The Groundsman

March 2016

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Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions STMA CONFERENCE REVIEW 24 the Groundsman March 2016 isitors to the annual exhibition and conference of the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) couldn't help but notice how UK companies were actively promoting their equipment as well as providing advice and guidance on European sports turf management practices. UK groundsmanship was well represented at the event – and, indeed, well respected judging by the amount of interest shown in what we do here in the UK and throughout Europe. Companies and individuals from Spain, France, Germany and Italy were also represented. Everyone, it seemed, also showed great interest in the subjects of new technologies, player safety, biomechanics V Together in turf During recent visits abroad, IOG chief executive Geoff Webb says it is abundantly clear that the turf care industry exhibits unlimited pride, passion and professionalism. Here he discusses some of the issues raised in America By: Geoff Webb and boot stud interaction, as well as the perennial discussions about the pros and cons of 3G surfaces and natural turf. What was clear was that the turf care profession has to take a long and hard look at how we embrace science and work with clubs' medical departments to produce optimum playing surfaces. Will there come a time when the pitch of tomorrow will be developed with input from sports physiotherapists as well as the turf industry? If that is the case then perhaps one of the strongest arguments will come from the athletes who will ultimately decide their surface of choice, and it is very evident (in America's NFL and in our professional football) that natural turf scores highly. In turn, therefore, it is equally clear that the natural turf profession and industry has a lot to do to persuade sports administrators - starting with FIFA and World Rugby [formerly IRB] then all national governing bodies - of the benefits of natural turf. In much the same way that FIFA benchmarks the quality of synthetic pitches, there is a framework for benchmarking natural turf pitches on the IOG agenda. The 'argument' between artificial and natural turf continues, end users really do need well-informed information so that their decisions are based on well-researched data rather than misguided and ill-informed advertising. In addition, of course, what continues Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres baseball team. The field was being prepared for a monster truck event.

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