Natural Turf Pitches VS Astro Turf Pitches

Are natural turf pitches better than artificial, or astro turf pitches? This has been a long raging debate between both sports fans and players from all disciplines. Both sides of the debate have valid points, so let’s go through them and you can make your mind up for yourself!

sports pitch with fence around it

Natural Turf Pitches

Professional players generally prefer natural grass pitches. They argue that a natural turf pitch is safer as it’s softer and more forgiving. In terms of performance characteristics, sports players argue that playing on artificial turf can make the ball more unpredictable.

It is also a matter of debate whether playing on artificial turf can give players a home advantage. Visiting sides may comment that they feel disadvantaged by playing on an artificial grass pitch if they are not used to it, which may even alter their playing style.

So while players may prefer the characteristics of a natural grass pitch, it also comes with its own disadvantages. Natural pitches are at the mercy of the weather and often suffer from mud, dust, bare patches. They can also require both a lot of time and money to keep them in a good enough condition to be played on often and without complaint. This is why most professional training grounds are now moving towards artificial turf, with recent innovation making them a top choice.

Artificial Turf Pitches

a 3g pitch and its markings

As we mentioned, artificial turf pitches are becoming more and more popular, this is because over time the surfaces have become increasingly advanced. Many of the negatives of artificial turf have been phased out with ongoing innovations. Modern 3G football turf surfaces have become more widely accepted in both community and professional settings.

New artificial turf pitches allow for playing sports safely and consistently in nearly all weather conditions. Gone are the days of muddy wet pitches and games being called off due to bad weather. Artificial pitches can stay open throughout the sporting season, even with extreme weather conditions which would usually make them a no go.

Clubs, schools, and councils with a tight budget will appreciate the benefits of installing an artificial pitch as they are low maintenance, durable, dependable and not too bad on the eye either! The cost of artificial pitches, while more expensive initially, pay for themselves in the long run in the savings on maintenance and allowing more playtime. An artificial pitch will last longer, has cheaper maintenance and allows for more hours of play each year. Artificial grass is much more durable than natural turf, but still has the looks and characteristics of playing on a natural surface.

a finished 3G pitch construction

Recent synthetic surfaces have been designed to keep players safe and minimise the risk of injury. The even surface maintains its integrity and without ruts and bumps, you’re not going to take so many tumbles and stumbles. Shock pads for artificial pitches can be installed beneath the turf surface to reduce impact injuries and long-term damage to joints, good news for players who play for fun and fitness.

Another great point for artificial pitches is that they can be designed to suit more than one sport, so a football pitch could also be used as a rugby pitch. Of course, a natural pitch could do the same but then you have to mark out the boundaries and goals each time, whereas the marking on a synthetic pitch is permanent.

Artificial pitches are great, but that’s not to say that they don’t come with their disadvantages.

  • Once an artificial pitch is installed it is very difficult to go back.

If an artificial pitch needs to be replaced it can only be replaced with another artificial pitch. Once plastic replaces soil, it can be very costly to go back.

  • Older first and second generation pitches

Previous editions of artificial pitches can cause severe burns, the latest third generation pitches, however, are much safer.

It can be difficult to say whether natural or artificial turf pitches are better and are ultimately a matter of opinion. If you’re struggling to decide whether to go for natural or artificial turf for a project of your own, then our expert team would be happy to help!

Get in touch today to get your project off the ground!

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