Indoor and Outdoor Sports Surfaces

A number of sports can be played both indoors and outdoors while others are more suited to one environment over another. To match the versatility of the environments these sports are played in, courts also must be adapted depending on their location while maintaining as similar a performance level as possible. A big part of this is the materials used for indoor and outdoor sports surfaces.

Indoor Sports Surfaces

Gymnasiums have to cater to a wide array of sports and are often used as multi-purpose activity areas. Indoor sports surfaces have to be durable enough to keep up with the athletes no matter what they are doing. Basketball, badminton, volleyball, and handball all may share the same court, which could be used multiple times a day for hours at a time. Regardless of whatever is played in a court, as a facilities manager, you want to ensure that you are buying a product that will last. If the space you are working with is already built, assess how the space is used and whether the equipment already in place (bleachers, stages, etc.) will bear any limitations on reflooring or recoating. For structures still in construction, there is more flexibility for choosing the appropriate coating.

Outdoor Sports Surfaces

An even greater diversity of sports are played outdoors, including field hockey, racing/running, baseball, football, archery, horseback riding, kayaking, rock climbing, and a countless number of other activities. Outdoor sports surfaces are just as diverse as the activities played on them. While some sports are set directly within the elements, as in hiking up mountains, wind surfing on the sea, skiing cross-country over the snow, and so on, other sports need a special court or flooring system to play on.

All outdoor surfaces are designed to either perform in or withstand all types of weather. Even if you don’t want to walk out into the snow for a brisk game of tennis, your court will be there ready to go when the weather clears up in spring. Surfaces also must provide both traction and shock absorbency so that players can perform well.

There are three main types of outdoor recreational surfaces: tracks, turf, and courts. Artificial tracks and the infill for synthetic turf often contain recycled materials, such as small cubes from rubber shoe soles or car tires. Reusing these materials helps to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. This material also provides good traction and cushioning for athletes as well as adequate drainage in the event of rain. The look and feel of the turf is designed to resemble and behave like natural grass without the hassle of watering, mowing, fertilizing, and replanting. Outdoor courts for basketball and tennis are made of a acrylic, which provides a finer surface than that of tracks, but still provides reliable traction as well as a firm surface so that the balls have a better bounce that won’t interfere with game play.


Glenorchy goes Poligras for the new Grassports showcase football field.

Glenorchy City Council in combination with football Federation Tasmania have recently awarded the full construction of their new synthetic showcase field to Grassports Australia.

The two organisations undertook a rigorous tender process and thorough surfacing research on the project before award to Grassports, including the selection of world’s best top of the line Poligras Premier surface.

The combination of Grassports excellent reputation that spans 40 years and the superior Poligras products, made tender selection straightforward.

Poligras Premier R-RS is a leading “one turf” option that will offer the best possible performance to their new facility.
The Premier R-RS incorporates the latest re-spring yarn together with “cool yarn” technology to minimize heat generation and encourage year round participation for all ages and skill levels.

In keeping with world class sustainability performance, the yarn has a 21% recycled component.

No more washed out games and hard or boggy grounds to content with. Usage can increase to ten times more than is currently available.

The combination of Grass and the STI Laid insitu elastic shockpad provides not only premier performance but also minimises future resurfacing costs.

This installation on which works have commenced, represents the first installation in Australia of this system. Completion is expected in March 2013

This follows on from the successful installation of the Wakefield Park double field installation in Auckland NZ. This facility not only achieved FIFA two star rating (best in the world) but also complies with International Rugby IRB rule 22 Compliance.

Further details are available by contacting the writer .

Bernard G Evans
En Tout Cas Pty Ltd trading as Grassports Australia
143 Herald St,
Cheltenham, Vic, 3192

Football Playing Surfaces

There are primarily two types of football playing surfaces: natural grass and artificial turf. Artificial turf was first installed in the Houston Astrodome, the first indoor stadium to be used for both football and baseball. Because the arena was domed, there was no sunlight to allow natural grass to grow, so to realize the dream of the complex, an alternative had to be created. Synthetic turf caught on as its other advantages were gradually discovered, particularly in regard to how little maintenance it required relative to natural grass fields. Over time, synthetic turf has been developed and improved to further replicate the look, feel, and behavior of true grass. Eventually, even outdoor stadiums were equipped with synthetic turf, providing athletes with practice fields for all seasons that would withstand all types of weather.

Challenges of Natural Turf

The largest issues of a natural turf field all involve maintenance. Natural fields require plenty of effort and care to stay looking healthy and keep a thick mat for game and event days. Grass is the largest (and most highly irrigated) crop in the United States. Even a household lawn will consume hundreds of gallons of water each day. For maintaining a professional field, the expenses add up even more quickly. Natural fields also need attentive mowing, fertilizing, and replanting. Cleats ripping up chunks of the field as well as heavy wear from tackles, running, and sliding create unsightly patches that take away from the aesthetics of a field if new growth cannot spring up in time for games. For large events such as graduations, large numbers of people standing, walking, and sitting on the field as well as event staging equipment like platforms and chairs can also cause extensive damage to the appearance and integrity of a natural field.

Another type of problem with natural grass is that not everyone can enjoy it equally. People with allergies may suffer intensely from the growth, especially during major growing seasons. For this reason, it may be especially wise for schools, parks, and recreational clubs to install a synthetic turf field. This way more people will be able to participate in field sports and enjoy outdoor activities.

Artificial Turf Solutions

Synthetic turf neatly works around these problems. While artificial turf fields still require periodic maintenance, such as brushing, aerating, and raking (to prevent compaction of the infill and remove debris from the surface of the field), they do not bear the same environmental consequences or require the same level of care. This makes them excellent options for turf installation.

Multisport Court installation from our partner Grassports Australia

GrasSports Australia

‘CJC is delighted with the multipurpose court developed at the school in collaboration with GrasSports. GrasSports were extremely professional in all aspects of the process in relation to design, quoting, assistance, management of the ‘unforeseen problems’ and during construction. The site foreman was a pleasure to deal with and the school and wider community love our new facility. I would highly recommend the company after this project’.

Kind regards

Caulfield Junior College
Turf product by APT Advanced Polymer Technology Corp, installation by GrasSports

Tim Douglas
Caulfield Junior College
186 Balaclava Rd
Caulfield North   3161


Infographic: Sorry I’ve Got to Run

Running as a sport and the facilities that we compete on have come a long way over the years, from the open fields of the Greeks to the high-tech sports arenas of modern-day stadiums. As a producer of running track surfaces, we wanted to highlight some interesting facts about the sport and its history. Hopefully our infographic will help inspire you to work the track, stay in shape, and maybe even set some records of your own. Happy running!

Infographic: Sorry I've Got to Run Thumbnail

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