Artificial grass at the Women’s World Cup 2015

Women's World Cup 2015 Artificial Grass

Artificial grass has hit the headlines this month with a group of female football players filing a lawsuit over the surface for the Women’s World Cup. The players have claimed sex discrimination over Fifa’s decision to use synthetic pitches during the event, while the men’s World Cup tournament have always been played on natural turf.

Of course, it’s understandable that female footballers are dismayed by the elements of inequality. “Men’s World Cup tournament matches are played on natural grass while CSA and Fifa are relegating female players to artificial turf,” said Attorney Hampton Dellinger, who is representing 50 players throughout the case.

Here at Playrite, we’re all for equal and fair playing fields no matter the age, sex or skill of athletes. However, we can’t overlook the benefits of synthetic pitches – after all, artificial sports surfaces are what we’re all about!

Artificial grass is cost-effective, durable, and the ideal surface for sports from a young age to a professional level. It remains in great condition no matter the weather, it’s much easier to maintain than a natural surface, and it’s perfect for training as well as matches. What’s more, it’s appropriate for all types of sporting events.

The World Cup venues for 2015 stretch across Canada, from Vancouver to Montreal. In a country renowned for its adverse weather conditions, artificial grass is a safe bet – whether rain or shine, its properties make for an effective and safe playing surface. So while we fully appreciate and understand the dismay of female football players in the upcoming tournament, we think that synthetic pitches are the perfect choice.

What do you think about artificial grass at the Women’s World Cup 2015? Tweet us @PlayriteSurface and let us know!

 

Athlete Profiles Infographic

Have you ever wondered how tall the average footballer is? Or how much a professional rugby player weighs? How about the typical salary of a world class cricketer? Our recent infographic answers all of these questions and more, taking a look at the average sportsman statistics of five of the UK’s most popular sports: football, rugby, tennis, cricket and golf.

Athlete profiles infographic

 If you like our sports infographic, feel free to add it to your own site and share it with friends. Be sure to tweet us @PlayriteSurface and let us know!

The roots of artificial grass

Nowadays, you’d be hard pushed to find a sports club, school or stadium that hasn’t dabbled in artificial sports surfaces. That’s because people are realising more and more how effective, durable and low maintenace synthetic turf is, and how it’s often a much better solution than natural grass.

So where did it all begin?

The story goes that it was the Swinging Sixties, and the world’s first dome-shaped stadium had just opened. The Astrodome was considered by many as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, but, as with all large-scale projects, there were teething problems. The transparent roof allowed natural light to flood in, brightening up the space and simultaneously making for a healthy field of natural grass. Unfortunately, the sunlight also created a glare, hindering the athletes’ vision during play. The obvious solution seemed to be painting the clear glass roof, but while this stopped players being dazzled by the light, it quickly killed the turf field.

Fortunately, Monsanto chemical company knew how to solve the catch-22: an artificial playing field made from nylon fibres. It was a resounding success for the Astrodome, and the beginning of the hugely successful industry of artificial surfaces.

We love this timelinec by Nearlygrass, which tracks the journey of artificial grass through the decades. What do you think?

The Roots of Artificial Grass

The whole nine yards

Muddy Football Pitch

When it comes to artificial pitches, we go the whole nine yards. Not only is a Playrite surface ideal for the area of play at sports grounds, but the perfect solution for the parts surrounding.

The main area of the pitch isn’t the only place that experiences heavy footfall. Players, coaches and officials make up the high traffic that treads around the perimeters of a field, not to mention the media, who are prone to a bit of trampling! This means that the turf needs to be just as hardwearing as the main area of play.

Synthetic pitch surrounds are durable, low maintenance and extremely cost effective. What’s more, they put an end to muddy footprints throughout the rest of the ground.

We strongly encourage the installation of an artificial surface around the edge of a pitch, and any other sections where natural turf doesn’t quite make the grade. After all, a sports ground isn’t pitch perfect if its perimeters are shoddy!

Find out more about pitch perimeters by checking out our work at Leeds Carnegie Stadium.

The Commonwealth Games 2014: multisport games and multisport surfaces!

