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A new quality benchmark for synthetic turf has entered the Asian sporting market, with the latest FIFA Certified pitch from Act Global at Ho Chi Minh University of Sport – featuring Bonar Yarns MN Global fibres.

As players set foot on the new pitch at Ho Chi Minh City University of Sport, they are the first in Asia to enjoy the latest in 3G football turf technology. Featuring the latest synthetic turf technology from Bonar Yarns, the prestigious training academy has set new benchmarks in quality, durability and performance for the region’s top playing surfaces.

The sports turf, Xtreme Turf DX, is manufactured by Act Global at their USA facility under ISO 9001 quality standards featuring an exclusive MN Global yarn blend from Bonar Yarns – a fibre that was developed in collaboration with Act Global.

The university chose FIFA preferred producer, Act Global, and Bonar Yarns high performing MN Global fibres due to its unrivalled durability, safety and performance features – ensuring the highest quality for such a prestigious university.

The pitch was completed with exclusive regional partner Hoang Nguyen Company, a leading installer for top-end football fields in Vietnam. The synthetic turf was finished with performance infill imported from Genan in Denmark, before passing stringent field testing to be certified to elite FIFA Two Star level. This is the second pitch in Vietnam which features Bonar Yarns fibres.

Bryn Lee, Global Business Director of Bonar Yarns, said:

Some of the best surfaces in the world are now synthetic, as they offer a unique balance of durability, resilience and skin friendliness. This is an incredibly exciting project both for Bonar Yarns and Act Global.

The system will greatly exceed the needs of a top international stadium, and has already been featured in several notable facilities, including Canada’s Montreal Olympic Stadium and CSV Apeldoorn in Netherlands.

Daniel Clapham, Regional Sales Manager for Act Global, said:

We are pleased to offer Ho Chi Minh City University our latest and most advanced synthetic turf, suitable for top talent at this important training facility. We are constantly researching, testing and refining our systems to ensure players receive the best in class technology and playing surfaces.

The new pitch will be used more than 50 hours per week by some of the country’s top athletes for training and matches. The dual-fibre system offers an ideal balance of player comfort and resilience, with durability testing exceeding FIFA’s standards by more than six times.

Sports University HCMC Vietnam Act Global MN Global (2)

Sports University HCMC Vietnam. Courtesy: Act Global

Forest Academy scores with second 3G surface

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With English Championship soccer side, Nottingham Forest FC, not only looking to regain Premier League status after a 15-year absence, as well as striving for Category One status for its Academy, maintaining the best training facilities for its first team through to youngsters as young as eight is a top priority.


Faced with the challenge of attracting and developing the region’s most talented young footballers, the Club’s management took the decision to install a new state-of-the-art outdoor 3G playing surface at its Nigel Doughty Academy. The ultimate objective was not only to achieve playing consistency for every one of the club’s youngsters, but also to secure Category One academy status under the FA’s Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).


Having already invested in an indoor synthetic training pitch last year, the Club contacted TigerTurf; a leading manufacturer of synthetic sports surfaces in the UK, who manufactured and supplied a 7,094m² surface, which was installed by Sleaford-based independent sports surfacing specialist, Smith Construction.


At the request of the academy coaching staff, the surface was manufactured with markings giving it the versatility to be divided from an FA regulation 11-a-side pitch into four smaller pitches to be used by younger academy age groups. With the academy hosting many talented youngsters aged 8 – 19 from across the club’s representative teams every week, an adaptable 3G area was essential.


Boasting FIFA 1 and 2 star accreditation, TigerTurf’s Soccer Real 60XQ is the result of breakthrough polymer processing that eradicates weak points which may occur in the yarns as a result of the shape, therefore producing unrivalled split resistance. This results in a surface which is durable enough to offer long-term elite level performance without compromising the aesthetics. The third generation synthetic turf system is 60mm in length and comprises two unique profiled fibres; part-filled with rubber and sand to enhance ball roll.


To enhance the overall standard of the playing area, the football club also invested in the installation of recessed goal areas to ensure that those goalposts not being used can be moved away from the pitch to avoid any safety risks. With goalposts constantly being moved to accommodate academy squads of different ages, this was deemed essential by the coaching staff.


Gary Brazil, Academy Manager at Nottingham Forest Football Club, commented:

When the Club took the decision to invest in a new 3G surface at its academy, the Chairman’s view was that the quality of the playing surface had to come first, which is certainly reflected in the quality of its performance to date.

From a coaching perspective, we couldn’t be happier with the new surface as it allows us to do the technical work that we need to do with the youngsters at the club – and do it with quality. The reception from the players has been equally positive as the new pitches create conditions very, very close to those of natural grass. The ball holds up better than on other synthetic pitches we’ve seen which gives a truer playing environment.

