Artificial surfaces for Football Pitches

In recent years SSL have played a significant role in the design, development and delivery of artificial turf pitches designed to cater for football usage. We have overseen design improvements which have now become the industry norm.

The development of 3G (‘3rd Generation’) synthetic turf has revolutionised the use of artificial pitches for football. With a longer pile height (normally between 40mm and 65mm) compared to previous synthetic turf systems, 3G synthetic turf is designed to replicate the look, feel and playing characteristics of natural turf and enables players to wear studded boots.

Other shorter pile synthetic turf surfaces can be utilised for football training but only 3G synthetic turf will provide a surface that achieves FA performance standards which, in turn, permits usage for FA affiliated competitions where sanctioned.

With the addition of the appropriate shockpad, a 3G synthetic turf system can also be used for full contact rugby.

Providing appropriate footwear is used, 3G turf can still be used for sports other than football or rugby, providing the ‘other’ sports usage does not need to achieve a particular sporting standard.

Recent innovation has seen the introduction of ‘4G’ synthetic turf. Similar to 3G, this is a longer pile turf again designed to cater primarily for football. However ‘4G’ turf does not contain any loose infill material (rubber, sand or otherwise). 4G turf is not currently recognised by the FA as an approved surface type. Although achieving the majority of performance criteria, most 4G products are not able to meet every test requirement and hence their usage so far has been reasonably limited.

There is no single type of synthetic turf that provides exceptional playing experience for all sports. Different sports demand very different playing characteristics and as such it is important to ensure that the surface type selected is best suited to the main priority sports that a facility will, in the future, receive most use for.

The SSL team have expansive knowledge of the products available from the vast majority of  synthetic turf manufacturers. With so many different football orientated synthetic turf products available it can prove difficult to understand what is the best choice for your facility. At SSL we are able to provide our clients with independent, non manufacturer led advice and make sure that you make the best selection for your requirements.