, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 59-64

Spatial characterisation of natural and third-generation artificial turf football pitches

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Abstract

In contrast to the situation with early artificial turf pitches, little information has previously been published on the characterisation of third-generation artificial surfaces. The spatial variation of ball rebound resilience and rotational resistance were measured here under dry conditions, late in the season, for two natural turf football pitches and a recently laid third-generation artificial turf pitch. Data for the natural turf pitches show a wider variation with position on the pitch than for the artificial pitch. The latter surface showed remarkable consistency in both quantities measured. Surprisingly, all ball rebound resilience data and some of the rotational resistance values were found to lie outside current FIFA specifications, possibly due to the level of wear in natural turf at this stage of the season. For the artificial turf, the deterioration in properties over a period of 6 months is significant and suggests more frequent testing is needed. Taking data from various pitch positions, the two measured quantities were shown for the first time, as far as we are aware, to be inversely related for both natural turf pitches. This correlation may be largely attributed to differences in the extent of grass cover and/or soil compaction. For artificial turf, the lack of variation in measured quantities with pitch position precluded the determination of any correlation.