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
We take a look at the pros and cons here.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
During the summer, artificial surfaces can retain heat better than
grass, causing them to be more uncomfortable to play on during the hotter
Artificial surfaces do tend to require higher technical sports skill,
as they are unforgiving – something to bear in mind