Long Throws Test Bed - ready for action

The first hammers will be flying onto the demonstration area at Crownpoint Track next week!  This experimental surface has been designed to test the ability of artificial turf to deal with hammers and javelins impacting the surface. Watch this space for results. 


Test bed in good shap for the trials

Test bed in good shap for the trials

Test bed ready for action at the new track at Crownpoint

Test bed ready for action at the new track at Crownpoint

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.


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.

Shock pads in 3G Turf; why you should have one!

We were recently asked to justify why we recommend shock pads in 3G pitch systems. We have been an advocate of their use for many years now even although a 3G turf will have sand and rubber infill which in theory will provide safety and performance to the playing surface. A shock pad will add if you will an 'insurance policy' for the Client perhaps this is why an educated Client may choose to go with one in their pitch.

Long-term performance Here research has shown that as a playing surface ages the performance of a 3G pitch deteriorates and can infact fall below the original specification requirements (FIFA, EN or IRB) within the first third of the life of the pitch. Here it has proven difficult to recover the pitch back to a position of compliance even with intensive maintenance.

A shock pad will protect the performance of the playing surface in the long-term where tests have shown that the playing surface even when worn will retain the principal performance parameters long into the last phase of the life of the artificial turf.

Compliance A shock pad is required to meet certain Global standards such as that issued by IRB. Many football turf fields are using shorter pile height artificial turf; where pile height falls below 50mm a shock pad is essential to meet FIFA requirements.

Multi sport Funding is very focused on providing multi sport facilities. The concept of funding a one sport field is no longer acceptable for publicly funded projects. Here the 'One Turf' concept is a finding a great deal of support in Sports Funding Bodies and Municipalities. Here football, rugby, lacrosse, games all are supported on an playing surface. In this case a shock pad would be required.

Maintenance Whilst the profile of maintenance has never been higher a large number of facilities within communities do not receive maintenance. A shock pad offers an opportunity to build in protection in terms of safety and performance.

Other areas have been promoted such as a shock pad reduces maintenance by virtue of keeping the fill mobile, reduces refurbishment costs and regulates the energy restitution of the playing surface.

There are sound reasons why a shock pad should be incorporated into a artificial pitch where budgets allow however in community based facilities safety in the long term will be a significant factor.