As we aim to achieve Category One status for our academy as soon as possible, it is essential that we offer a top-class facility with top-class surfaces. The new artificial training pitch is second to none and perfectly enhances our grass pitches and indoor surface, giving us everything we need to meet Category One criteria, which is the ultimate aim for us irrespective of the division our first team is playing in.

The new 3G area is great as it gives us a full-sized 11-a-side pitch which can be broken down into an 11 v 11 pitch, a 9 v 9 pitch and two 7 v 7 pitches, depending on what we need at any given time. This works extremely well for both competitive fixtures and training. I don’t think we’d do anything different even if we were asked to do it all again.


Ewan Hunter, the Club’s Head Groundsman added:

As well as being able to handle the demands of every team that trains at our academy, it was also important for us to have a pitch that would be simple to maintain. By running a charterhouse groomer and brush across the surface in a couple of different directions once a week, we can ensure the rubber infill on the surface is always evenly distributed.

The 3G surface is simple to maintain and by working closely with the coaching staff to monitor how much each pitch is used and in which areas, we can adjust our maintenance schedule accordingly.

Nottingham Forest FC has installed a new TigerTurf 3G pitch at its Nigel Doughty academy (2)

Synthetic Turf Council’s Spring Membership Meeting Focused on Science in the Industry

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Held from March 17-19, the Synthetic Turf Council’s Spring Membership Meeting in Las Vegas attracted 217 leaders of companies in the synthetic turf industry from throughout the world, including manufacturers, suppliers, installers, landscape architects and engineers, testing labs, maintenance equipment and service companies.


The educational programme included presentations on the latest research and science on Synthetic Turf sports fields, player performance, and safety. Chris Sherwood, representing Biocore and the University of Virginia, highlighted the importance of matching the shoe and cleat type to the playing surface in order to minimize the risk of injury. Dr. John Sorochan and Adam Thoms from the University of Tennessee reported new data on the relationship between various synthetic turf sports field systems and player performance. In addition, Dr. Steven Buchberger from the University of Cincinnati discussed the research that his department is doing on accurately simulating stormwater runoff from synthetic turf sports fields.


The highlight of the programme was the presentation by Chris Nowinski, co-founder and Executive Director of Sports Legacy Institute and author of Head Games, on the risks of concussions to athletes in many sports, including football, soccer, lacrosse, ice hockey, and particularly to young athletes. Following Mr. Nowinski’s talk, the Council membership discussed the need to re-emphasize the importance of regular maintenance and testing of synthetic turf sports fields to assure proper resilience and performance.


To expand the learning experience, there were concurrent presentations on synthetic turf for sports fields and for synthetic grass for landscape and recreation use. For the sports field audience, Dr. Eric Harrison, a consultant to FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, reported on FIFA’s new guidelines on heat and maintenance. Leanne Walsh from the International Rugby Board (IRB) gave an update on the IRB’s One Turf initiative, which is exploring the possibility of creating a set of standards which meet the needs of a single artificial turf surface suitable for many sports, particularly at the community level where multi-use facilities are in demand.


For the landscape and recreation audience, Rick Doyle, President of the Synthetic Turf Council, moderated a consumer panel on the impact that synthetic turf is having in the region, where water is rationed.  Panelists included representatives from a local resort hotel, homeowners association, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which is providing financial incentives to residents to save water by replacing their grass lawn with synthetic turf or other hardscape material.


A pre-conference “Whistle-stop” seminar on the many applications and benefits of landscape and recreation synthetic grass as well as the STC’s guidelines when buying synthetic grass for landscape use. Other highlights of the meeting included an Exhibitor Showcase, and a special report on the North American synthetic turf industry by STC Board Chairman, John Baize of Act Global.


FSB 2013: Polytan presents itself in a new way

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FSB in Cologne opens its doors on Tuesday 22 October to offer a unique platform for suppliers to showcase products and services geared to sports facilities, amenity areas, synthetic turf and public swimming-pools. As one of the most experienced and best known suppliers of sports surface systems, Polytan will be revealing its latest developments and presenting its entire product portfolio at the event. Markus Deimling, Managing Director of Polytan Sportstättenbau GmbH, said:

“Polytan is a traditional company. As a market leader, we are constantly refining our technologies and innovations in order to guarantee our customers high-quality turf and running track systems, excellent installation and service as well as sustained performance.

A new addition to the portfolio is Polytan|STI ShockPad Inside (SPI) system for synthetic turf. An elastic shock absorption layer that is applied directly to the turn in the factory guarantees optimum player protection for professionals and amateurs alike. The running track line is one surface type richer as well: the Polytan PUR Diamond has been configured with the new OrganicGEL technology to deliver high acceleration and shock absorption values. Both systems are the logical development of Polytan processes and make minimum demands on resources in their manufacture and installation.

