'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.

Meggetland, Edinburgh - irrigation being installed on the upgrade of the sand dressed pitch to a water based pitch

The big dig continues at Meggetland to install the new irrigation on-site. Ecosse Sports battling the recent Scottish Winter (blowing a hooley and raining for days on end) to get this one done by the end of the year!

 

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This shot highlights the existing macadam with the ring main excavation ongoing!

Rathdown School flying high as a first class water based hockey pitch

Rathdown school and Monkstown hockey club has endorsed their new pitch as fantastic after their first weekend of hockey on the new water based pitch. Officially opening with the big game on the 8th November where Ireland will host Belgium in a friendly a great test for the new surface. Well done to Tony Patterson Contracts for providing a top facility.

Birds eye view of the pitch

Birds eye view of the pitch

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A pano of the pitch

Rathdown School a first class hockey facility in Partnership with Monkstown Hockey Club

Rathdown school hockey new artificial pitch pitch project is delivering an FIH 'global' standard facility in south Dublin for both the pupil's of the school and Monkstown Hockey Club. The long standing partnership will see the site host two hockey pitches one water based to the same standard as the recent world cup competition and the other a sand dressed pitch.

The commitment the school have shown to bring this facility to fruition underscores how hockey in the area has developed, the recent results are testament to this investment.

The new water based pitch constructed by Tony Patterson Contracts is installed with a Greenfield's product. Here the final stages of the artificial turf installation is shown.

Joseph's of Cluny get new FIH Hockey Pitch, Access Road and Car Park

Sports Labs help St Joseph's of Cluny to deliver a major project In reality it has taken 10 years of planning to realise a dream for the school - to have their own hockey pitch. In 2013 the contract to upgrade the access roads and car parks and build a new hockey pitch actually started for Mary White Principal of the school. cluny pitch

Sports Labs acting as specialist consultant was appointed to take this project forward.  The project  involved a major cut and fill to provide a platform for the hockey pitch , redesign and construction of a new car park, access roads and retaining walls.

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The contract was awarded to SAC Construction a local contractor familiar to the Board of Governors of the school. image

There were numerous design considerations on this residential site. Planning restrictions were placed on landscaping and the road, car park and lights. All had to be designed and constructed within tight planning conditions.

The ground conditions on-site were particularly challenging and necessitated cement stabilisation over half the pitch and capping in the car park area.

New access roadways and car parks were constructed to control Traffic flow and provide better traffic management of buses and vehicles dropping off at peak times. Additional car parking space at the front of the school has significantly improved the look at the front of the school.

The Hockey pitch a TigerTurf evopro sand dressed surface was selected for the playing surface. The pitch whilst for school use however the school has already had enquiries from clubs to let the facility.

Principal Mary White said

'I’d like to thank the astro turf pitch consultants i.e. Sports Labs UK based in Edinburgh and to congratulate their Director Mr Eric O Donnell, the Chief Consulting Engineer Mr Robbie Blair on a wonderful achievement. I’d like to praise the professionalism of this company, to thank them for the ease with which they were a weekly presence in Killiney, despite having to catch planes and ferries to cross the Irish sea be here and to thank Mr Robbie Blair in particular who oversaw the details of the construction of the project for Sports Labs and the school in a very supportive and committed way. We benefitted greatly as a school by having such an experienced and professional company to assist us in managing the pitch construction'.

cluny                                              Mary White, Robbie with the team

Sports Labs become Sports England Framework Provider

Sport England Artificial Sports Surfaces Consultancy Services Sport England has set up a number of framework contracts with service providers to simplify the procurement of contractors and consultants for future funded projects.Image The framework contract is simply a form of contract where pre-selection of a particular service provider results in a small number of companies being shortlisted to provide the services without the need for protracted tendering process each time a project is available. Frameworks normally last 3 to 4 years. The aim of the Sport England framework contract is to select the best service providers for the work being tendered. Sport England has now put in place a number of framework consultants to deliver specialist aspects of projects on their behalf the one that concerns us is the sports pitches and other sports surfaces framework contract.