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The Commonwealth Games 2014 are well underway and we’re delighted with England’s success so far. With 105 medals – 38 of which are gold – we’ve hit the top of the table, and will certainly gain more in the final few days.

As England triumphs in Scotland’s biggest ever multisport event, it only seems appropriate to take a closer look at multisport surfaces.

As the Commonwealth Games demonstrate, when it comes to sport, the UK is a diverse place. Gone are the days of football and rugby ruling the roost; now, people all over the country engage in a range of sports, from powerlifting and martial arts to badminton and archery. The number of Brits that play sport continues to rise, with Sport England’s recent research finding that 15.5 million of us play sport at least once a week.

While this is excellent news, it makes the sports surface selection process all the more difficult. What kind of surfaces can withstand a multitude of sports and heavy footfall, while still being affordable?

The answer is MUGAs. As the name suggests, multi use games areas are ideal for a variety of sports. Here at Playrite we offer a range that differs according to the types of sports that they’re recommended for, as well as cost. This means we offer a product for everyone, no matter the sports or the budget.

To find out more about Playrite multi sport surfaces, head over here, where you can get more information and request a free sample.

Good luck to England and the rest of the Commonwealth Nations in the final days of the Games!

Infographic: Sports Surfaces and Stadiums

Ever wondered about the world’s most expensive stadium? How about the highest sports surface in the world? Or what about required length of cricket wickets and tennis courts? We can tell you all of this and more!

From statistics about sports grounds around the world to the size regulations of professional pitches, our infographic about sports surfaces and stadiums explains many facts and figures. It’s a must-read for all sports fans!

If you like our infographic, be sure to share it with your friends…

Sports Surfaces and Stadiums Statistics Infographic

We’re making a mark at Le Tour Yorkshire Grand Départ!

The world’s biggest bike race is heading to Yorkshire, about to make tracks along the varied landscape of God’s Own County. Climbing the picturesque peaks of the Pennines, whizzing down the winding country roads of the North and passing through the chocolate-box villages of the Dales, Le Tour de France will experience the true beauty and diversity of Yorkshire in its initial stages… But you already knew all of this, right?

What you may not know is that we’re playing an important role in Le Tour 2014. Supporting Yorkshire Bicycle Show’s Charity Peloton Brunch, which takes place on Saturday morning in an exciting lead-up to the departure of the bikes, Playrite have teamed up with Drake Extrusion UK and manufactured the specialist entrance mat that will adorn the steps of Leeds Town Hall for the weekend. It’s quite fitting, really, since we’re such proud patrons of our county.

Le Tour de France Yorkshire 2014

The carpet has been designed in the shade of the leader’s yellow jersey, and will certainly be eye-catching as it sits in its glory outside one of Leeds’ greatest landmarks. The charity brunch will involve VIP guests, free gifts and a fantastic atmosphere (not to mention bacon sarnies and a good old Yorkshire brew!) and tickets also include free entry to the Yorkshire Bicycle Show 2014. It’s a brilliant way to be part of one of the world’s most popular sporting events, and we’re so pleased to be playing a part in the Grand Départ.

What are your plans for Le Tour weekend? Tweet us @PlayriteSurface and let us know!

Selecting the right surface for sport

 

Selecting the right sports surface

While there are surfaces designed to be appropriate for a multitude of sports, such as our Matchwinner and Matchplay 2 multi sports surfaces, here at Playrite we know the importance of selecting the most suitable product for use. That’s why we manufacture a range of surfaces across many sports…

Football

The Beautiful Game requires a consistent surface, providing excellent bounce and ball roll characteristics. Great ball control is also a must, as well as being comfortable under foot. Since every fibre of our artificial football surfaces is manufactured precisely for the game, there are no uneven patches that may affect ball speed or hinder a player’s footing.

Tennis

Hard wearing and low maintenance, our artificial tennis surfaces are designed for play to be resumed in as little as half an hour after rainfall. This is a must when considering the tempestuous UK weather! A great tennis surface should provide exceptional bounce, great grip and reduce skidding, which is exactly what our products do.

Hockey

Hockey is a game that is very reliant on its surface. We think that a tufted surface with a short pile or a needlepunch surface is the best bet, both allowing for accurate ball roll and being comfortable for players. We always recommend a shockpad too, which means the pitch will meet the International Hockey Federation’s standards for shock absorption.

