Artificial or Real ? That Is The Question

Should your club stay with it's real surface, with all the maintenance (but beloved surface to play on) or go down the increasingly popular artificial route?

We take a look at the pros and cons here.

The Advantages:

Looks and feels like natural grass

Modern artificial surfaces have come a long way from the early efforts, and now look and play very similar to natural grass. Many surfaces have water retaining technology to retain some moisture, mimicking natural grass.

As for players,. They feel the difference with optimal shock absorbtion all over the pitch, which retains uniform characteristics.

All weather use

By far the biggest advantage is the ability to use the surface all year round, and not need to ”rest” it like grass. In the UK, we get a lot of rain, particularly over the winter which prevents usage on occasions, as well as lengthening the recovery time between use.

So with an artificial surface, you never have to worry about loss of use due to the great British weather.

Easy Maintenance

Maintenance is obviously easier, in that mowing and patch repairs after damage are not required. However, no surface is maintenance free – brushing is still required to
remove leaves and loosening filler material regularly.

Environmentally friendly

Obviously, there is no need to water an artificial pitch, sot here is a saving on water usage.
As well as that, there is no need to mow it, which cuts down on CO2 emiissions (although some would argue you still need to roll it).

And finally, no need for weed removal, so no pesticides or chemicals.

The Disadvantages

Now lets look at the disadvantages:

Risk of injury

Artificial surfaces can be more unforgiving, having less “give” than natural grass. This means there is a higher risk of injury and there is some evidence that higher player injuries occur on artificial turf. In particular, the knee joints and ankle joints take more of a pounding.


During the summer, artificial surfaces can retain heat better than grass, causing them to be more uncomfortable to play on during the hotter days

Technically unforgiving

Artificial surfaces do tend to require higher technical sports skill, as they are unforgiving – something to bear in mind


An example of installation works: