We understand that it’s difficult for schools and clubs in the UK to utilise natural grass sports pitches to their full potential as they can easily become waterlogged in wet conditions. This is why a lot of organisations choose to have a muddy natural grass facility replaced with a synthetic all weather football surface which allows training and matches to continue through wet weather.
All Weather Football Surface Design
One sports pitch surfacing specification which is often installed for football is 2G sand filled synthetic turf. This provides good ball roll and bounce capabilities for football and other sports like hockey as it has silica sand applied deep within the artificial fibres. These versatile playing characteristics mean that second generation sand filled surfaces are often installed for multi use games areas.
However the most advanced artificial grass all weather football surface is 3G synthetic turf. This third generation surfacing type provides playing characteristics which mimic those of natural grass to cater for both football and rugby. Like the 2G pitch specification, 3G artificial surfaces have sand infill installed within the carpet pile, but they also have a layer of rubber crumb applied as well. The rubber infill helps by enhancing the bounce and impact absorbency of the 3G all weather football surface to create a better playing experience and to protect players’ joints. The natural performance qualities and impact absorption of third generation turf pitches mean that they are also ideal for contact sports like rugby where the risk of injury is greater.
Installing Synthetic Sports Pitches
The construction process for an all weather football surface is typically quite similar for each different synthetic grass specification, although each project will have its individual differences in design and site conditions.
- First, the existing ground needs to be excavated to the required depth for the installation to take place onto. Once the ground is prepared, a dynamic stone sub base is installed to create a stable foundation. The angular stones lock together to make a porous surface which allows good water drainage and prevents flooding on the completed sports pitch.
- A macadam base is then applied onto the angular stone layer to create a porous layer for the synthetic grass carpet to be laid onto. The macadam surfacing is also permeable to allow water to drain quickly through it.
- Depending on the surface specification, a shockpad may be installed after the macadam base layer. The shockpad helps to keep players safe by absorbing impact from trips and falls and preventing injuries, a shockpad must always be installed if the pitch is going to be used for rugby.
- Next is the installation of the artificial 2G or 3G synthetic grass carpet for the all weather football surface. This is rolled out onto the prepared base and glued together at the edges and where the carpet pieces meet across the pitch.
- Finally, the sand and rubber infill layers will be applied into the artificial sports pitch carpet to keep the fibres upright and enhance the performance qualities.
Once the construction of the all weather sports surface is complete, it’s essential to look after it properly to ensure it maintains its top quality performance characteristics and remains safe for use. This can be done by keeping the infill well distributed with drag brushing, preventing contamination by applying moss and algae treatments, and removing any dirt or debris from the area.
When playing on the artificial 3G surfacing, you must make sure that all players are wearing suitable footwear which won’t damage the surface. Check out our artificial grass boots guide to find out more about what shoes you can and can’t wear.
All Weather Pitch Installers
We have been installing artificial sports and play facilities for over 17 years and we pride ourselves on offering each client a unique bespoke service. We can help you with the complete design of your project and offer you a great value flexible quote for the works. Please use our contact form to get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss prices and specifications for a sport surfacing installation. You can also go to our website at http://sportsandsafetysurfaces.co.uk/ to find out more about the services and sports products we specialise in and to see examples of our completed work.
Have you ever played on a synthetic all weather football surface? What did you think of its performance qualities?
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