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Following a detailed and thorough selection process Sports Labs were successfully selected as one of four specialist consultants for sports surfaces and other specialist services. We are very pleased to be involved with Sport England in this framework contract and look forward to the next 4 years working with Sport England within the framework.

St Edwards School, Oxford: Take possession of a new hockey pitch

St Edwards School Oxford "Teddy's" get top quality hockey pitch St Edward’s School, Oxford have just completed the refurbishment of an old sand filled hockey pitch. The original pitch (now 21 years old!) was mainly used for tennis.

Site Investigation

As with any old facilities the old pitch has to be carefully investigated to characterize the base condition, shock pad and any need to modify the surface to meet NGB requirements; which may have moved on. Sports Labs carried out a site investigation on the old pitch to assess existing tarmac and shock pad. This clearly indentified the costs going forward for works required- in this case a new shock pad was required.

Quality Installation

Sports Labs designed, tendered and project managed the works. Agripower successfully secured this contract and decided to install a Tiger Turf Evo Pro sand dressed surface.

At every stage in the construction process checks and tests were carried out to confirm that the works met specification. This included the tarmac, shock pad and artificial turf.

On Time, To Budget

The pitch installation was handed over to the client on time and on budget. The school have found the pitch to be first class and is now the preferred surface for hockey at the school.

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Sports Labs BE by NOC * NSF recognized as a testing institute for sports flooring

Sports Labs gain NOC approval The company Sports Labs BE is as of 6 July 2012 approved by NOC * NSF as a testing institute for performing laboratory tests and inspections of sports floors. Sports Labs BE is located in Gentbrugge in Belgium and is part of Sports Labs Ltd. Sports Labs BE is an ISO / IEC 17020 certified company that, among other FIFA, FIH and the International Rugby Board works.

On behalf of the NOC * NSF plays a central role in the way sports flooring and sports facilities are approved in the Netherlands. This requires certain standards (sports and technical equipment) determined that inspection bodies must fulfill. In the Netherlands, a select number of companies are approved by by NOC * NSF for such testing protocols that must be performed NOC-1

The management of standards and test methods for sport has for many years been in the hands of ISA Sport (now ISA KIWA). After ISA KIWA became an independent organization, the management of standards and test methods transferred to NOC * NSF.  In 2008, the company INTRON NOC * NSF Certification (now SGS INTRON) were approved for the testing of sports surfaces and now Sports Labs BE the third test institute recognized by NOC * NSF.

Besides ISA KIWA and SGS INTRON's also Sports Labs BE contribute expertise to the testing of sports surfaces and sports facilities in the Netherlands in accordance with established procedures.

Here we see Roland Draajier of NOC with Eric and Yannick of Sports Labs BE

Wakefield Hockey Club; complete new world class 'blue' hockey pitch and refurbish the existing pitch

The new all-weather pitches at Wakefield Sports Club were officially opened on Saturday 23rd June during a weekend of celebration and festival of hockey involving players from all over the country. Juniors, seniors and masters enjoyed the weekend with friendly and competitive games against local and not so local opposition. The weekend marked the completion of the major project to create a world-class hockey venue. Following the trend set by the London 2012 hockey stadium, Wakefield Sports Club’s College Grove site now has a new blue water-based pitch alongside its fully refurbished green pitch. Both meet international standards.

Project Leader Peter Clay said, “This is a fantastic facility for hockey of the highest level. It is the premier hockey club facility in the North of England.” The Chinese Ladies Olympic Hockey Team will use the pitch for their pre games training in July.

The project could not have been completed without the effort of a team of committed volunteers.

Wakefield Hockey Club President, Chris Partridge said; “This is a big investment for the future and just reward for our dedication to the development of hockey and junior hockey in particular".

Sports Labs again assisted Wakefield Hockey Club in the Planning, Design, Procurement and Project Management of the works to both pitches. The site continues it development as a premier site for hockey with these high quality 'Global' standard pitches.

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