use of synthetic sports surfacing such as artificial turfs etc has
made great inroads into most sporting activities in recent years.
These products offer advantages in playing conditions, all weather
availability and maintenance costs.
Artificial surfacings are
being officially used in a variety of sports, noteably as hockey
pitches, soccer fields, tennis courts, athletic tracks, lawn bowls
etc. To ensure the products and installations meet the required
quality they can be tested to applicable Standards (AS, BS and DIN
in particular) or to the protocols proposed by the different international
sports organisations, such as FIH, FIFA, IAAF, LTA, WBB etc. Some
of these relevant sports are listed.
Hockey is the sport that has led the way in the introduction
of synthetic playing surfaces, all major sporting events down to
club level being now played on artificial turfs. The international
governing body, FIH , introduced a set of Standards for the performance
requirements of products and installations in 1988 and application
of these Standards has led to greatly improved playing standards.
Acousto-Scan is an accredited FIH laboratory and offers a world
wide testing service to Hockey product manufacturers and ground
proprietors. For details of the testing see FIH
Beginning 2001, FIFA the world governing body for soccer introduced
a scheme Quality Concept for Artificial Turf. This scheme
was developed to standardise the quality of artificial turf installations
that were gradually being introduced by football clubs on an ad
hoc basis. This had been a result of the development of technologically
new surfaces, in particular the long pile artificial turf filled
with rubber particles. UEFA, the European Association, has since
followed with a similar scheme.
details of testing required by the FIFA scheme see FIFA
Synthetic polymer running
tracks are now the norm for athletic competitions. The performance
requirements for these expensive installations has been specified
by the IAAF, see Athletics Tests.
Various items of equipment, eg hurdle jumps, have also been closely
specified and may a be subject to scrutiny and testing. For details
of these specificatons and tests please to the rules and regulations
of the Athletics codes.
natural surfaces of grass and clay on which tennis was originally
played are now being supplemented by a variety of artificial surfaces
ranging from hard courts (concrete based), wood based and synthetic
grasses, the latter being particularly popular in Australia. The
performance requirements of these new surfaces are under review
and new standards are being proposed to ensure that they are similar
to the natural courts and thus help to maintain the traditions of
the game. For details of these requirements see Tennis
Lawn bowls is a popular sport with an ancient tradition and
has been played on natural grass lawns since its origins. Synthetic
turfs are now being introduced and the World Bowls Board has seen
a need for a set of guidelines on the requirements and performance
of bowls greens. For details of these specifications see Bowls
AFL/CA (Australian Football League and Cricket Australia)
clothing such as jockey vests, footballer's pads are also subject
to current development and review. Some of these products, in particular
jockey vests, may be tested by the Laboratory to relevant Standards.
For typical details see Jockey Vests.
can be contacted to arrange sports surface inspections and testing
by fax, telephone or email.
Other in-house testing services are available on request.
and measurements of the angled bounce of a sports ball on various
surfaces for the development of surface criteria.
J.I.Dunlop (2000) Characterising
the service bounce using a speed gun, ITF First International
Congress, London 1-4 Aug. 2000.
J.I.Dunlop, C.J.Milner and
K.G.White (1992) Sports surface-ball interactions, J. Sports
Turf Res. Inst. 68 114-123