Most Frequently Asked Questions



Does an artificial turf pitch for American Football differ from other sports?

There are differences in playing surfaces for the different sports. As a broad consideration, American football does have similar characteristics to rugby – both are deemed to be ‘contact sports’, and therefore a playing surface with high shock absorbency and pile height is needed. In comparison, soccer needs less absorbency and shorter pile height in the system, and field hockey needs even less of these.

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Is it safe to play football on an artificial turf pitch?

Yes. Safety continues to be the major concern amongst football players when it comes to artificial turf, which has been wrongly accused of causing more injury than natural grass. A study by the NFL concluded there were slightly fewer serious injuries on artificial turf compared to natural grass, though synthetic fields reported more minor injuries. Serious injury was defined as one causing a player to miss one or two games.

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Can I play football on an artificial pitch in all weather conditions?

Yes. Playing football or any other sport all year round is one of the reasons why artificial turf was designed. Rain and snow do not affect the quality and condition of an artificial pitch. You can play on sand-filled pitches until a temperature of -10 C°. Water based pitches can be played on until temperatures above 0 C°. Under soil heating can help keep the pitch from building up puddles or frost from the inside.

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What are the playing characteristics of an artificial turf pitch compared to a natural grass pitch?

Artificial turf has evolved significantly, and today specially designed artificial turf surfaces offer basically the same playing characteristics of natural grass in terms of ball-surface and player-surface behavior, combined with the known benefits from artificial surfaces: playing consistency, durability and low maintenance.

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What is the most favored material for the manufacture of football pitches?

While the majority of pitches are made from polypropylene or polyethylene NFL does not dictate any particular type of material which should be used. In recent years, however, polyethylene is being used to a greater extent due to its better sliding factor (or lower slide resistance) and its increased softness properties compared to materials such as polypropylene or nylon.

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What is the lifetime of a pitch?

Generally around ten years. Although for sports that are consistently played on, such as soccer, the lifespan is usually around seven years.

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What kind of maintenance does an artificial turf need?

Artificial turf needs very little maintenance, minimal compared to natural grass pitches. Mainly brushing the surface to de-compact the infill and bring the yarns to an upright position, and keeping dirt such as leaves, clay, and small branches off the pitch. Thus it does not require qualified skills or an expensive workforce for maintenance. Also, depending on the construction quality of water drainage within the turf system, the drainage characteristics of a well-constructed artificial turf system is better than a natural grass field.

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How long does the installation of an artificial turf pitch take?

On average, once the grounds have been prepared for the laying of artificial grass carpets (i.e. the sub-base has been constructed), the installation of the carpet takes about three to six weeks. The installation time will also depending on prevailing weather conditions.

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Are there any health concerns about lead used in aged artificial turf?

No. Reports of health concerns have not been supported by any laboratory analysis on artificial turf or on humans that indicate any risk of harm due to potential exposure to chemicals. To learn more please read this press release from the Synthetic Turf Council.

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