The Groundsman

July 2015

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Visit for more information and digital editions GROW WITH THE IOG 30 the Groundsman July 2015 he time, resource and cost involved in investing in a 3G synthetic football pitch is considerable; spending £500,000 or so on such a facility does certainly justify ensuring that it provides an enduring and safe surface. Indeed, effective maintenance will extend the period needed for carpet replacement and, at £250,000 or more for a carpet that alone makes effective maintenance a wise move. A key message of the new Effective Maintenance of 3G Pitches' course – which has been developed by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) in partnership with Replay Maintenance and Redexim Charterhouse, including guidance from Alan Ferguson at St George's Park (see pages 14 to 18) and international synthetics expert, Alistair Cox – is to address the "common misconception that FTPs [Football Turf Pitches] are maintenance-free; this is definitely not the case. An FTP is expensive and to prolong its lifespan careful maintenance will be T On course to protect 3G investments The new Effective Maintenance of 3G Pitches training course leads the way in raising awareness of the demands of 3G pitch maintenance By: Chris Gray required." (The Football Foundation's Guide to Developing Third Generation Football Turf Pitches, 2013). A balanced approach Understanding how all this fits together, and to ensure the effective use of available resources, is where the course comes into its own. The course covers everything that ground staff need to know and, over 4.5 hours, is delivered in an engaging and impartial manner. The course also provides a balanced approach to the benefits and limitations of maintenance activities, as well as how synthetic surfaces can be integral to managing pitch schedules. A section of the course also dispels the mystery of 4G surfaces. Included in the key messages and points for discussion are the impact of contaminated infill material; dealing with bodily fluids which might contaminate a surface; the different types of carpet (historical and current); and the different types of performance testing and the need for routine testing. A particular emphasis is on effective maintenance and ensuring appropriate records of activities and performance test results are carried out. Infill contamination is a leading cause of the deterioration of pitch playing performance - in particular increasing hardness and reducing both traction and surface drainage, especially where pore The difference between contaminated and new sand infill An example of a well-maintained 3G pitch

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