Artificial grass was first designed for use in sport and has seen great improvements in its design and functionality since its inception in the 1960’s.
When it comes to soccer, the use of sand-filled artificial grass systems continued to raise questions in terms of its suitability for the sport, until more recently, when third-generation systems which include both sand and rubber granule infill, became available in the 1990’s.
It was with the advent of the third-generation artificial grass systems that FIFA recognised the potential of artificial grass for the further development of soccer.
In order to ensure that artificial grass used for the sport is be able to offer all the benefits that FIFA seeks, the organisation maintains the FIFA Quality Programme. Only artificial grass products that have undergone stringent FIFA approved testing can be called football turf.
For most schools and small clubs, FIFA approved turf may not be entirely necessary, however for large soccer stadiums or practice venues where international teams are likely to compete and practice, FIFA approved artificial grass is mandatory.
Why does FIFA endorse the use of artificial grass in soccer?
Performance: Because the interaction between the player and surface, as well as the ball and surface is a serious consideration, teams are assured that an artificial turf is an outstanding alternative that will enhance practice and play.
Maintenance: Artificial grass is the perfect alternative as weather conditions and location make no difference to the quality of the grass. Artificial grass requires no sunlight which is perfect for indoor facilities. Where natural grass could become scorched from excessive heat or damaged from frost and cold, artificial grass is not affected by extreme weather conditions.
Durability: Provided the soccer pitch is maintained correctly, with artificial turf installed it can withstand substantial use and significantly more hours of play than a pitch with natural turf. Artificial grass will not become worn out after excessive use and provides teams with a consistent quality pitch at all times.
Safety: Polyethylene terephthalate is the plastic used to manufacture artificial grass. Made from carbon and hydrogen, polyethylene is considered safe for exposure to human beings and does not contain properties that are carcinogenic or known to disrupt hormones. In terms of the construction of a pitch using artificial grass, sufficient cushioning prevents injury while the infill used to maintain the grass pile, is today more often produced using safe materials rather than rubber.
Convenience: Teams can, weather and light permitting, play indoors or outdoors and can play at all times and for extended periods on pitches that have been built using artificial grass. This along with all of the other benefits of using artificial grass, makes for the ultimate in convenience for both professional and amateur teams.
But isn’t an artificial turf expensive?
While it does require an initial investment to build a soccer pitch using artificial grass, that outlay very quickly recoups itself as regular maintenance and turf management costs are significantly reduced.
In a country where our varied weather conditions and lack of water make soccer pitch maintenance particularly expensive and challenging, an artificial grass pitch is a cost-effective and highly practical option.
Since many FIFA endorsed international pitches are now built using artificial grass, for any school or club intent on preparing players for the big leagues, an artificial grass pitch provides them with the experience they need to go further in their game.
Book an assessment of your soccer pitch today
Perfect Grass has the experience and expertise to design and install a variety of football fields, ranging from small domestic fields, to 5-a-side soccer pitches. We also provide highly cost-effective options for budget conscious customers looking for a small practice field.
With offices in both Johannesburg and Cape Town, if you are a school, sports club, university or any other organisation looking for a sports field with artificial grass – give us a call.
Call us on 021 212 9898 (Cape Town) or 010 442 0400 (Johannesburg)