In 2007, Cricket Australia and the AFL commissioned the University of Ballarat to establish a set of criteria that enables synthetic turf to mimic the performance characteristics of natural turf.
Following the development of these criteria, Cricket Australia and the AFL have developed a Synthetic Turf Program to support the delivery of synthetic sports fields. A brochure outlining the program can be downloaded here.
Since the development of the standards, Cricket Australia and the AFL have established a licensing program to ensure the quality of products being manufactured from a performance and longevity perspective and that the products comply with safety and insurance requirements.
The licensing program includes both laboratory tests and field tests to ensure the products meet the AFL/Cricket Australia criteria following manufacturing and installation.
|Step 1:||Manufacturer submits product sample to approved laboratory for testing|
|Step 2:||Product sample subjected to the laboratory tests. If it passes - move to step 3|
|Step 3:||A surface comprising of the product which satisfied the laboratory tests is installed|
|Step 4:||The installed surface undergoes field tests|
|Step 5:||Subject to passing the field tests, the oval is certified as meeting the AFL/Cricket Australia standards|
The AFL/Cricket Australia has endorsed four manufacturers that can develop and install AFL/Cricket Australia approved synthetic ovals.
- Endorsed Manufacturers:
- Desso (Australian Agent – HG Sports Turf)
- FieldTurf (Australian Agent – Turf One)
The AFL/Cricket Australia "Approved Synthetic Turf Product" mark is awarded to those products that have been subject to a series of stringent laboratory tests.
These tests include durability, joint strength, resistance to weathering, ball roll and bounce, hardness, traction and abrasion.
Every installed oval must meet a second stage of testing that occurs once the oval has been laid and filled to produce the playing surface and has been allowed to age and be played on for a period of one month or 160 hours of play.
Testing is undertaken at a variety of points on the field to ensure compliance across the field. Once an oval has met all the requirements of the field testing, it will be issued with official certification that the oval complies AFL/Cricket Australia Standards.
The AFL/Cricket Australia Handbook of Testing for Synthetic Turf can be downloaded here.
- Ensuring surfaces have the same playing characteristics as natural turf
- Ensuring quality and durability of the product
- Maximising playing comfort and safety for players
The benefits of the testing and certification process are:
Sport & Recreation Victoria have produced the Artificial Grass for Sport Guide for clubs, associations, councils and schools that are considering the development of an artificial grass project.
The guide provides comprehensive information regarding planning, design, project delivery, management and maintenance of an artificial grass project.