'One Turf Concept' guidance now issued

‘One Turf Concept’ agreed by rugby, soccer and hockey

World Rugby, FIFA and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) have developed a ground-breaking protocol for multi-surface playing fields that could revolutionise how shared sports grounds are used and enjoyed around the world.

After many years working together on this project, including detailed discussions with industry leaders, the three federations have managed to balance player welfare and performance with playability for an initiative named ‘One Turf Concept’. While it is specific to multi-sport venues, the concept can also be applied to any artificial turf sports field not designed to comply with a specific sport-based requirement.

The federations will continue to work with manufacturers and test laboratories in refining standards so as to increase the performance and longevity of the playing fields, which are so important to rugby, soccer and hockey, especially at the community level where available space and finances may be limited.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “This is a fantastic example of cross-sport co-operation that will benefit grass-roots sport all over the world. While the elite level of each code has a distinct need that often requires its own specific playing surface, 99 per cent of players fall outside that professional, elite group and have different requirements. 

“Along with FIFA and FIH, we recognise that the promotion of multi-sport facilities is a cornerstone of the development of our sports in both established and new markets. It is also recognised that the key performance measure of these fields should be focussed on player welfare and, as always, that is our number-one priority. Those seeking to provide safe and high-quality facilities are often in an environment where space and money are limited.”

FIH Director of Sport and Development David Luckes said: “While short-pile products are preferred for hockey, the FIH recognises that this partnership can aid development by providing opportunities to play hockey on surfaces where there are no alternatives. This is particularly important in developing nations where many sports can join together to share facilities.”

The industry, in the form of the European Synthetic Turf Organisation (ESTO) and the Synthetic Turf Council (STC), supports the initiative as a basis for the design and development of a sports facility.

The ‘One Turf Concept’ is separated into three parts, and should be consulted depending on the age of the field considered. For existing fields, it gives an overview of the minimum performance requirements that should be achieved by the field to ensure it addresses the player interaction requirements for a multi-sport surface. It also gives guidance on the ball interaction requirements that should be achieved.

For facilities considering installing a new field or replacing their existing field, the ‘One Turf Concept’ includes:

  • Player performance and ball interaction requirements as detailed above. 
  • Guidance on ensuring the longevity of the field through undertaking laboratory testing which simulates the wear and degradation of the individual elements due to climatic conditions.
  • Identification tests to ensure that the surface tested in the laboratory matches that installed on the field.
  • Guidance for those fields looking to achieve certification from one or more international federation with the identification of additional requirements that are insisted upon by each individual federation.

World Rugby, FIFA and FIH recognise the importance of the implementation of a regular and comprehensive maintenance regime to ensure that any artificial turf field continues to perform as intended throughout its lifetime. Adherence to the ‘One Turf Concept’ or to the individual performance requirements set out by the individual federations is unlikely to be achieved over the full potential life of the product without proper maintenance. The ability of a surface to achieve these standards should be measured through initial testing, performed when the surface has been installed, and regular testing throughout its lifetime.

Full details of the ‘One Turf Concept’ including extensive research data specific to artificial turf for rugby can be found HERE.

The Lisport XL farm at SPORTS LABS

Sports Labs ramp up capacity with the four operating Lisport XL's machines located under one roof in Scotland. Offering unrivalled capacity and therefore the best turnaround times available why would you trust your product testing updates to any other Lab? Contact Sean Ramsay at Sports Labs to book your product testing requirements - Sean can be contacted at sean@sportslabs.co.uk or simply call our land line (see contact page). 


FIFA to issue new manual next week

FIFA will issue the new Handbook of Requirements and the Handbook of test methods for the FIFA quality concept for football turf. 

This much talked about update has involved some radical changes to the preparation and evaluation of football turf for FIFA certification.

The new manuals will be available for download next week we will post a link. 

The new manuals will be available for download next week we will post a link. 

The new FIFA quality pro and FIFA quality perhaps making a clearer distinction between community and pro fields this is a welcomed change.  A new Lisport XL is making it debut and new tests for infill splash, heat on surfaces and yarns for UV and thickness to name just some of the changes in this a fairly significant overhaul of the 2012 version.

Sports Labs will be providing a detailed communique on the changes early next week or better still come see us on our stand at FSB next week.

3D Printing at Sports Labs

3D printing the Lisport XL studded roller Inhouse. One of the benefits of owning a 3D printer - you can print your own spare part!

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Printing the profiled roller  

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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

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.

Glasgow Life deliver further 3G pitches

Sports Labs working for Glasgow Life the Leisure Trust operating the sports facilities for Glasgow City Council upgrade 2 No. 3G pitches Working closely with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Building Sports Labs provided consultancy services to design, procure and manage the refurbishment of two pitches in Glasgow. The good news is that both pitches were designed to allow football and rugby use, the bad news is that both were hockey pitches and now these facilities are lost to hockey. Hockey in Glasgow has moved to the new Commonwealth games venue so it is not a complete negative for that sport.


Case Study
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Case Study

These refurbishments have reinvigorated what were very dilapidated facilities these are now thriving community based hubs. The biggest beneficiaries of course are rugby who now have excellent training facilities where before there were none! See attached synopsis of the work done to upgrade the facilities.

Banbridge District Council; new 3G pitch for Rathfriland High School

Rathfriland High School gets new 3G pitch Banbridge District Council commissioned a new 3G pitch at Rathfriland High School and Sports Labs Ltd, were fortunate enough to win the tender to offer consultancy services to the Council to deliver the project through a competitive tendering process organized by the Authority.

This particular project involved many differing disciplines such as; submission of planning application to the planning directorate, site investigation works to characterize the ground conditions and negotiation with the South East Library Boards/Sports NI to approve the format, size and position of the pitch on the site. Sports Labs Ltd prepared a detailed specification to tender to the market in NI, which Tony Patterson Contracts were successful in securing.

The photos show the completed construction of the pitch.

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Tony Patterson Contracts were first class on this contract and delivered a high quality playing surface with a Fieldturf 60mm artificial turf product and shock pad.

The pitch will be used by the school and local community for football, rugby, gaelic games.

This was a challenging site which demanded great skill and care to develop, the result was a very high quality facility indeed.

Testimonials

Ben Corr, Head of Leisure, Banbridge District Council says, “We found Sports Labs very helpful, they offered excellent professional advice and support. They provided the Council with sound technical guidance and offered good value for money. I would have no hesitation in recommending them for similar projects.”