AFL/Cricket Australia Synthetic Turf Program
In 2007 the AFL, along with Cricket Australia, Sport & Recreation Victoria and JLT Trustees, commissioned the University of Ballarat to determine whether specific criteria could be developed for the use of synthetic grass in football and cricket. The University of Ballarat developed a set of criteria that would enable synthetic turf to mimic the performance characteristics of natural turf.
Click HERE for a link to a brochure outlining the AFL/Cricket Australia Synthetic Turf Program.
Since the development of the standards the AFL and Cricket Australia has established a licensing program to that ensures the quality of products being manufactured from a performance and longevity perspective and that the products comply with safety and insurance requirements.
The licencing program includes both laboratory tests and field tests to ensure the products meet the AFL/Cricket Australia criteria after manufacturing and once installed. The licensing process is outlined below:
|Manufacturer submits product sample to approved laboratory for testing.|
|Product sample subjected to the laboratory tests. If it passes it moves to step 3.|
|A surface comprising of the product which satisfied the laboratory tests is installed.|
|The installed surface undergoes field tests.|
|Subject to passing the field tests, the oval is certified as meeting the AFL/Cricket Australia standards.|
The AFL/Cricket Australia has licensed 3 manufacturers that can develop and install AFL/Cricket Australia approved synthetic ovals.
The licensed manufacturers are:
The AFL/Cricket Australia ‘Approved Synthetic Turf Product’ mark is awarded to those products that have been subject to a series of stringent laboratory tests. These tests include those for durability, joint strength, resistance to weathering, ball roll and bounce, hardness, traction and abrasion.
Every installed oval must meet a second stage of testing that occurs on site once the oval has been laid and filled to produce the playing surface and has been allowed to age and be played on for a period of one month or 160 hours of play. This allows consolidation before testing. Testing is undertaken at a variety of points on the field to ensure compliance across the field. Once an oval has met all the requirements of the field testing it will be issued with official certification that the oval complies AFL/Cricket Australia Standards.
Click HERE to access the Testing Handbook.
The benefits of the testing and certification process are as follows:
- Ensuring surfaces have the same playing characteristics as natural turf.
- Ensuring quality and durability of the product.
- Maximising playing comfort and safety for players.
Two AFL/Cricket Australia accredited synthetic ovals have been installed to date. A junior sized oval is in place at Wadhurst Oval at Melbourne Grammar School (pictured below) and Australia’s first full size synthetic oval has been completed at Saltwater Reserve, Point Cook in the City of Wyndham.
Wadhurst Oval, Melbourne Grammar School
For more information on the AFL/Cricket Australia Synthetic Turf Program please contact Mr Ricky Bell, the Executive Officer of the program on 03 8341 6085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Artificial Grass for Sport Guide
Sport & Recreation Victoria have produced the Artificial Grass for Sport Guide for clubs, associations, councils and schools who are considering the development of an artificial grass project. The guide provides comprehensive information regarding planning, design, project delivery, management and maintenance of an artificial grass project.
The guide can be viewed and downloaded by clicking HERE