Most Frequently Asked Questions



Does an artificial turf pitch for field hockey differ from other sports?

An artificial turf pitch for field hockey differs substantially from surfaces used in contact sports such as soccer and football. There is greater acceptance of polyamide/nylon pitches in field hockey than in other sports due to the stiffer nature of these surfaces. Also, regardless of the material used for the playing surface, a field hockey pitch will typically have much lower pile height, less or no infill, and a different shock-pad system than for a football or soccer pitch.

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How fast is an artificial turf pitch?

Water-based polyamide/nylon pitches are generally a little faster than sand-filled polyamide/nylon pitches in which the quantity of sand will further determine the speed characteristics of the pitch.

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

Playing sports all year round is one of the reasons why artificial turf was designed. Rain or snow does 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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Can official field hockey games be played on artificial turf pitches?

FIH has a classification system for artificial turf pitches which fall into three categories: Global, Standard and Starter. Global Category pitches are mandatory for all FIH world-level competitions such as: Olympic Games and World Cups; Standard Category pitches are considered satisfactory for international matches and/or tournaments; Starter Category pitches are considered good for local levels of field hockey.

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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. Today specially designed artificial turf surfaces for field hockey offer identical 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 field hockey pitches?

While the majority of pitches are made from polypropylene, polyethylene, or nylon, FIH 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 excellent 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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