At first thought, playing sports on real grass may seem like the more appealing option. However, there are plenty of reasons to consider using artificial grass instead.
Sports surfaces must be durable and functional. Unless you have unlimited resources for maintenance, real grass often doesn't meet expectations. In some cases, this can impact the quality of the sport.
Here's our guide to playing sports on artificial turf:
Artificial grass for football has come a long way in the past 20 years. The 3G pitches available today are nothing like the sandy, rough turf used in the 1990s.
They're filled with rubber crumb, which is a combination of sand and rubber granules. This provides a more comfortable experience for the player and improves ball control.
The pile (blades of artificial grass) is longer in the 3G pitches too, making this new style of turf much more realistic. It resembles real grass, both in appearance and functionality. You can even wear studded boots on the pitch, which improves grip significantly. This, along with the rubber crumb, reduces the risk of grazed knees encountered with the old style of synthetic pitch.
There's plenty of choice when it comes to artificial turf for football. For the best playing experience, we recommend a pile length between 40 and 60mm.
The development of 3G pitches has also revolutionised the use of artificial grass for rugby, with many professional teams choosing them over real grass.
A rugby pitch needs to be durable. It must be able to withstand repeated impact, especially in high traffic areas. With real grass, this is a challenge -- particularly during the wet, winter months.
Artificial turf improves safety and performance, providing a comfortable playing experience, whatever the weather.
The British weather also represents a real challenge for tennis clubs. During summer, unpredictable rainfall continues to disrupt matches on even the most well-maintained courts.
If you need sports surfaces to increase playing time, artificial grass is the answer. Outdoor courts enable play to continue as little as 30 minutes after the rain stops, with indoor courts available for year-round use.
Artificial tennis courts have a shorter pile length than 3G pitches, ensuring optimal ball control. A range of options are available, to suit varying abilities and styles of play.
Hockey was one of the first sports to embrace synthetic sports surfaces. The majority of professional games are now played on an artificial pitch.
The playing surface has a direct influence on the quality of play, so this should always be a priority. We recommend a short pile, or needlepunch surface, to optimise ball control, bounce, speed and safety
Finding the right sports surface for cricket can be a challenge, but it's not impossible. It's important to ensure the artificial turf is non-directional and durable, especially in the high traffic areas of the pitch.
For this reason, woven surfaces are the best choice. They're extremely durable, and perform well under tension for long periods. If you have a limited budget, needlepunch surfaces over the next best solution, providing a balance between cost and resilience.
We rarely recommend tufted surfaces for cricket. These tend to be mass produced products, and often fail to provide the desired results in terms of longevity.
If you're looking for an artificial turf to use on a bowling green, you must carefully consider the materials used. Just like cricket, a non-directional surface is required. For bowls, the artificial grass must also provide consistent green speeds.
Bowling greens that use real grass are notoriously difficult to maintain, and costs to employ groundsmen are high. Maintenance of artificial grass is much less time-consuming, and consequently more cost-effective for the majority of bowls clubs.
Indoor bowling greens are also available, providing a place for you to play all year round.
Artificial grass can also be used to reduce maintenance cost for high-impact sections of the golf course. Typically, the areas surround the tees and putting greens are the hardest to maintain, as they endure the most wear and tear.
Artificial turf can be used in these areas to provide a resilient and cost-effective solution. A range of options are available to provide a realistic finish, with varying pile heights to suit different areas of the course.