FIFA eyes new testing manual for football turf in 2015

FIFA announce significant changes on the way...... FIFA are always striving to evolve the testing and evaluation of football turf systems so that football turf fields which are certified are the best turf systems available and in as far as is possible the quality concept represents real life wear and performance.

The changes, which are coming mid 2015 mainly affect the testing of artificial turf systems under Laboratory conditions, this will ultimately of course affect the certification of pitches.

Changes to testing protocols

Researchers and Laboratories have been working on new equipment and testing methodologies in conjunction with FIFA to develop existing tests or introduce new testing equipment and protocols.

In this iteration of the manual FIFA are concentrating on;

Performance in Hot conditions – providing a classification for turf systems incorporating performance infill

Wear – a new lisport referred to as lisport XL will be used to prepare samples

Skin friction – a new method of evaluating skin friction

Splash – a new test method for evaluating and classifying performance infill splash

New requirement “placement of goal posts”

Inclusion of run-off areas in field testing area

FIFA will also rebrand the 1 star and two star categories currently well known into 'FIFA Quality and FIFA Quality Pro'. National Federations/Associations will be allowed to have a national standard which will embrace the FQC but will be known as 'FIFA Pro plus'  here interests peculiar to an MA can be included in the testing requirements for certified pitches - more details are to follow on this so watch this space.

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Future developments will include in the World Cup cycle 2015 to 2018 will include;

Player surface interaction tests – a new test for traction

AAA more realistic - must simulate player surface interaction in a more realistic fashion

Skin friction method - new method of testing

Energy restitution - fatigue, a study on how the surface affects fatigue in a player.

Further updates will be issued at the end of January.