The Six Nations tournament is currently underway, and being watched by millions of people around the world. As one of the most popular sports in the UK, rugby is played by thousands. Major events like the Six Nations helps to raise the game’s profile even further.
As rugby is generally played in the autumn, winter and spring months, the quality of professional and amateur pitches has long been an issue. Competitive play can churn up a grassy surface almost instantly, leaving players to struggle through a muddy quagmire to get to the other end of the pitch. In an attempt to solve this problem for good, more and more clubs are replacing their natural grass pitches with artificial ones. Easier to play on, more durable and longer lasting, these specially created surfaces are helping to banish mud from rugby for good.
The benefits of an artificial pitch for rugby
Artificial pitches offer rugby players a number of benefits over traditional surfaces. Most importantly, they won’t turn into a mud bath at the first sight of rain. It’s also safer for players – scrums and tackles can be dangerous if the playing surface offers no traction. A professionally installed artificial surface will mean the pitch is usable throughout the year.
“Artificial grass pitches supplement good quality natural turf pitches [..] by providing playing, training and education facilities with a consistent surface throughout the year upon which the game can develop.”
Maintaining an artificial pitch
The artificial surfaces installed on both amateur and professional rugby pitches are either 3G or 4G. This means they’re filled with rubber crumb in order to make them feel like grass and make the ball play naturally over the surface. Although in general these types of surfaces require less upkeep than natural grass pitches, they do still need some maintenance if they’re going to stay in good condition. Debris must be removed and mould, algae and moss require treatment using a product like AlgoClear Pro. Maintenance may also involve de-compacting the surface and topping up the infill at various times of year.
Are artificial pitches safe?
The materials used to make artificial rugby pitches go through rigorous testing to ensure they’re safe to play on. In particular, the rubber we use has been thoroughly tested. This ensures it not only meets but actually exceeds the EU’s toughest toxicology standards. This means that the rubber infill won’t release any heavy metals, PAHs or micro plastics into the environment.
If you’re interested in installing, maintaining or renovating an artificial pitch at your rugby club, we can help. Get in touch today to find out more.