The FIH Equipment Committee has investigated which synthetic turf suppliers are qualified to provide a good quality installation.
The quality of installation depends on:
- The choice of turf carpet
- The preparation of the ground works and especially the pitch sub-base
- The installation of the turf carpet
Choice of turf carpet
FIH bases the specification of synthetic turf on a set of performance criteria. The criteria are published in a pitch handbook entitled Handbook of Performance Requirements for Synthetic Hockey Pitches . This leads to an approval scheme for synthetic turf which has been tested by an independent FIH accredited laboratory and shown to meet the requirements.
The type of turf carpet FIH plan to install in Zambia is “sand –dressed”. It is suitable for national and relevant levels of international competition. It has a good life cycle as long as it is properly maintained so maintenance after completion of installation and throughout its use is something which must be taken into consideration.
This type of turf carpet does not require heavy regular and routine watering to achieve required playing characteristics. An in-built pitch watering system is therefore not a requirement. This brings cost and environmental benefits. However, the overall performance of the pitch and comfort of the players improves a little if there is a small amount of wetting. It will therefore be advisable to include provision for hand-held hoses which might be used for a major tournament.
Ground works and pitch sub-base
The importance of a high quality engineered sub-base is often overlooked in the specification and building of a hockey pitch. If the sub-base is badly engineered, the pitch will be a bad pitch whatever the quality of the carpet installed on top.
The precise nature of the sub-base varies depending on the type of carpet and any shock-pad used. It is therefore crucially important for the chosen turf carpet supplier to be involved at a very early stage in the specification of the sub-base. The FIH has therefore already put the chosen turf supplier in contact with the project architect and contractor. The turf supplier will supply the necessary technical specification for the sub-base and monitor its construction.
All sub-base costs are included in the main IOC contract.
At various stages, the sub-base and/or turf carpet will need to be tested by an FIH accredited laboratory against the requirements in the Pitch Handbook to ensure a good quality installation.
Installation of the turf carpet
The turf supplier will be directly responsible for installation of the turf carpet and its shock-pad as a turn-key project. The installation schedule will take into account that the rainy season is between November and March/April.
The chosen turf supplier will progress subsequent project stages leading to completion of the hockey playing facility under notice to and monitoring by FIH as necessary.