With hockey being one of the most popular sports on the P.E. curriculum, many schools dedicate a lot of resources to the sport but fail to recognise that one of the most important resources (the surface) plays a huge part.
In today’s post, we shall be covering why you should consider swapping a natural surface for an artificial hockey pitch. Check out our full range of different sport surfaces here to see what’s available.
Benefits of Synthetic Turf for Hockey
Artificial turf has many great benefits with it that not a lot of people know about. Some of these benefits include:
- Usable in different weather conditions – Many sports that play on a natural grass turf face one major problem. Weather. Winter can freeze up the grass and make it solid and painful to fall on, rain can cause puddles to form and slow down the pace of the sport and sun can cause the pitch to lose its colour. Synthetic grass doesn’t suffer from these problems as much and can really allow your players to carry on playing regardless of conditions.
- Strong and versatile – With many sports fields taking a lot of damage during activity, natural grass usually struggles to keep up with the demands of players. This can lead to your pitch gaining horrific damage and ruining its looks. Artificial grass, however, can handle the heavy use without showing any problems for over 500 hours.
- No growing – When installed, natural grass requires a period to grow to a certain point until it is okay to play on. This can waste a lot of time and cause some matches to even be cancelled. Synthetic grass doesn’t need any time to grow. As soon as it’s installed, it can be used pretty much instantly with no time being wasted. In addition, this saves time on maintenance as you won’t have to dedicate so much of your day to keeping the pitch in great condition.
Synthetic Hockey Pitch Surface
Synthetic Hockey Pitches can be made up from a wide range of different surface types. However, the most commonly selected (and the ones we recommend) are 2G artificial turf and Multisport synthetic turf. Both offer an incredible environment to play hockey in as well as many benefits to the players and the owners.
2G artificial turf is a sand-based surface with short synthetic grass blades sticking up. Many people agree that this surface is one of the best to play hockey on due to how flat the ground is. One of the many problems hockey players can encounter is an uneven pitch. Certain areas may slow down the ball whilst others may speed it up. With this surface, however, this problem doesn’t occur as water is drained away and the sand provides a good level of cushioning and friction.
Multisport synthetic grass is a lot more popular within schools and is also known as activity surfacing. Whilst 2G artificial grass is a lot more specific as it’s mainly suited around hockey, multisport artificial grass offers a more suitable surface for a wide range of sports. Being cheaper for schools as the artificial hockey pitch can support multiple sports instead of requiring separate pitch installations, many schools have recently started to get these types of pitches installed.
Maintaining Artificial Hockey Surfaces
Maintaining your artificial surface is important. Even though it doesn’t require the same time and resources as maintaining your natural grass, it’s still important to keep it running well. Firstly, always perform a routine check is a great place to start. Walk around your pitch and see if you can spot any sort of problems with the surface. Maybe some of it is starting to tear up or maybe the sand infill has been lost over time.
If you spot any damage, act instantly! Acting straight away can save you a lot of money and time as leaving the problem may let it develop into something worse and possibly lead to further issues occurring in the future. Contacting us at Soft Surfaces will allow us to help analyse what the problem is and recommend the right course of action to take.
If you spot no damage, then perform a little bit of cleaning up. Brush across the surface with a soft brush to remove any dirt from the surface and to keep it clean to avoid any dirt entering the surface. Dirt and contaminants can end up blocking the porous surface and cause draining problems whilst making it quite dangerous to play on.
Soft brushing can also help evenly distribute sand around the pitch and stop build ups occurring on certain sides of the pitch. By this happening, you can keep your pitch performing at its full potential and avoid any unnecessary problems from popping up. The level of play required will depend on whether or not you need England Hockey standards or just recreational use.
School and Club Facilities
As mentioned previously, a lot of schools like using the Multisport synthetic grass due to how it’s a cheaper alternative than buying several different pitches for sports. Customisation is available on both surfaces as well to really allow school and clubs to reflect themselves and create a more unique playing environment.
Different colours and patterns can be chosen as well as different coloured lining to make sure that you have full control over how the pitch looks in the end. Many people like this feature of artificial turfs and usually leads to a lot of people enquiring about them as again, you can make your turf a lot more personal with these factors.
These artificial hockey pitch surfaces are also incredibly soft and can have shock pads installed underneath to minimise any injuries that might occur whilst taking part in the sport. Shock pads give kids a little more confidence during the sport as they’re not as scared about injuries and pain and will more focus on the sport.
If you are interested in the idea of a 2G artificial turf or a Multisport synthetic surface, then get in contact with us today. With over 20 years of experience, our team will be able to help with any questions or queries with some of the best answers in the industry. Send us your enquiries now and get started on bringing your ideas to life!