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Pitch Irrigation

Q: Which is most preferable for pitch watering - pop up sprinklers or water cannon?

A: FIH does not favour nor recommend one system over the other, and, in fact, neither do most pitch carpet manufacturers. FIH specification for Pitch Irrigation is performance based and relies on consistency of coverage and distribution even in adverse conditions.

Both principal pitch irrigation systems have been installed successfully in the past and, there have also been some concerns with both systems from time to time.

Most of these concerns apply, firstly, to inadequacy of delivery and losses to wind and evaporation, i.e. design problems, and secondly, to choice of equipment and installation, i.e. technical problems.

Factors for consideration:
· Water availability and quality
· Pump power
· Strength and direction of prevailing winds
· Protection of the pitch from prevailing winds
· Hand held hoses as a contingency measure are always recommended

Consult the pitch carpet manufacturer for advice.

Q: Should a sand-filled pitch be watered?

A: A sand-filled, or more correctly, a filled pitch rarely justifies the installation of watering systems. In many moderate climatic areas, because of the type of climate, the sand within the carpet pile remains damp for much of the time.

However, in hotter climates of the world where filled pitches will certainly become dry, watering will improve playing characteristics. As with all pitches, a source of water should be available even if only in the form of hand held hoses.

Consult the pitch carpet manufacturer for advice.

Q: Should a sand-dressed pitch be watered?

A: Sand-dressed or, more correctly, dressed pitches may justify the installation of a pitch irrigation system as the pile projects completely above the sand or granulated fill. Because a dressed pitch has the appearance of an unfilled pitch, player expectation is that the pitch should be watered. Manufacturers consider the pitches do not need pitch irrigation particularly if an LSR yarn is used. In the majority of cases the playability of a dressed pitch will be increased by pitch irrigation, particularly in hot dry climates where pitch surface temperature can rise to 60E C.

However, the economics which drive the selection of a dressed pitch will normally preclude the installation of a pitch irrigation system. If this is the case ensure pitch irrigation dispersion/pipe connections are installed at the same time as the pitch. Pitch Irrigation may then be installed at a later date without detriment or disturbance to the pitch sub-base.

It would still be advisable to ensure hand held hoses are available from the outset as a minimum contingency measure.

Consult the pitch carpet manufacturer for advice.

Q: Can we play hockey on an unfilled hockey pitch which is not watered?

A: It is not recommended for three very good reasons: Firstly, possible injury to players. Secondly, because damage done to the pitch surface will markedly shorten the playing life of the pitch carpet. Thirdly, such actions over a prolonged period will probably void your warranty.

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