Keep your athletes and kids happy, comfortable, and safe by prepping artificial turf right before matches.

Artificial turf has been used for sports and recreation since the 1960s. This revolutionary technology has evolved over the years, as global industry leaders such as Limonta Sport continue to innovate.

The advantages are clear. Artificial turf is more durable, requires less maintenance, reduces water consumption, and provides greater consistency and high-quality play. While natural grass can absorb carbon from the urban atmosphere and provide a lovely green playing surface, it is costly to maintain, can cause injury when it degrades, and may release nitrogen into the atmosphere after fertilization. The choice between the two is up to developers and communities.

More artificial pitches are being built all over the world, as cities factor cost, environment, quality, and public demand into development decisions. Artificial turf has its benefits over natural grass when it comes to constructing pitches, but one disadvantage is that it can get hotter on a summer day when the sky is clear and the sun is high.

The greatest contributor to the heat-retaining effect of artificial turf is the pile fiber (the tufts which serve as the grass-like surface). When the pile fiber absorbs the sun’s radiation, the infill underneath can further trap it and contribute to the heat island effect. There is no shortage of research on the issue. New artificial turf technology addresses this through a combination of the following: shaping tufts with the optimal size, spacing, and height; coloring the fibers with UV resistant coatings; and offering infill materials with lighter colors for refraction or organic components for moisture retention.

Thankfully, there is one simple way to cool an artificial turf down, thereby mitigating heat-related risks. While an artificial pitch requires significantly less water than a natural grass field, it does still need to be watered—as part of periodic cleaning, but also before sunny midday matches (around noon to early afternoon) during the hottest time of the year. Neglecting to do so may lead to heat-related illness, injury, or even shoe damage.

Coaches ensure the safety of athletes during midday training sessions by imposing time limits and mandatory water breaks. Tournaments and matches, on the other hand, are competitive events with different conditions. Athletes are on the field longer, exerting greater effort over sustained periods. Watering an artificial pitch before a match will make it safer and more comfortable during a heatwave. Natural grass keeps cool through transpiration, while water in an artificial turf system evaporates from the infill and tufts—taking trapped heat along with it.

Turn the sprinklers on and thoroughly water the artificial pitch around 10 to 20 minutes before a game. On a scorching hot day, the surface temperature may begin to rebound 20 minutes after watering but its marked improvement will remain for the next three hours. The difference of a freshly watered artificial pitch is significantly felt by players. In addition, a nice breeze, shade, and cloud cover will swiftly lower the pitch’s temperature—oftentimes even faster than they would affect natural grass.

E-Sports International provides high-quality, FIFA-certified artificial turf systems by Limonta with a variety of surface and infill options for different requirements. We also provide maintenance equipment, services, and expertise to make sure you get the most out of your artificial pitch.

Contact E-Sports International for more information on how we develop and construct world-class sports, fitness, and recreational facilities.

Photo Credits:

Images are from Limonta Sport, Business Insider, and PRB.

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