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.