London 2012 Olympics: Artificial Grass On Hockey Pitches

Before a ball has been hit in anger, there’s often some form of controversy preceding a major sporting event, especially one as important as the 2012 Olympics in London. With massive crowds expected to turn up to just about every event, work is undertaken to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

Preparations

However, while preparations are being made, even the slightest error can come in for serious criticism, especially when it comes to things like the playing surface and standard of the facilities which the athletes use.

Artificial Turf

The playing surface used for this year’s hockey event is a little bit different from the usual artificial surfaces which the sport is played on. The new surface for this year’s event is made from Polytan and in some ways resembles a carpet in that the ‘grass’ tilts to one side. This has been deemed to make ball handling very difficult, which has raised the ire of a number of coaches of teams taking part in the Games this year.

India coach Michael Nobbs was just one person in the sport who voiced his concerns about the new surface. He claimed that the new surface played a big part in his team suffering a heavy defeat in one of their pre-Olympic preparation games. Nobbs wasn’t the only one who was critical of the new blue surface, as his Pakistani counterpart was also upset about how it rendered playing the game more difficult.

Issues

Doing away with the traditional astro turf surface which has become the norm for playing hockey at all levels of the game, the new surface was designed to try and help improve the standard of play and to help widen hockey’s appeal, especially with a huge potential global television audience. However, with a growing number of people showing their anger with the state of the new surface they’re meant to be playing on, there will be a lot of eyes focusing on how well the surface performs.

Technology used in making artificial playing surfaces for all kinds of sporting events has advanced greatly in recent years. Most modern artificial pitches closely resemble natural grass surfaces, and, unlike grass, they can cope with just about anything the climate throws at it. However, as artificial playing surfaces are still relatively new to many sportspeople, they do take some getting used to, although in sports such as hockey, they’re rapidly becoming the most common surface in use.

This post was brought to you by hitechturf.co.uk who supply and install high quality grasses.

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