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Artificial turf - The Past, Present and Future

14/12/2008

While sports such as American football have met with great acceptance and success using artificial turf as a playing surface for pitches, in the UK, we have yet to adopt artificial turf as an acceptable playing surface for major football games.

For almost thirty years, artificial turf has been the subject of fierce debate when installed and played upon in UK football stadiums. In truth, early attempts at building quality pitches using artificial turf failed miserably, because the product was simply unsuitable. First generation artificial turf was little more than a green indoor/outdoor carpet. Slips were common; numbers of sports injuries rose and the actual play of the ball with its high lofty bounces was pure comedy.

Artificial Turf Successfully Used for Field Hockey

The second generation of artificial turf placed into use used longer fibers and sand infill. This allowed for running traction and deadened to some degree excessive bounce of the ball. Still, the shock absorbing abilities of second-generation artificial turf was lacking and insufficient for high level football. This surface was found to be acceptable for use in pitches intended for field hockey play.

Modern Artificial Turf - Now in Use for Football

Modern third generation artificial turf uses curled tufts of blades that act as a spring, cushioning both running and falls. This latest technology artificial turf uses a layer of recycled rubber beneath the grass blade surface to control ball bounce and absorb impact. This latest evolution of artificial turf has met with FIFA approval and is currently in use at their One Star pitch at Milton Keynes.

Will World Cup Football Some Day be Played on Artificial Turf?

Future development of artificial turf looks to see silicone used as a further cushioning agent. Fibre-optic elements are being added to both tufting and fills so as to create improved lighting and perhaps be used as large-scale digital media signs. The low maintenance cost and weather proof usability of artificial turf marks it as the future surface for football.

Interested in Artificial Turf for Your Pitch? Speak to Tiger Turf

Tiger Turf artificial turf has been successfully installed in pitches all across the UK. From small local soccer centres to the warm-up area of Twickenham Stadium, Tiger Turf is taking its place as the all-weather football surface of the future. You will find on our website an online contact form or for direct enquiries please phone us on +44 (0) 1299 253 966.

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