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 tyres (ELT). Rubber infill ensures ball behaviour 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, american football and rugby fields. Installing artificial turf fields has the advantage that you can play on them all 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.
Can football players get skin burns, if they make sliding tackles?
Skin burns were a major problem with the first two generations of artificial turf; but with the technology of 3rd generation turf – and with the right and correctly constructed system – skin burns are no longer an issue.
Can football 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 an artificial turf pitch?
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 pitch design, maintenance as well as behaviour / routines and habits of players and maintenance personnel, these limited quantities can be reduced to almost nothing.
How should an artificial turf pitch be designed, used and maintained in order to avoid spreading of infill to the environment?
Genan recommends the installation of barriers / infill fencing panels around artificial turf pitches – as well as “catch areas” with special mats along all four sides. Pitches 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 pitch maintenance, special brushes must be used – and used for this purpose only.
Is the ball rebound the same as on natural turf?
The specification of artificial turf is composed in order to simulate exactly the same rebound as on natural turf.
Does the ball travel faster or slower on an artificial turf pitch?
Most football players claim that ball speed is the same; yet, some players claim that the ball travels a bit faster on artificial turf.
Why has FIFA included artificial turf in its recommendations?
Artificial turf is an economical solution, because the turf can be used much more than natural turf. It can be played on all year round, no matter the weather conditions, and pitches do not have to rest between matches, as do natural turf pitches to protect the grass. Maintenance costs are much lower than for natural turf, and dependency on natural resources like water is usually non-existing.
Another very important issue for FIFA is the development of good football in the third world. In developing countries, there are usually not enough resources to maintain natural turf pitches, because of the water consumption and other maintenance costs; but artificial turf opens up for the development of many young talents in poor countries.
Can you play all year round on artificial turf?
Yes, the only requirement is to remove snow, if any. Follow the maintenance advice of the turf manufacturer in question.
How expensive is it to maintain an artificial turf pitch compared to natural turf?
The answer to this question varies a lot depending on the relevant geography. As a rule of thumb, savings by having artificial turf increase the more extreme the climate. In very cold and very dry areas, savings are enormous; but savings are considerable irrespective of location.
Is it true that both ball and players get dirty when playing on artificial turf?
No, not if Genan infill is used, as Genan infill is virtually dust-free.
Does playing on artificial turf containing rubber infill imply an elevated health risk?
Numerous scientific studies – both historic and recent – have established that rubber infill made from end-of-life tyres does not pose any elevated health risk. In February 2017, the European Chemicals 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”.