Artificial surfaces for Rugby pitches

Competitive rugby, whether union or league, can be played on artificial turf providing that the surface ‘system’ provides the necessary performance requirements.

The importance of the surface ‘system’ is perhaps more critical for rugby than most other sports. That surface system involves the combined effect of both the synthetic turf surface itself (& associated infill) and also the underlying rubber shockpad layer. Care must be taken to ensure that the necessary health and safety requirements are acheived, in particular the HIC or ‘Head Impact Criteria’. The only artificial turf that can achieve these requirements is the longer pile 3G (‘3rd Generation) type.

Back in 2003, World Rugby Regulation 22 was introduced to ensure that 3G surfaces replicate the playing qualities of good quality natural grass. In many countries where the game is played, including the UK, natural grass surfaces become dangerously waterlogged or badly worn and for many weeks (or even months) of the year are unsuitable for play.

The development of 3G turf systems that offer both World Rugby and FIFA compliance has meant that 3G synthetic turf rugby pitches can, if required, be also used for football which can provide a potential solution to facility operators wishing to maximise the use of their facility.

Other shorter pile synthetic turf surfaces can be utilised for rugby training but only 3G synthetic turf will provide a surface that achieves World Rugby performance standards.

The SSL team have expansive knowledge of the products available from the vast majority of  synthetic turf manufacturers. With so many different 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.