ARTIFICIAL TURF FOR ATHLETIC FIELDS
The inventors of the original ‘Astroturf’ had sports arenas in mind and even today, it remains highly popular. Artificial grass has been engineered towards meeting the high demands of sports and athletic teams. It is designed to offer durability, resilience, player protections, and picturesque beauty. Similar to the artificial turf used on golf courses, the one used for athletic fields is more cost-effective compared to natural grass.
Artificial turf has for many decades now been gradually replacing natural grass in athletic fields around the world. This ranges from professional league arenas and Olympic stadiums to grade school fields. Artificial turf athletic fields offer several benefits that natural turf simply cannot compete with.
Can Withstand Heavy Use
Compared to natural turf, today’s synthetic/artificial infill turf fields can sustain heavy usage. Unlike synthetic turf, after athletic activities, natural turf needs some recovery period. Typically synthetic turf includes nylon fibers that are attached to a latex porous polyethylene backing as well as 2-inch infill of crumb rubber located inside the fibers. Often a polyurethane pad is placed just beneath the backing to give extra cushioning. For drainage, nearly all of them employ 8-12 inch sand/gravel sub-base plus sideline drains.
Even in moderate rain, natural turf fields are likely to turn to muddy and soggy fields. If used while it’s raining, you can expect to do a good deal of leveling and grass replanting after the event. Natural grass just cannot maintain its resilient and lush look if used daily or during snow/drought months. However, for a synthetic turf field, come rain or shine, athletes will leave the field looking perfect every time. The all-weather attributes of artificial turf fields make them particularly suitable for wetter areas or where play runs throughout the year.
Safety and Performance
With innovations and new developments, artificial grass is attaining levels that no other kind of play surface can ever hope to reach in terms of player performance. Speaking of player injuries, artificial turfs go beyond simply preventing falls and slips as player well-being remains at the forefront when developing these products. In particular, FIFA Quality Turf has been extensively tested and benchmarked against natural grass in terms of performance measures and player safety.
Installation Cost and Maintenance
Maintaining a natural grass playing field takes labor, time, and lots of money especially in areas that experience dry weather. Although after installation, your synthetic turf is ready to be used, it needs to be installed by experts who specialize in this technology. Many factors influence the cost of installation including the geographic location, size of the field, labor, and the drainage system, among others.
It’s nearly impossible for natural grass to remain resilient and lush if used more than 3-4 a week. Similarly, during drought/snow grass doesn’t grow well. This, together with an escalating need to have durable fields that can accommodate multiple field activities, the need to conserve water, high cost of maintaining natural turf or landscape, have prompted teams, sports associations, schools, and municipalities to turn to artificial turf.