3G football pitch with a monofilament yarn. This is due to the manufacturing process, which enables different profiles and thicknesses to be offered, increasing its resilience. In addition, straight monofilament yarn can be created to reduce ball roll and offer a slower surface for football.
4. What is the reality of usage?
From the very start, it needs to be known how many hours per week the 3G pitches will be used for and who by. A pitch that is only used during school hours Monday to Friday is very different to one that is also used by community football clubs during weekday evenings and at weekends. And this needs to be factored into the specification stage of a project to ensure a system is fitted that is well suited to its intended use.
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