What is artificial turf?
Artificial or synthetic turf is fake grass in the form of a synthetic grass carpet (turf yarn) with plastic grass blades supported by infill material – typically rubber granulate made from recycled end-of-life tires (ELT). Rubber infill ensures ball behavior comparable to that of natural grass – and its shock-absorbing effect helps protect players from injuries.
Why choose synthetic grass instead of natural grass?
Synthetic turf pitches are used for both football, baseball, lacrosse, soccer and rugby fields. Installing artificial turf fields has the advantage that you can play on them all the day long, all year round. Synthetic grass is less impacted by wear and tear, and maintenance is limited compared to the efforts necessary to keep a natural grass field in good shape.
Do soccer players get turf burns if they make sliding tackles?
No. Turf burns were one of the problems with the first two generations of artificial turf. However, third generation turf technology has solved this problem.
Do soccer players get scratches from steel in the infill?
No, Genan infill is clean and free from steel contamination.
Is there a risk of water contamination from a synthetic turf field?
A recent, international literature study made by the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) estimates the annual discharge to the aquatic environment to be in the 2.5-36 kg per pitch per annum interval. By following best practice guidelines on field design, maintenance as well as behavior / routines and habits of players and maintenance personnel, these limited quantities can be reduced to almost nothing.
How should a synthetic turf field be designed, used and maintained in order to avoid spreading of infill material to the environment?
Genan recommends the installation of barriers / infill fencing panels around synthetic turf fields – as well as “catch areas” with special mats along all four sides. Fields must be properly fenced in, with only a few entrances, and each entrance should have a clean-down exit area, where players are required to brush off their clothes and empty their shoes. In connection with field maintenance, special brushes must be used – and these brushes should only be used for this particular purpose.
Is the ball rebound the same as on natural turf?
The specification of synthetic turf is composed in order to simulate exactly the same rebound as on natural turf.
Are passes between players faster or slower on a synthetic turf field?
Most soccer players claim that ball speed is the same. A few players claim that the ball passes slightly faster on artificial turf.
Why has FIFA included artificial turf in its recommendations?
Synthetic turf is an economical solution because the turf can be used much more than natural turf. It can be played on all year round, regardless of weather conditions, and fields do not have to rest between matches as natural turf fields do, i.e. to protect the grass. Maintenance costs are much lower than for natural turf, and dependency on natural resources e.g. water is usually eliminated.
Another very important issue for FIFA is the development of good soccer standards in the third world. In third-world countries, there are often insufficient resources to maintain natural turf fields, e.g. a lack of water and low maintenance budget. Artificial turf opens up for the development of many young talents in poor countries.
Can you play all year round on a synthetic turf pitch?
Yes. The only requirement is to remove snow.
What does it cost to maintain a synthetic turf field compared to natural turf?
Maintenance costs vary depending on local geography. As a rule of thumb, the more extreme the climate, the more you save by having artificial turf. In very cold and very dry climates, savings are enormous. Savings are considerable everywhere.
Is it true that both ball and players get dusty when playing on a synthetic turf pitch?
If Genan infill is used, no – because Genan infill material is dust-free.
Does playing on synthetic turf containing rubber infill imply a health risk?
Numerous scientific studies – both historic and recent – have established that rubber infill made from end-of-life tires does not pose any elevated health risk. In February 2017, the European Chemical Agency published its findings in a new, comprehensive study. ECHA “has found no reason to advise people against playing sports on synthetic turf containing recycled rubber granules as infill material”. This advice is based on ECHA’S evaluation “that there is a very low level of concern from exposure to substances found in the granules.