Football Fever

Football fever: Installing artificial football pitches for all weather conditions

As we enter prime time for the Premier League, football fans are gearing up for exciting times on the pitch both professionally and in amateur clubs and leagues. Frosty and wet conditions are a familiar experience for footballers during the winter months – making even some synthetic football pitches a challenging surface on which to play.

Our recent article on the history of artificial football surfaces demonstrates that early synthetic football pitches in the 1980’s were far from up to scratch. But these days the technology has come on in leaps and bounds. If you’re looking to install an artificial football pitch that can stand the test of time and the volatile UK winter weather then 3rd generation football pitches really do have it all.

Why 3rd generation football pitches are a superior choice for adverse weather

Whilst previous versions of synthetic football surfaces perform well in drier months, a common problem has been their lack of adaptability to wet and icy weather conditions. Of course, a pitch that can’t handle damp is a pitch that can be dangerous for players – presenting a barrier to enjoying the beautiful game all year round.

An increasingly popular choice across the UK is the 3rd generation football surface. The revolutionary new technology behind these pitches means that players can enjoy the look and feel of natural turf, but with all the benefits of hardwearing, weather and stud resistant performance.

This is due to a unique combination of an artificial turf football surface and a rubber and sand underlay laid onto stone or tarmac. The result is an artificial football pitch that offers the shock absorption, sliding properties and aesthetic appearance of natural turf – but with the benefits of all-weather endurance, a long life span and minimal maintenance requirements.

Choosing the right 3rd generation football surface for your site

3rd generation football pitches are split into two broad varieties. A dynamic base consists of a long pile carpet laid onto a stone base. This is a very cost-effective choice for a synthetic football surface. Maintenance costs can be a little higher than for other artificial football pitches – but if what you’re looking for is a hardwearing option that won’t break the bank to install this is an ideal choice.

If however, you have a little more budget to invest and your concern is to ensure minimum maintenance costs over a number of years then consider the popular engineered base system. This is an artificial football pitch where a synthetic turf carpet is laid onto tarmac overlaying stone – with a layer of sand and rubber fill to provide the right shock and slide performance. The synthetic turf is non-abrasive to protect players in contact or impact situations.

Widely considered to be the optimum 3rd generation football surface on the market, an engineered base offers the ideal look, feel and endurance you need for all year round play, as well as the benefits of very low maintenance requirements throughout its life span.

Customising your 3rd generation football pitch

A major advantage of modern all weather artificial football pitches is their adaptability. 3rd generation football pitch grass is available in lengths varying from 40mm to 65mm to suit the level of play. Your choice of engineered or dynamic base can be adapted to fit your ground’s size and your club’s budget. Plus 3rd generation football surfaces can be finished in a number of ways including two-tone turf to emulate the look of a natural pitch.

3rd generation football pitches are also specifically designed to meet the needs of players at all levels from amateur to professional. This means that by installing a 3rd generation football surface at your club or facility you’re offering a playing field that will appeal to a wide demographic of keen football players.

Your choice of synthetic football pitch is an important one and a qualified installer will be ready to offer you personalised advice to match your market, budget and premises. ETC Sports have extensive expertise in the entire range of artificial football pitches available. We’re also ISO 9001 registered and accredited with a number of governing bodies including The Sports and Play Construction Association, Constructionline and the Institute of Groundsmanship.

Simply contact us for the detailed advice you need – or get started by using our online design tool to plan your ideal 3rd generation football pitch.