Kilmarnock Football Club took to bold step of installing a new 3G pitch at Rugby Park this summer.
Bold because the Club were in the hunt of a premiership place and bold because they would be the first Club to play premiership football on a 3G pitch at their own ground in the UK.
As it happens we have two Clubs in the top flight of Scottish Football now playing at home on artificial turf in the same year!
Kilmarnock spent some time considering their options and decided to install a 3G surface with 'options'. Options in terms of playing performance and durability so must have a shock pad and options in terms of opening the door to Rugby use. See sky sports report; http://youtu.be/XoZXUu_oxdk
Their reward is a top class playing surface certified by FIFA and the IRB to the highest standard. A further reward is the SRU have given the Club the considerable accolade of an international game this autumn against Tonga. The first tier one game ever on artificial turf.
It gets better however as the Club are holding their own in a very competitive league with results so far very positive.
So where do Sports Labs fit in on all of this? Our role was one where we provided the experience of a FIFA/IRB Test Institute commenting on the choices which were made in terms of the appropriateness of the systems for the proposed use. Sports Labs performed all the key stage inspection and testing work to ensure that the best possible playing surface was delivered to the Club. Working closely with Allsports and their turf supplier Fieldturf and the Club in a very tight timeframe the pitch was constructed and certified in record time.
The pitch now certified to FIFA 2 star see link http://quality.fifa.com/en/Football-Turf/FIFA-recommended-pitches-wordwide/#/index/2652 and IRB requirements.
Feedback so far is very positive from visiting Clubs and the peer review continues as we look forward to very positive comments through the winter months.
For more information about Sports Labs www.sportslabs.co.uk
Hi Points with this pitch
Endorsed by SRU given the facility will be used for the first tier one game ever
The SPFL Clubs make positive noises about the playing surface