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Artificial Turf - Latest News
June 22, 2015

World Rugby tightens artificial turf regulations

Artificial turf for rugby is here to stay and with quality so important in this area, World Rugby is at the forefront of ensuring only the very best and safest surfaces are approved around the world.

Artificial turf has many advantages, requiring less maintenance than natural grass, allowing for rugby to be played in parts of the world where natural grass does not grow well or on grounds that suffer from heavy usage.

But for World Rugby, the number-one priority is player welfare and, in an effort to ensure that the highest quality artificial turf surfaces are being installed for use in rugby around the world, Regulation 22 is constantly being reviewed and, if necessary, updated to move with the times.

One such update of Regulation 22 took place recently with changes reflecting more accurately the ‘One Turf’ concept. As such, some requirements have been tightened in line with advances in technology, research and international best practice. The new performance specification, which will supersede previous editions, contains changes to some technical parameters for laboratory testing of products. Specifically, the changes include a move of head impact criteria (HIC) from 1.3m on initial test to 1.4m, and 1.0m on retest to 1.3m over the lifespan of the turf.

Requirements for shock absorption, energy restitution, vertical deformation and rotational resistance have also been tightened. These changes will mean that some currently compliant products may no longer meet the requirements. Artificial turf manufacturers will have one year to ensure that the requisite testing has been completed on their products.

For more information visit the World Rugby player welfare website where a full version of the specification can be found. All products for use in rugby must comply with these requirements by 1 April, 2016.

The final details of the updated ‘One Turf’ requirements were circulated to federations, producers and test institutes for comment and will be issued mid-2015. In addition, the federations will meet to decide on the most appropriate structure for the group being assembled to manage the introduction and administration of ‘One Turf’. While it is likely to be launched in principle, each federation will need to accept ‘One Turf’ formally before it can be used as intended.

In March, the 2015 Accredited Test Institute round-robin took place in Italy with current and new test institutes participating to become accredited, or renew accreditation, for both World Rugby and FIFA testing. The list of World Rugby Accredited Test Institutes can also be found

on the player welfare website.

Updates to the current list, resulting from qualification through the round-robin, will be implemented by the end of May 2015.

The current World Rugby Preferred Turf Producers (PTPs) are going from strength to strength in delivering high-quality artificial installations with more than 200 across the world. All contact details for the PTPs can be found at

www.worldrugby.org/rugbyturf.

The current companies are: Act Global, Edel Grass BV, Greenfields BV, FieldTurf Tarkett, Limonta Sport SPA, Polytan and Support In Sport (SIS).

Applications to become part of the PTP scheme will reopen in September 2015. For application forms please email

info@worldrugby.org

and title your email "Preferred Turf Producer Application".

World Rugby Research Coordinator Marc Douglas is now responsible for technical matters related to artificial turf, including research projects and the accredited test institutes, while Leanne Walsh, Research and Equipment Manager, is responsible for all non-technical matters including the PTPs.

If you are thinking of investing in an artificial turf facility, wish to know more about the ‘One Turf’ concept or you have any queries relating to any of the above please contact Marc or Leanne. All information relating to the rugby turf programme can be found on

http://playerwelfare.worldrugby.org/playingsurfaces.