Third generation artificial pitch quality in commercial football centers

EMERY, Jim, DRISCOLL, Heather F, BARNES, Andrew and JAMES, David (2016). Third generation artificial pitch quality in commercial football centers. Procedia Engineering, 147, 860-865.

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Small sided football is the most popular and fastest growing area of adult football in the UK with an estimated 1.5m adults playing every week. The sport's popularity has led to an influx of commercial football centers offering organized 5, 6 and 7-a-side leagues on third generation artificial pitches. The range of quality and maintenance of these pitches is not fully understood despite the established links between surface quality, player performance and injury. Currently researchers and manufacturers use national governing body standards as guidelines for quality; however, many commercial centers are not approved by governing bodies and therefore are not obliged to meet these criteria. In this paper we characterize the quality of 23 pitches at five, UK based, commercial football centers using portable, low cost methods including; the FIFA rotational resistance test, the Clegg Impact Hammer and an infill depth probe. This paper describes the range of qualities observed, alongside maintenance procedures and usage statistics. To the authors knowledge this is the first study that characterizes commercial football center pitches. Twenty-two of the 23 pitches met the FIFA 1 star guidelines for rotational resistance (25 - 50 Nm), however, mean Clegg Impact Hammer readings are high (208 G), suggesting surface compliance in commercial centers falls outside FIFA standards. Within pitch variance was common at all centers and was an order of magnitude higher in some pitch comparisons. These findings have two practical implications; 1) pitch quality and maintenance at commercial centers is highly variable across and within pitches, 2) the harder surfaces and the high levels of variability found in commercial football centers suggests that players require footwear researched and designed specifically for these conditions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The Engineering of SPORT 11 issue. Presented at 11th conference of the International Sports Engineering Association, ISEA. Delft, The Netherlands. 11-15 July 2016.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 860-865
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2016 14:14
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 00:36

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