The Groundsman

November 2016

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Visit for more information and digital editions GROW WITH THE IOG 18 the Groundsman November 2016 ne essential part of any ground operative's role is to ensure he can demonstrate an appropriate duty of care to all users of a pitch and, to help reinforce this legal requirement as a learning activity, the IOG's Effective Maintenance of 3G Surfaces course begins with a comprehensive visual on- O Raising the game in Wales The IOG has, for the first time in Wales, delivered its new one-day Level 2 3G playing surfaces training course – Effective maintenance of 3G surfaces - to an avid audience at the University of South Wales Sport Park By: Chris Gray site inspection, along with discussion, of the playing surface. This is a core practical element of the course and commenting about the pitch at the Sport Park Chris Gray, the course trainer, said: "Considering the pitch has been down for a number of years, the maintenance and upkeep of the surface has continued to be to a good standard, being well- presented throughout." In addition to visual assessments, the IOG course also contains an element of routine pitch testing via simplified rebound bounce tests to provide a general indication of infill contamination and the hardness of the playing surface. This also helps to provide a general indication of potential maintenance requirements. The average rebound bounce in this case was in the region of 50 per cent, indicating that playability was just within performance requirements for football and that de- compaction of the surface infill, which is a more specialised activity than routine work, would be probably required very shortly. Some interesting and pertinent issues were raised by the course delegates, in particular the need to actively manage pitch usage to ensure wear is spread as evenly as possible. This led to discussions on the importance of good channels of communication between grounds staff and facility managers, with the latter needing to have a good understanding of how incorrect usage management will negatively impact on an organisation's business model for income and on carpet replacement. Another important point of discussion surrounded how 'an hour of use' relates to maintenance requirements. There are many variables that impact on the maintenance of a 3G surface; type of use, intensity of use, age and weight impact of users, impact of environmental surroundings, the skills of the grounds staff carrying out the work, the type of equipment being used and the type of infill (rubber/organic), to name some. All of these need to be carefully considered by management when planning staffing and resource requirements for pitch maintenance. How many facility managers start with the rule of thumb ratio of one hour of maintenance to 10 hours of use? Few will have given much consideration to factoring in the numerous variables to help make a better informed decision to support the sustainability of their business model. With this in mind, the IOG is now also looking at developing a different short course more aligned to facility or finance managers to focus on user management and its impact on sustained income and business plans. Informal testing of ball bounce Even surfaces with uniform infill levels sustain playing quality characteristics

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