What is One Turf?

Recently the global governing bodies we interact with the most issued a guidance document aimed at providing owners, municipalities, manufacturers, etc., with a one-stop shop standard to cater for multi-use artificial fields.

The reasoning behind this move merits explanation. If you think about it, why would a global governing body that extensively researches requirements to suit its own sport introduce One Turf, a one-size-fits-all standard?

Let's face it. Not all artificial sports fields are specific to one sport. The days of supporting just a soccer, rugby or hockey pitch are numbered. Certainly, today's funding criteria must be aimed at a broader spectrum of society.

To understand One Turf, it is probably easier to say what it is not. It is not a specification to replace a sports-specific standard like FIFA, World Rugby or FIH requirements, as set out in these global governing bodies standards.

If a product or field is assessed against One Turf, then it won't necessarily meet the criteria set by its specific global governing body that subscribes to One Turf.

So we asked the author what One Turf is all about...

Marc Douglas, the Research, Artificial Turf & Equipment Manager for World Rugby, has provided a summary of what the One Turf standard is all about.

“The One Turf Concept was developed as a tool to assist facility owners to identify the performance requirements that their fields should be meeting. It is not intended to be used as a specific performance standard. Instead it is an identification of best practice as identified by the three International Federations (IFs) from many years of experience in regulating artificial turf surfaces.

The Concept is split into three sections, the first to indicate what performance of existing fields should be achieving to minimise potential player welfare issues. The second (in combination with the first) is advice on what facility owners should be looking for a new field to achieve to ensure that the quality of performance is maintained over the life of the field and that that lifespan is appropriate for the level of investment being made. The third section details the additional requirements that individual sports require to be met for certification of fields.

The use of the One Turf Concept to identify these performance requirements is encouraged. However, the identification of One Turf is not required if certification to one or more of the three IFs’ programmes is required. This is because the One Turf concept is a subset of these programme requirements, which are built around maximising player welfare."

So, we hope all you specifiers, consultants and architects out there are clear on how to use the One Turf guidance document.

Eric O'Donnell, Managing Director