So is it? And how do you know? Well, without wasting time let’s consider 3 ways to know your pitch is performing and firstly 3 signs that it isn’t.
3 Signs that your pitch is not performing
- Are your users happy? Simple question but ask them. They will tell you if the feel is good, the ball roll correct and the experience positive. They may even offer advice based on experience of other pitches they may play on. If they are not happy, before you know it, they may vote with their feet and move elsewhere, and very soon it will be your accountant who is telling you something is wrong.
- Can you see the infill material lying on the surface top? I have yet to meet a manufacturer which recommends that sand or rubber is visible on their surfaces. But, either through poor initial installation and more often incorrect maintenance advice, it has become common to see infill on the surface. This means abrasion when skin comes into contact, incorrect ball roll, and possibly a slippery surface. Synthetic turf is green for a reason.
- Basic functions of the pitch stop working. The most common of these is poor drainage, often caused by a lack of maintenance and aging of the surface. It can also be seen in seams opening up, and not being repaired immediately.
For the more positive let’s see the 3 signs that your pitch is performing.
- Users are happy. Ask them how their game was. If they talk about the goals, brilliant. Keep them positive.
- The pitch is being professionally maintained. This means routine fibre brushing to help ball roll, and decompaction of the infill to keep the infill working. It doesn’t mean brushing surface infill around. In fact no infill should be visible and your maintenance company should be able to demonstrate that the pitch has been decompacted.
- Bookings are up. Users will wait to get onto a good surface, adjust their playing times and travel further if the pitch is performing. Check regularly and see if there is a waiting list for peak times.
So, if you fall into the latter category, well done, keep it up! But if you are in the former it may be because the pitch is old and near its sell by date, or it is not being maintained correctly. My recommendation at this point is to speak with an expert and take advice. There are several consultants around and these should be your first port of call.
For more information, get in touch with one of the Rhino-Turf Team.