Language:
IRB Passport site:

We use cookies to help make this website better. To find out more about the cookies we use, please read our Cookies Policy. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, you consent to this use, but if you want, you can find information in our Cookies Policy about how to remove cookies by changing your settings.

Home
Educational modules
Education and medical
Player Welfare Education
IRB Immediate Pitch Side Care Educational Modules (including First Aid In Rugby and Immediate Care in Rugby)
IRB Concussion Management Educational Modules
IRB Match Day Medical Staff Educational Module
IRB Rugby Ready
IRB Medical Guidelines & Documents
Concussion Management
Research & expert papers
Injury Surveillance - IRB Tournaments
Injury Surveillance - Professional Rugby
Injury Surveillance - Community Rugby
Prevention
Expert papers
Game analysis / research general
Weight guideline considerations
IRB Conference Information
IRB Rugby Science Network
IRB Rugby Science Network
Equipment
Artificial Surfaces
Natural Surfaces
Padded Clothing Regulation
Anti-doping
Anti-doping regulation
IRB Regulation 21: Anti-Doping
Testing programme
Anti-doping testing programme
Anti-doping education
IRB Keep Rugby Clean
Download a printable version of this document in Adobe PDF format
Section G - Performance Testing

The playing quality of a sports surface is of fundamental importance to player safety as well as influencing the player’s enjoyment of the game. The quality of the surface can be described according to the interaction of the player with the surface and the interaction of the ball with the surface. In Rugby, the former is more important in relation to running, scrummaging, tackling and diving on the surface.

In addition to assessing playing quality, agronomic factors should also be considered such as the grass cover, moisture content and organic matter as these can have a strong bearing on playing quality.

1) Player surface interactions

The interaction of the player with the surface is determined by surface infiltration rates, grass cover and height as well as player footwear. In broad terms, the surface characteristics are determined by the firmness of the surface, the amount of grip that the surface imparts to the player, and how well the footwear can penetrate the surface.

All of these surface characteristics can be assessed in an objective manner.

Field test
Preferred limits
Acceptable limits

Hardness (gravities)1

50- 100g

30 -180g

Traction (Nm)2

≥35Nm

≥25Nm

Table G1: Suggested preferred and acceptable limits for Rugby pitches prepared to a regional standard in the UK (from McClements and Baker, 1994)

1 – Hardness measured in gravities using a Clegg impact hammer, 0.5Kg weight dropped from 0.55m
2 – Traction measured in Newton meters using a studded disc with six 15mm long and 12.5mm diameter football studs

Performance testing should be carried out by an independent agency with the necessary skills to interpret the results as these can vary depending upon pitch construction type and region. They are useful, however, to help in the assessment of spatial variation across the surface.

Other assessments that can be made include surface evenness and stud penetration.

2) Agronomic assessments

The ground cover, sward height, and moisture content are assessments that should be made on a regular basis to help monitor pitch performance.

It is important that the techniques employed are accurate and reflective of sections of the pitch with both high and low wear. This helps to build up a picture of how the pitch performs over the season and can be correlated with weather conditions and pitch usage. Such data can then help to inform the maintenance practices and identify any weaknesses within the pitch.

Download a printable version of this document in Adobe PDF format
Copyright © International Rugby Board 2010-2014 | Terms & Conditions of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookies Policy