FIFA issue 2015 Test Method and Requirements Manual for the FIFA Quality Concept

FIFA the world governing body of football has issued a major update of its Quality Concept for Football Turf. Both the handbook of test methods and requirements have been revised. These are the test methods and requirements, which regulate the use of artificial turf in the game. The updated manuals contain new tests and new requirements all aimed at enhancing the performance and durability of artificial turf used for the elite – FIFA Quality Pro and community FIFA Quality aspects of the game.

A new accelerated wear machine called the Lisport XL, which is used to condition the samples under tests by aging them by wear is significantly, ball roll is now done on these samples.

This is a game changer for preferred producers and licencees who manufacture these type of products, in effect meaning that all the previous registered ‘systems’ that FIFA have recorded (some 1600) will now need to be at least in part re-examined within a year.

New tests to perform the laboratory examination of samples infill splash and the heating properties of the turf system have been added. Also new tests for the measurement of the thickness of yarns have been added. Tests must now be performed on all coloured turf samples – therefore all line marking colours will need to be tested just like the parent green turf system. Here are the other new tests/changes;

·      Method for the measurement of free pile height

·      Method for the measurement of infill depth

·      Method for the determination of UV stabiliser content in yarns

·      Method for clarification of the particle size distribution measurement

·      Method for clarification for the measurement of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)

·      Method for clarification for the measurement of yarn decitex

·      Method for clarification of product identification on woven carpet products

·      Method for clarification of porosity testing on artificial turf systems

·      Method for clarification of yarn thickness measurement

·      The following tests have been removed from the handbook of test methods:

·      Stud slide and stud deceleration removed from laboratory testing

·      Wear simulation with lisport removed from laboratory testing

·      All products used for field markings (lines and logos where applicable) need to be tested as independent products.

·      Only one specific product may be used per field. No combination of different products (different colours, yarn compositions or other) may be used on one single field.

·      Tighter requirements for product test in the laboratory

·      Recommendations for the testing of run-off areas (both with natural and artificial playing surfaces) have been included in this handbook

Category-specific changes


·      A new method to assess infill splash has been introduced for this level of the game

·      Requirement relating to the quality of lines, goals and all relevant playing equipment have been included in the test institute assessment

·      Performance tests in the laboratory after 3020 cycles on the lisport XL including reduced ball roll

·      Ball roll requirements for re-tests reduced from 10m to 8m


·      Performance tests in the laboratory after 6020 cycles on the lisport XL including reduced ball roll

Further information on both the handbook of test methods and the handbook of requirements can be downloaded via these links


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!


Printing the profiled roller  


Long Throws test bed - base ready for shock pad!

Our long throws test bed is taking shape with the stone and macadam now complete!


During the construction, the base was tested using a light weight defectometer see photo below to ensure that the compaction is consistent and meets minimum stiffness requirements set for the base ( no deformation potential ).  

testing.jpg 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 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

Warrington Victoria Park Athletics Stadium gets major refit Get on your marks Warrington gets track revamp. Victoria Park gets new state-of-the-art facilities

VICTORIA Park Athletics Arena development plans to create state-of-the-art facilities are well underway with the opening of the newly refurbished track.

Sports Labs led the project for Warrington Borough Council in preparing a specification for the works, tendering and project managing the works. The contract was won by Thornton Sports who were appointed to refurbish the track.

The original track surface was laid with cinders before being upgraded to a polymeric surface in the early 1980s. The polymeric track was last refurbished in 2001 so was now in need of a full depth replacement.

The new polymeric track is blue and there is a dual use rugby and football pitch in the centre featuring a new drainage system.

As part of the works the hammer and discus cage has been relocated in the central area and the pole vault was moved next to the long jump on the outside of the running track.

Warrington Athletics Club will use the track as their home venue and stage North West regional open track and field athletics meetings during the open season.

As the first multi sport facility of its kind in the town, the arena can accommodate competitions from junior to senior elite level, and is fully accessible for disabled users.

At the track opening, Cllr Kate Hannon, executive board member for leisure, community and culture, said:

“This was a superb event, there was a real buzz about the place and we have been inspired by the enthusiasm of all the athletes here tonight. This is a fantastic multi sporting facility that will be a great asset to the town

“The enthusiasm of the club towards this project shows how much this facility means to them and will attract regional events, which is good for the sport and the town."

This project is part of the council’s ongoing investment into the park and there is more investment and improvements still to come during the next few years.

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.


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

Peterborough Embankment Athletics Track; get's a facelift with Sports Labs help!

Peterborough Embankment Athletics Track A major refurbishment of the Embankment athletics facility was commissioned by Peterborough Council to bring the facility up to modern standards.  The facility is managed by Vivacity Peterborough on behalf of Peterborough City Council, who actually funded the project. Sports Labs provided specialist consultancy services to Peterborough  Enterprise to assist in the management of this project.

Following a tendering process to SAPCA approved track builder members, Blakedown Sport and Play were awarded the contract.

The works included adding new training straights, modifying and refurbishing the long/triple jump facilities dealing with run-off from embankments on the home straight together with the replacement of all the polymeric surfaces on the track.

As with most ageing facilities you are never quite sure what you will find when you remove the old track surface and that was the case here; we found a very poor substrate which required a lot of work to make sure it complied with modern athletic requirements and was durable (future proof). The works in general were delivered smoothly and generally to programme albeit the early weather in spring was very cool to say the least and most importantly to budget.

The track has a thriving club network and this refurbishment puts the facility right back in the frame as regards athletics in the heart of the Cambridgeshire, Rutland, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire borders. We are looking forward to seeing the athletics results of this investment in years to come.

Image 1

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.

Infill splash; preliminary conclusions from research project

Preliminary conclusions from research project into infill splash 330 videos and 990 photographs were gathered during testing. From these, 108 graphs were produced. Upon analysing these graphs, the following conclusions were drawn:

A test has been developed to characterise the infill splash as a result of ball impacts on football turf systems at various angles and speeds. By use of well documented apparatus and high speed camera work the results of the tests can be measured and recorded. Repeated testing of products is suggestive of reproducible results. The height of splash and distribution of fill over an impact area are of lower significance than the T.V categorization would suggest 'in general'. A lower pile weight can be compensated for by high free pile, and vice-versa. • Generally, the higher the free pile, the lower the test values for splash. • Coloured EPDM (green) was less noticeable than the Black and or Brown SBR’s on the camera. • Testing the surface when wet gives lower, or better, results than dry testing.

Does the test measure typical ball impact on the surface? We need to examine TV footage of games to study ball impacts on a field with ball impacts in the Laboratory. Can we rank products with the test? From the data collected it would appear we can rank products as problematic or low splash we need to work on a system to rank products.

The research work will continue so that the test and results can be developed then peer reviewed.