Hong Kong Rugby install new pitch

A new pitch for Hong Kong rugby union installed at Hong Kong university home to the Sand Bay Rugby Club. The Club are hoping to host the finals of the Hong Hong rugby competiton this year on the back of this investment.

The new Polytan Poligrass premier rs pitch has been put through its paces against the stringent World Rugby standards. The pitch was inspected/tested by Sports Labs last week.

In Scotland it's 'game on' on league artificial turf pitches!

With a huge number of postponements last night and today the SPFL is a wash with disrupted games. The farcical situation at Ibrox last night just highlights the issue. A premier league natural turf pitch with undersoil heating starts a game then gets abandoned after 25mins! The fans in particular get short changed by this and what an advert for football in January. Meanwhile Hamilton's groundsman can be seen clearing the snow from his pitch - same time as Rangers fixture is abandoned and today its game on Hamilton v Celtic! Well done Willie the groundsman and well done Hamilton. http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/30862288

Sportstestequip.com the goto site for sports surfaces testing equipment

STE the only dedicated sports surfaces testing equipment supplier, launch their new web site today. An easy to use platform which allows you to purchase what you need online. Alternatively if you require further information you can make an enquiry for the specialist equipment that you have questions about.

Whether you want to buy an infill depth gauge or a AAA device STE can help you with your needs. Quick delivery times and a dedicated set up with the more complex items. Simply go to www.sportstestequip.com for the most competitive quality equipment on the market.


 Depth probe for the measurement of infill depth

Ball roll ramps essential in the maintenance of 3G surfaces

HIC equipment for testing playgrounds                                           

Testing buggy

Scottish Artificial Turf Seminar - Kilmarnock 28th November 2014

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The Scottish Artificial Turf Seminar held at Kilmarnock on the 28th November was a great success. Delegates from Clubs, LA's, Leisure Trusts, Architects and Consultants learned about the players view of 3G surfaces and those of the SRU and SFA.

Leading experts in the industry also provided up to date information on construction practices, products and innovation in the first 3G seminar of it's kind to be held in Scotland. There was a field demo of proper maintenance and testing which was very well attended.

Headline sponsors were Sports Labs a Consultancy Practice and Testing Laboratory, Allsports a specialist pitch contractor, Abacus Lighting, Fieldturf a turf manufacturer and Trocellen a shock pad manufacturer.

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Sports Labs help Kilmarnock with world class surface

Kilmarnock Football Club took to bold step of installing a new 3G pitch at Rugby Park this summer.

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 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

Testing Times in Andorra!

The Wales v Andorra game has sent a shock wave through the artificial turf industry. How could such a pitch be used for an international game? How did it pass the stringent tests required by FIFA? Who sanctioned the use of the pitch? The fact is the pitch is brand new apparently only 6 days old? In reality there is nothing wrong with this but it is a fact that 3G pitches do settle with use and time so maybe the fact the pitch was just laid did not help it perform to the best possible standard. who decided on the programme for the installation! Surely a degree of anticipation could have allowed for a settling in period this is normally almost mandatory! The pitch was also tested to the FIFA standard something which was clearly carried out very close to the game. The Laboratory must have assessed the performance of the pitch against the FIFA requirements otherwise FIFA would not have certified the pitch for use. This is the process, which allows UEFA to use the surface for games. The decision to go ahead with the game therefore was based on sound scientific evidence. In fairness you cannot blame UEFA as they have applied the rules. The referee has a role to play here also so did he have an opinion?

Andorra unfortunately could not offer up an alternate venue, this being their only complaint pitch which UEFA could make use of. So the noises before the match about the condition of the pitch would have little impact on the decision to use this surface. The Federation would not want to go offshore for the game.

The main criticisms we have been able to glean from the various comments made are; the ball roll was too long, the pitch was hard and the rubber infill was everywhere! The ball was bobbling so perhaps uneven fill? These key performance parameters are measured and assessed by the Laboratory testing the pitch? So something has gone wrong somewhere?

This issue could damage the artificial turf industry massively and with the women's world cup campaign attempting to create a groundswell of opinion to derail the decision to use artificial turf we could see a move to block the use of artificial turf at the top flight of the game again.

There needs to be a review of what has happened here and a strategy adopted to make sure negative comments like those see in the press don't happen.

For more information on the game see the links below;

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/sep/10/uefa-waiting-report-andorra-pitch-worst-bale-wales

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29133293

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29137156

http://www.itv.com/news/wales/story/2014-09-10/wales-beat-andorra-in-first-euro-2016-qualifier/