Why are testing and certification required on sports surfaces?

Artificial turf sports surfaces are used all around the world. These fields have the ability to sustain intensive use despite challenging weather conditions or local geographical circumstances. However, the product range of synthetic sports surfaces exhibits significant quality differences. There is also a myriad of systems available. Many sports federations have made sports field testing mandatory. They view a certified field as the best way to ensure the quality and safety of these surfaces.

What process is involved in sports field testing?

The quality and performance of a synthetic grass surface is validated at various stages. Typically, surfaces are tested extensively in a lab. Once installed the field will be subjected to additional field tests. Artificial grass sports fields will often have to be re-tested on a periodic basis to ensure conformity to the required standard(s) over a period of time. This periodic sports field testing and certification process can be linked to a requirement of a specific competition (i.e. part of sports federation’s regulations). It is also a way to ensure the field is still ‘fit for purpose’ and is being managed and maintained to the required standard.

Sports field testing and certification process

What is tested?

Surface – ball interaction

  • Ball rebound
  • Ball roll speed & consistency
  • Ball pace & bounce
  • Infill Splash
Sports field testing - ball rebound

Surface – player interaction

  • Shock absorption
  • Energy return
  • Stability (deformation)
  • Friction(Linear,Rotational,Skin friction/burns)
  • Head Impacts (HIC/Gmax)
Sports field testing - player interaction

Material quality

  • Resistance to UV
  • Resistance to simulated ageing
  • Seam strength
  • Tensile strength
  • Abrasion resistance
Sports field testing- Material quality

Build quality

  • Material levels
  • Planarity
  • Field dimensions
  • Finishing
Sports field testing- Build quality

Sports field testing – What standards can Labosport validate?

Labosport operates through several ISO 17025 accredited laboratories whose scopes of accreditation are available on the websites of the respective accrediting bodies. These assure our technical competence and integrity regarding sports field testing and certification. We are able to test all artificial sports surfaces to the appropriate national and international standard(s) such as:

  • National and International standards: EN, ISO, ASTM, NFP, BS, CSA, etc.,
  • National and International governing body standard: FIFA, World Rugby, World Athletics, FIH, ITF, AFL, FEI, etc.

Labosport has extensive global capacity including many laboratories around the world. We are able to undertake tests, respond quickly to client demands and provide a cost-effective solution. Our service covers the full range of sports field testing and sports surface certification anywhere in the world.