What FIFA says:
An active maintenance programme will maximise the lifetime of the installation and ensure many satisfactory years of use.
FIFA: Maintenance of an artificial turf field
Launched in 2001, the FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf promotes a recognised international standard for artificial grass, or ‘Football Turf’. The manufacture, installation and maintenance of Football Turf is subject to intense scrutiny, and a synthetic pitch must pass a series of laboratory and field tests before being awarded FIFA RECOMMENDED status.
The FIFA RECOMMENDED 2* status was introduced in 2004, to supplement the original 1* certification and further improve the development of quality Football Turf. While the FIFA RECOMMENDED 1* artificial surface is intended mainly for community use, the 2* certified pitch is designed to mimic professional football surfaces as closely as possible, and guarantees an artificial pitch that can host top level UEFA and FIFA competitive matches.
There are many benefits to having a FIFA RECOMMENDED synthetic pitch, not least FIFA’s guarantee of Football Turf with a long life, offering an excellent return on your original investment. But FIFA is keen to stress the importance of continued maintenance in order to ensure that a FIFA RECOMMENDED 2* synthetic pitch continues to fulfill their strict requirements on criteria such as ball roll and bounce, stud slide and deceleration, and shock absorption.
FIFA RECOMMENDED 2* Football Turf must, above all, provide a consistently high level of playability throughout its life. In their published document, ‘Maintenance of an artificial turf field’, FIFA acknowledges that little or no maintenance on a synthetic sports surface will affect its overall playing performance, longevity, safety and aesthetics.
Neglecting to properly look after a FIFA RECOMMENDED 2* pitch serves to undermine any original investment by shortening the projected life of the installation. Not only that, but FIFA will revoke the RECOMMENDED status of any Football Turf field that fails to meet its ongoing maintenance requirements.
Facility operators of FIFA RECOMMENDED 2* pitches must demonstrate to FIFA that the following maintenance equipment is available on site, or supply photographic evidence of such equipment if maintenance is completed by a third party, such as Technical Surfaces:
• Tractor Unit
• Drag Brush
• Drag Mat
• Infill Materials to top-up penalty spot and corner areas
• Ball Roll Ramp
• Up-to-date Maintenance Log
Source: FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf, Field Test Report – Two Star (2009)
FIFA recommends a series of simple yet effective principles of maintaining an artificial football pitch to achieve longevity, a profitable return on an initial investment and, above all, player satisfaction. Central to this is the fundamental rule that prevention is better than the cure. This is fully in keeping with Technical Surfaces’ own ethos, ‘Maintaining Standards’, and we are proud to be associated with the continued success of FIFA RECOMMENDED 2* synthetic pitches at Saltely Leisure Centre and Park Hall Stadium, home of The New Saints FC.