Cricket

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the best synthetic surface for cricket is woven. This undoubtedly provides a top standard of play, controlling bounce and prolonging consistency as well as looking extremely realistic. The most important feature of a synthetic cricket wicket is a non-directional surface without infill. Our products all have excellent durability, so there’s no question about them standing the test of time, too.

Bowls and Golf

Much like cricket, bowls requires a non-directional pile. A significant characteristic of a good bowling green is the bowling speed it offers, which is why natural grass can often be a no-no due to the time and costs involved with regularly maintenance. When it comes to golf, a good base structure will provide realistic speed and bounce for putting and chipping.

While multi use sports surfaces are a diverse and cost-effective solution, if you are planning to invest in sport-specific synthetic turf, it is important to acknowledge the sport’s main features and requirements. For more information about selecting the right surface for sport, get in touch!

What kind of maintenance does my all weather pitch need?

There is no doubt that the introduction of artificial playing surfaces some 25 years ago has been fundamental in changing the way many people play a whole raft of sports. The revolution was most effectively felt in the sports of football, tennis, hockey and cricket – arguably changing the future of some of them forever. Unsurprisingly in the early days of these new facilities much of the industry effort was channelled into researching and developing the best surfaces possible, this continues today in respect of alternative yarns, pile depths, and infills.

However the one area of the industry that became neglected was the area of carpet upkeep and maintenance. There was an original perception that a surface that we as not organic and had a benign infill was not going to be in need of a specialist maintenance regime. It soon became clear that even an artificial turf will need input in terms of preserving the surfaces’ appearance and playing ability.

As a result of this we recommend that a regime of maintenance, however basic, needs to be implemented. To give you a helping hand, here are Playrite’s top tops for maintaining the appearance and longevity of your synthetic grass pitch:

Establish a maintenance regime

However basic, this is something that needs to be thought about after the project has been completed. Most regimes consist of what needs to be done on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis and this depends on how often the pitch is used

Keep it clean

Remove all litter, debris, leaves, twigs and weeds and keep the pitch as clean as possible

Secure the area

If possible, make sure the location is secure and that gates are locked every night

No Smoking, and definitely no chewing gum

Making your sports pitch a no smoking and no chewing gum zone will prevent the pitch from unnecessary damage

Distribute the infill

The mechanics of many carpets rely on the correct distribution of its infill, and also that this infill remains uncontaminated. Frequent drag brushing or matting of the surface helps to pull any displaced infill back to the high use areas, as well as removing larger pieces of debris.

Double check

For a high use pitch, ideally you want to be checking the seams for damage on a weekly/monthly basis

If in doubt….

If you have any questions or queries about your synthetic surface, then contact the manufacture directly.

As time goes by and carpets and infill’s become more subtle in their variety, maintenance procedures will slightly differ. Manufactures such as Playrite are happy to supply important bespoke maintenance information across a range of products in conjunction with organisations like Technical Surfaces.

We realise that the surfaces represent a huge outlay for the operators and the need for these facilities to play as well as possible and for as long as possible is paramount. At least now it’s not a question of whether to maintain or not, just a question of what type and amount of maintenance is required.

Are you getting the best safety surface for your playground?

Currently on the market there are countless products suitable for playground surfacing. Just search “playground surfaces” in Google and you’ll find wet pour, rubber mulch, matting, as well as carpet and artificial grass products. But how can specifiers be sure that they’re getting the best safety surface for their playground project?

I often try to put myself in the shoes of the specifiers, and think what would I want from a playground surface? The obvious is ultimate safety, but on top of that you want variety and choice. With Playrite’s Playsafe system you get to select from 5 different critical fall heights, from 80cm – 320cm. This means that if you’re planning a playground for younger children where the equipment would be no higher than 150cm then you only need to buy the safety system for that specific height.

What’s more we can also offer a variety of 14 colours and designs thanks to our in house cutting machinery, so the choice is unlimited! Create fun patterns and shapes, games like snakes and ladders or educational numbering and lettering. You can every incorporate your school’s logo or colours into the floor design.