Your football club or school can benefit from third generation artificial turf designed specifically for football. 3G Football Turf provides a high quality and safe playing surface comparable to natural grass. Its use is approved by FIFA, UEFA and The FA for professional competition and is now explicitly permitted in The Laws of The Game.
History of Artificial Turf in Football
Fake grass was first used in professional football by QPR in 1981 and was often referred to as Astro Turf. Several football teams installed artificial turf due to the benefits of low maintenance and high durability. However, many clubs discovered this first generation of artificial turf was not suitable for football as player injuries increased on the harder surface and ball response was dissimilar to natural grass; it would not always roll or bounce as expected.
The last football match played in England on first generation artificial turf was in 1994. After the 1994 season, all clubs went back to natural turf and the use of artificial turf was later banned by FIFA in professional match play. Thereafter, football teams would only use artificial turf on training grounds.
Many schools and amateur football clubs continued to use artificial turf for its practical benefits; these facilities were often known as All Weather Pitches. Unfortunately, this continued use of an inferior product has made many footballers averse to playing on an artificial surface, especially if they experienced a hard fall or severe abrasion. 3G Turf cannot be compared to its 1994 predecessor and Gareth Southgate summarised with this remark:
“I would actively encourage all who have not yet experienced 3G Football Turf to go out and try it…”
3G Football Turf
Almost 20 years later, artificial turf has been significantly developed to a high standard of realism and safety that is comparable to natural grass. Longer turf fibres between 40mm and 65mm along with the introduction of rubber crumb infill and an e-layer (shock pad under the turf) provide superior emulation of a natural grass football pitch.
These ground breaking advances in which artificial turf performs very similar to natural grass have led to FIFA to use a new expression; Football Turf is the name given to third generation artificial turf that has been specifically designed for football. In recognition of the fact that only third generation artificial turf is suitable for football, The FA and many other leagues frequently use the full name, 3G Football Turf.
The 2012/2013 season is a turning point for the professional game as FA Rules now permit the use of 3G Football Turf in league football and The FA Cup Committee likewise allow 3G Football Turf in FA Cup competition up to the Fourth Qualifying Round. This ruling also has a positive impact on the amateur game because football clubs, colleges and schools are now looking at artificial surfaces in a new positive light.
Natural turf cannot be maintained to a high quality with more than 300 hours of football per year. Many clubs and schools use their main pitch for more than one team and for training sessions; this results in overuse and especially if the pitch is occupied daily. Natural grass is damaged by the weight of studs cutting into the surface and the pitch needs time to recover after each game or training session. Overuse will always reduce the quality of your natural grass pitch.
The solution to intense usage without loss of surface quality is a 3G Pitch. This not only provides a consistently high quality playing surface but also reduces your football pitch maintenance costs. Furthermore, a 3G pitch can create a new revenue stream as many clubs and schools have taken advantage of their new durable and high quality football surface by hiring out the 3G pitch when it is not in use. Some 3G Turf products are suitable for both football and rugby, which opens even more opportunities to pitch sharing and cost saving.