Grass doesn’t always have to be green – as Polytan is demonstrating with its revamped fair stand. The violet MegaTurf CoolPlus hockey turf, set to be used for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, draws the eye to the floor of the stand. But it’s not only the colour that is appealing: this year visitors can view the specimen sports surface on specially produced presentation tables. And sports fans will feel at home, with one corner of the stand being dedicated to the kits of worldwide Polytan reference clubs such as FC Bayern München, FC Lorient and BC Lions.

Alongside these new products, of course, Polytan is also presenting its entire portfolio at the fair, showcasing popular product systems such as the successful LigaTurf RS Pro CoolPlus turf from Polytan|STI. The CoolPlus technology ensures that the plastic does not heat up too much when exposed to strong sunlight. As for running track surfaces, Polytan has been setting the standards for sports facilities for years with hard-wearing, long-lasting system solutions. The durable all-round surfaces such as Polytan S are used particularly on sports pitches and facilities for ball sports and leisure activities. Thanks to their high abrasion resistance, surfaces such as Polytan PUR are ideal for performance sport and competition as well as elite international athletics events. Polytan is also well placed when it comes to fall protection: the Polytan FS is mainly used in playgrounds and kindergartens as a shock-absorbing base in a variety of thicknesses.

Further information about Polytan’s sports systems can be obtained from stand A010 in hall 11.3. As a special service for younger visitors to the fair, hall 11.3 will also feature a soccer court that enables Polytan quality to be tested on site.

FC Dordrecht in the Netherlands plays on synthetic turf for first time

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FC Dordrecht will play its Jupiler League (first division) and friendly matches on synthetic turf from now on. The first game on the new surface was against Feyenoord on Saturday 20 July. In record time synthetic turf was installed for the first time ever in the Dordrecht stadium.

In the next football season eight of the 20 clubs in the Jupiler League will train and play their home games on synthetic turf.

FC Dordrecht will thus join the ranks of Almere City FC, FC Den Bosch, SBV Excelsior, Helmond Sport, FC Oss, FC Volendam, and VVV Venlo.

Jelle Beuker, Operational Director of the Coöperatie Eerste Divisie (CED) [Cooperation First Division], explained the development:

We aim both to enhance the attractiveness of matches in the Jupiler League and to increase the playability of the pitches, particularly during the winter season. Synthetic turf makes this entirely possible. An additional advantage is that every stadium with synthetic turf now enables players to both train and play matches, thus also saving the clubs on operating costs. Moreover, the choice of synthetic turf helps to project the Jupiler League as a platform for talented footballers who have the potential to grow to premier league level.

Current list of clubs playing on synthetic turf in the Jupiler League as from the 2013 season:

  • Almere City FC on a synthetic turf system from GreenFields with fibres from TenCate
  • FC Den Bosch on a synthetic turf system from GreenFields with fibres from TenCate
  • C Dordrecht on a synthetic turf system from GreenFields with fibres from TenCate
  • SBV Excelsior on a synthetic turf system from FieldTurf Benelux with fibres from TenCate
  • Helmond Sport on a synthetic turf system from GreenFields with fibres from TenCate
  • FC Oss on a synthetic turf system from Edel Grass with fibres from TenCate
  • FC Volendam on a synthetic turf system from FieldTurf Benelux with fibres from TenCate
  • VVV-Venlo on a synthetic turf system from FieldTurf Benelux with fibres from FieldTurf

Photo courtesy FC Dordrecht – photographer Erwin Spek.

Dutch Jupiler League standardises on TenCate Grass

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The Dutch Coöperatie Eerste Divisie has awarded the contract to install synthetic turf fields at its clubs to TenCate Grass, following a tender process. The installation of the first fields at Jupiler League clubs will begin this summer and will be carried out by GreenFields, a subsidiary of TenCate.

By entering into a collective agreement, Jupiler League clubs will benefit in the same way as already experienced by the Premier Division since summer 2012.

A number of these synthetic turf fields are already present in the Jupiler League and Premier Division, such as those installed last summer at Heracles Almelo and PEC Zwolle. This summer, similar fields will be installed at FC Oss and FC Den Bosch. The field at Den Bosch is a GreenFields MX artificial grass system installed by C.S.C. Ceelen Sport Constructies and to be completed 18 July.

As part of the collective agreement, TenCate will use its highest-grade synthetic turf systems for this Dutch top-flight football project, to optimise the quality of the playing fields across the first division and to reduce cancellations, particularly during the winter period.