RFU Standard Requirements for the design and operation of football pitches with an artificial surface

RFU Standard Requirements for the design and operation of football pitches with an artificial surface

Requirements for the design and operation of football pitches with an artificial grass surface.

25.05.2017

Caring for a field with an artificial grass surface

1. Distributing game wear

In order to avoid excessive wear on those sections of the football pitch that receive the most use (primarily the goal and penalty areas), it is recommended that the training site be alternated and the central part of the football pitch employed through the use of portable goal posts.

2. Monitoring the level of infill material

During use, a redistribution of the infill materials introduced to the surface during installation takes place. To preserve the integrity of the grass and the surface construction, the level of infill materials in the surface must be regularly monitored. The level of free grass over sand and rubber granulate should amount to 2 cm (± 10%). Should the length of the free grass exceed the permissible values, the missing infill material must be added without delay. When checking the level of backfill materials, special attention should be paid to the penalty, corner, and goal areas.

3. Straightening the grass

During use, the artificial grass comes to be flattened and pressed down on the surface of the football pitch. This affects the way the ball rolls and damages the grass. To restore functionality to the grass.

it is important to regularly brush it, otherwise it can be seriously damaged to the point of becoming unfixable. Hand brushes, brush tips, or special equipment for the care of artificial grass can be used to straighten the grass. Tractors used on the field must employ low pressure tires and special tread for use on lawns.

4. Surface cleaning

Debris of organic or mineral origin, such as leaves and stones, can accumulate on the surface depending on the time of year (especially in spring and autumn) and the surrounding landscape (trees, gravel). All debris should be cleaned on a regular basis, otherwise the appearance of the surface and its technical properties, such as resistance to stress and water penetration, will suffer. Debris can be removed manually or with the use of special artificial grass care equipment.

5. Deep cleaning with a redistribution of infill material

During use, debris accumulating on the surface of the artificial grass can gradually penetrate the infill material. As a result, the infill material comes to be re-compacted, and drainage deteriorates. A deep cleaning of the surface must be carried out periodically to retain the characteristics required of a playing field. Deep cleaning can only be carried out with special equipment for the care of artificial grass.

6. Weed prevention

Weeds spread by wind, birds, and inadequate care can grow and shorten the life of the synthetic surface. Measures must be taken to prevent the appearance of weeds and moss. Herbicides can be employed to this end in combination with anti-germination mixtures. The mixtures employed must comply with environmental standards.

7. Weather requirements

Wet and damp weather limits one’s ability to care for the grass. Even with the help of special equipment it is impossible to correctly follow instructions for maintenance under these particular conditions because of the way the infill sticks and clumps together. The effects of wet weather should be eliminated when both the grass and the infill are dry. In case of prolonged humidity, especially in autumn, it is recommended that dirt be cleared from the surface with the use of a rotating brush. Should infill material not need to be redistributed, the brush may be adjusted to the desired height.

8. A tentative schedule of field care activities (to be adjusted in accordance with game usage).

Operation Daily Weekly Monthly Annually
Straightening grass   Х    
Straightening grass in the penalty area Х      
Cleaning surface   Х    
Deep cleaning     Х  
Weed prevention       Х
Monitoring the level of infill materials (entire field)   Х    

Monitoring the level of infill materials (penalty and corner areas)

Х      

 

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