Posts Tagged ‘artificial grass pitches’

Football Association to Embrace Artificial Grass Pitches

Friday, March 14th, 2014

artificial football pitchThe FA has agreed to lift its 20 year artificial grass ban and will allow competitions to be played on non-grass surfaces from as early as next year.  It is thought the FA Cup rulebook will be changed officially later this month, permitting 3G pitches all the way up to the semi-finals.

Maidstone Football Club’s highly publicised fight to get their 3G pitch accepted into the Conference League is said to have contributed to the decision.  The club founded 3G4US, a group of organisations in support of synthetic pitches.  Recently they published a long list of all the New Year’s Day fixtures that had to be cancelled due to bad weather.  Reporting that clubs lost thousands of pounds on football’s most supported day of the year.

It is hoped that artificial pitches will help revive grass roots football in Britain.  The FA and the Government have pledged millions to fund the refurbishment and replacement of playing surfaces.  An all-weather pitch means more practice and more play for thousands of clubs that normally have to shut down when it’s too wet. 

The problem for non-league clubs is they’re wary of making changes in case it hinders progression because of stricter regulations in professional football.  Worthing FC for example are looking to go 3G but have expressed reluctance because of fears it could prevent their promotion to the Conference League.  At the moment, clubs with artificial pitches must gain written permission from the board.  No doubt organisers will welcome the FA’s decision.

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New Study Shows Artificial Grass Pitches Result in Fewer Injuries

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Synthetic football pitchNew research, published recently in the American Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that artificial sports surfaces result in less injuries than natural grass, supporting previous studies.

The report titled ‘Incidence, Mechanisms, and Severity of Match-Related Collegiate Women’s Soccer Injuries on FieldTurf and Natural Grass Surfaces: A 5-Year Prospective Study,’ documented injury data from over 800 matches.  There were a total of 693 minor and serious injuries, over 5 years.  Of these, 272 (39%) occurred during play on an artificial pitch, and 421 (61%) on occurred on natural grass.

So, for every 10 matches played, 7.7 injuries happened on synthetic turf pitches, and 9.5 injuries were recorded on real grass.

The data also suggests that injuries on natural grass are more severe than those on artificial surfaces.  There were 130 substantial injuries (that required players to take 1-3 weeks off).  These were twice as common on natural grass.

The research was extremely comprehensive.  Many variables were taken into account to reach the conclusion including player position, injury grade field conditions and temperatures, cleat design and turf age.  Despite this, experts believe it’s only one part of the puzzle.  In women’s college soccer, on this particular surface, the evidence is irrefutable, but this doesn’t mean we should make general assumptions.

A similar study in 2006, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, analysed data from 10 men’s football clubs.  ‘The risk for injury when playing elite football on artificial turf versus natural grass,’ presented training and match injury data over a 2.5 year period.  They concluded that there was no significant difference, although incidents were slightly less for play on artificial turf.  The training average (per 100 hours) was 2.42 vs 2.94 injuries for turf and natural grass.  Match averages were 19.60 vs 21.48.

 

 

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3G Football Pitches

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

3G Football Pitch by Leisure Tech3G is short for third generation, an enhanced football pitch with an artificial grass surface.  Astroturf has many advantages, the ability to play in all weathers, no wear and tear and no maintenance.  It is ideal for community pitches, schools and grass roots clubs because the surface allows for training and play, all year round.

Facilities are able to save money on costly maintenance – pitch mowing, feeding, draining and watering.  They also save themselves the inconvenience of having to cancel winter matches due to freezing conditions.

October through to February is a lottery for struggling clubs.  With extensive flooding throughout the summer too, they end of with a backlog of fixtures.   A 3G pitch can offer a new lease of life.

Fake grass has come a very long way since it’s advent in the 1960’s.  Advances in technology means fibres are softer and non-abrasive; your skin won’t get burnt during a sliding tackle.  It in fact offers maximum comfort and enhanced play including great ball bounce, roll characteristics and control.  Most can be used with rubber studs too.

The FA has published a full guide for clubs considering an artificial pitch, containing all the information you need.  Download FA Guidelines

Leisure Tech Lawns are happy to help too.  We’ve installed astro-turf for clubs, schools and communities throughout Essex.   Our products have been rigorously tested to meet requirements.  The above photo is a full-size pitch install we recently completed in Dartford.  Call us for free advice on 01371 87 5901.

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