Artificial sports turf is used more often than you might think.
Go to any sporting event and you’ll see that artificial grass is becoming the norm for pitches and back yards. It’s actually a fantastic option for many uses, from your home lawn to children’s play areas.
Why is it that it’s becoming so popular, and could you use it in your own sporting arena? Here’s everything that you need to know.
Related: Where to buy used sports turf
The History of Artificial Grass and Sports
Not a lot of people know that artificial grass actually came about because sports fields needed an alternative play surface.
Companies were experimenting with artificial grass as an offshoot of carpeting in the early 60’s. At the same time, the Astrodome was having problems with their grass. Despite their semi transparent panels on the ceiling, the grass wasn’t getting enough light, so it was dying.
It got so bad that in the end, they were painting the dirt green in order to make the field look ‘normal’.
In the end, they were one of the first sporting arenas to try what was then called ‘ChemGrass’. At first, they could only have it on the infield, but before long, the entire field was covered. Soon, other arenas were picking up ChemGrass too and reaping the benefits of it.
Why Artificial Grass is Used in Sporting Arenas
So, why has artificial grass remained so popular with sporting arenas? Well, there’s many reasons why, and you should keep them in mind for your own pitch:
– Less maintenance: There’s so much less you need to do to keep artificial grass up to standard. It doesn’t require watering, which saves you a lot of money on your water bills. It won’t need mowing, which also means that you won’t be adding to the pollution that comes from mowers. If your pitch is covered, you don’t even need to worry about debris covering it. All you need to do is give it a brush once a game is over to reshape the bristles. It’s as easy as that.
– Won’t die or dry up: The problem with many covered pitches is that it’s hard to get natural light to the grass. As hard as you try, and no matter how carefully you water it, it may just up and die on you. Re-turfing a whole pitch is expensive, and workarounds can be time consuming. Using artificial turf means that you’ll install it once, and that’s it. It saves a huge amount of time and effort.
– Just as soft as the real thing: Early artificial grass has had something of a bad reputation. It had harder blades of grass and was often laid on bare concrete, so it wasn’t a great surface to play on. Now, the story is totally different. The grass feels just like the real thing, and it’s laid on a rubber backing that gives it the same bounce and feel as a real lawn. It’s also soft to fall on, yet sturdy enough to run on.
– Won’t get churned up: The bane of any sporting arena owner is the churning up of the grass. With so many people running on it for extended periods of time, the grass can get pulled up and turned into a mud bath. That means more reseeding or re-turfing. Instead, artificial grass eliminates that problem. It has a strong backing that can’t be pulled up, so you can be sure that your grass is safe.
The Sports that Benefit Most from Artificial Grass
Do you feel that artificial grass many be just the thing for your sporting arena?
Take a look at these sports and the benefits that come along with playing them on artificial grass:
A baseball field was the first to get artificial grass, and they’ve gone with it ever since. Many arenas are now using a type of artificial grass called FieldTurf. It’s a good, soft grass that doesn’t cause issues for the players as the 60’s ChemGrass did. Many players find their balls have a truer ‘bounce’ on artificial grass, which is often tactically used in games.
Many Football teams, especially in the Northern US states, play on artificial grass. This is because it’s much harder to keep grass alive during the colder months, so artificial grass is a much more stable option.
If this is played in your arena, be aware that the requirements for artificial grass are slightly different. Artificial grass was introduced in the 70’s, and it was found that a shorter type of grass was best to give players speed and control of the ball.
Soccer players are finding success with newer types of artificial grasses. Their pitches can come with a rubber crumb base. This means they can have the same feel as real grass, so their play style is not affected. They can even use studded boots on them without damaging the grass, giving them better grip.
Outdoor tennis courts are no longer a challenge, thanks to artificial grass.
If you live in an area with unpredictable weather, artificial grass stops play from being interrupted due to rain. If you install artificial grass on your tennis courts, remember that you’ll need a shorter pile for best performance.
What Kind of Grass to Buy?
When it comes to artificial grass, there’s now a huge range available for you.
That means you’re going to need to think carefully on which you will install. If you’re looking to install it on hockey pitches or tennis courts, you’ll need a shorter pile, as mentioned above. Whichever sport you’re catering for, it will need a good quality backing, so ask your supplier what they can offer you.
If you cater for several sports, a multi sport pitch could be the answer. They’re designed for all kinds of sports and you can even have them marked.
As you can see, artificial grass can be the answer to all the problems that come with real grass.
Modern turfs are just as good as the real thing these days, so it’s time to invest in one.