Selecting the right artificial turf for field hockey

artificial turf for field hockey pitches

Artificial turf pitches have accelerated field hockey’s development. The sport is faster and more accurate when played on artificial pitch than it could ever be on natural grass. It’s almost impossible to imagine what field hockey would be like without artificial turf, as the surface has facilitated so much of the tactical and technical development of the players, allowing them to play to the full extent of their abilities while staying safe and healthy.

Field hockey fields are typically built with sand-based artificial turf or with irrigated turf systems for higher level competitions. Often, the focus when building a new artificial turf pitch is on a more multifunctional use, as the field hockey pitches at most facilities are used for other sports. The choice of field hockey turf depends on the use concept of the sports facility: namely, what else besides field hockey practices and matches will the field be used for?

Different combinations of usage – for example,  using the same pitch for field hockey and soccer, or a school that will also use it as a multipurpose field – require different systems. Every club must be aware of this at the outset of planning, and the project must be aligned accordingly. 

The usage plans will also shape the additional equipment the new field will need: sprinklers, floodlights and spectator areas. Equipping the facility with an LED sports lighting system allows the game to be played in the evening and during the winter, but that may not be applicable for a school field in warmer climates.

Artificial turf systems: Pros and Cons

Sand-based field hockey fields

Sand-based field hockey fields represent a cost-effective, multifunctional solution, as they can also be used for other ball sports such as soccer. Sand-based field hockey fields can generally be divided into three types: The subdivision is made into sand-filled, partially filled, and semi-irrigated artificial turf.

The intended use of the field is critical in selecting the fiber length of the artificial turf. If the pitch is used exclusively for field hockey, 11 millimeter blades are sufficient. However, if the pitch will double as a soccer field or multipurpose field, the blades should be 14 millimeters.

Sand-filled field hockey fields

The grass surface of sand-filled artificial turf has a low density and an open structure. Due to their versatility, this option is very popular in municipal areas (e.g., schools and publicly accessible recreational facilities).

Partially filled field hockey fields

Partial infill field hockey turf systems have an infill of between 67% – 80% of the pile depth and are similar in appearance to non-infill systems.

Semi-irrigated field hockey fields

Semi-irrigated fields are irrigated by built-in sprinkler systems. This allows the artificial turf system to achieve a similar level of quality as an irrigated artificial turf. The sand infill in this type of turf is less than 60% of the pile depth.

artificial turf field hockey pitch cost

Estimating costs for an artificial turf hockey field

How much a turf field costs varies depending on the size of the pitch, the desired  turf system, the product quality and the infill. For a pitch with standard dimensions, clubs should expect costs between $560,000 and $920,000. Costs go up from there if the pitch needs to have  floodlights and a sprinkler system. LED floodlight systems, for example,  costs between $210,000 and $330,00.

You can calculate the costs for the construction or renovation of an artificial turf field for field hockey in detail using the artificial turf cost calculator. After entering the pitch size and selecting the artificial turf system, you will receive an email with a breakdown of all relevant cost items for the artificial turf pitch and the equipment of your sports facility, including the sprinkler and floodlight system.