First artificial turf pitch: Houston
The first installation of artificial turf on a pitch took place in 1966 at the Astrodome Stadium in Huston, Texas. It was a low-rise turf, made with polyamide threads and installed on an elastic backing. The reason why they decided to install artificial turf, was that it was a covered stadium, so there was little natural wind or direct sunshine, and without wind or sun, natural grass won’t be able to grow. Since then, the evolution of artificial turf for football fields is in continuous improvement.
Artificial turf actually “grows”: for better safety
In the 80s, the artificial turf for football fields began to be manufactured with more height (up to 30 millimeters approximately), and silica sand began to be used as a filler to improve playing conditions of the ground. In that period, artificial turf was criticized when compared to natural grass. Some of the critics were that players can feel the fatigue quicker, or that the rebound of the ball was unpredictable.
At the end of the 90s, there was an evolution and a considerable improvement. With fibers up to 60 millimeters high, it is possible to reduce the risk of abrasion and injuries. To this, we must add the incorporation of rubber granules as filler. Since then, artificial turf is safe, cushioning, stable, and durable surface, looking more and more like natural grass.
High-tech = expensive? Not the case in artificial turf
One of the main advantages of artificial turf for football is the savings in maintenance that any club can make. It is also resistant to ultraviolet rays. It has a manufacturing and installation warranty, and a system that reduces the risk of injuries, and also can allow the use of the football facility throughout the year regardless of the weather, etc.
The installation of artificial turf for football fields usually takes two to three weeks. From there, you can enjoy an optimal field, safe, without mud, or empty spots, and do not forget that it is a profitable investment. For many clubs, this is the perfect choice, since maintaining a natural grass field in ideal conditions is extremely expensive. For many clubs, even the continuous spending on water alone is impossible. This is why many finally opt for artificial turf.
FIFA has published quality standards that combine a stringent regime of durability, resistance, safety and performance tests. Pitches that are awarded the FIFA QUALITY mark fulfil the specific requirements for recreational, community and municipal football, with require typically 40-60 playing hours per week.
Another reason for new boots: AG football boots for artificial turf play
Although artificial turf has a high similarity with natural grass, it is essential to differentiate the types of boots that must be used for each kind of surface. Using the right boots on artificial turf means improving the performance of the athlete, reducing injuries and prolonging the life of the artificial turf itself. It can also enhance the control of the ball, increasing the power of shooting the ball, of the bouncing, of making passes more fluid. Studies show that on artificial turf, players tend to make more passes than on the natural one.
AG (Artificial Ground) Football boots are recommended. These boots are characterized by having numerous and small cleats or shallow blades that cover the entire soleplate. These characteristics help to get a firm grip to the surface of the turf and not to the ground underneath as other boots will do.
Go with the professionals: Excellent turf makers
There are a lot of companies out there, like Excellent Turf, Fieldturf, or The Grass Specialist, to name a few of them, all offering some outstanding products. Therefore, to keep up with the competition, all of them try to be unique, and this is the case of Excellent Turf.