An Update on the Future of Synthetic Turf
In January 2006 it was announced that the FIH Equipment Committee is working towards specifying a water-free synthetic turf for top level hockey and a multi-sport turf for other levels.
Developing a water-free turf is an important project because it recognises environmental concerns about water usage. The multi-sport turf will facilitate access to community or shared facilities at a reasonable cost.
Consultations are taking place with the turf industry and specialist advisers. The views of players are being sought in various ways. The prospects for having draft specifications available for development and consultation later in the year are therefore good. However, it will be some years before new turfs are widely available.
In the interim and in relation to top level hockey, water-based pitches will continue to be specified. Even when new turfs are available, there is no intention of not continuing to allow top events to be played on existing water-based pitches which meet the FIH performance specifications.
Organisations considering the installation of new pitches or refurbishment of existing pitches can therefore use current products with confidence. Pitches installed in the near future using these turfs will continue to provide good facilities for hockey. Newly installed pitches using current turfs are not compromised by and do not contradict the longer term aims being pursued by the FIH Equipment Committee.