Monday, August 4, 2008

FIFA 2 Star Certified Field Turf

The FIFA One and Two Star certifications were formulated by UEFA and FIFA to classify high-quality synthetic turf pitches. A FIFA Two Star pitch meets the highest standards and passes strict tests for comfort and safety. Since 2004, FIFA final round competitions and UEFA Champion League matches can only be played on Two Star certified synthetic turf.

Picture from Wikipedia

Top Division 2 Star FIFA Certified Turf Stadiums

BMO Field - Toronto FC (Canada)
Gillette Stadium - New England Revolution (USA)
Luzhniki Stadium - Torpedo and Spartak Moscow (Russia)
Denizli Atatürk Stadium - Denizlispor (Turkey)
Polman Stadion - Haracles Almelo (Netherlands)
Kras Stadium - FC Volendam (Netherlands)
Marvin Lee Stadium - Joe Public FC (Trinidad and Tobago)
Estadio Alfonso Lopez - Atlético Bucaramanga (Colombia)
Alfheim Stadium - Tromsø (Norway)
Aspmyra Stadium - Bodø/Glimt (Norway)
Color Line Stadium - Aalesunds FK (Norway)
Finnair Stadium - HJK Helsinki (Finland)
Behrn Arena - Örebro SK (Sweden)
Red Bull Arena - Red Bull Salzburg (Austria)
Stade de Genève - Servette FC (Switzerland)
Stade de Suisse Wankdorf - Young Boys (Switzerland)
Stade La Maladiere - Neuchâtel Xamax (Switzerland)
Asmara National Stadium - Eritrea
Stade de Municipal de Kigali - Rwanda
Estadio Nacional - Peru

FIFA 2 Star Requirements
If you want to get all Mr. Wizard about these numbers, check out this link (pdf)

Vertical Ball Rebound - 0.60m to 0.85m
Angle Ball Rebound - Dry 45% to 60%; Wet 45% to 80%
Ball Roll - 4m to 8m (After 12 months play - 4m to 10m)
Shock Absorption - 60% to 70%
Vertical Deformation - 4mm to 9mm
Rotational Resistance - 30Nm - 45Nm
Skin/Surface Friction - 0.35 to 0.75
Skin Abrasion - +- 30%

From a FIFA Technical Study (pdf) of a Home and Home Series in the UEFA Cup Between Red Bull Salzburg (Turf) and Blackburn Rovers (Grass) in September 2006.

Artificial turf does not dramatically effect the pattern of a football match with clear similarities in the data from games played on grass turf.

The data would suggest that players on artificial grass may be able to control the ball easier (less touches per possession), are more comfortable in possession (more passes received and higher pass success rates) and could be more at ease running with the ball (more dribbles)

The fact that there were less headers recorded (compared to Blackburn's data in the league and UEFA Cup average) and that there were noticeably more passes made in teams' own halves suggests that artificial turf may encourage a more patient attacking build up (less high balls)

There were generally less tackles and fouls on artificial turf (compared to the average game on grass) suggesting that players are more likely to stay on their feet rather than slide into challenges - Does the game change on Football Turf?

Their comprehensive study conclusion was that "there are no significant differences in the objective data from the technical studies to date focusing on football turf versus top-quality natural grass."

Other key findings included that the ‘ball in play' time for matches was extremely similar on Football Turf and natural grass; 55-56 per cent of the game on average, players enjoyed a similar number of touches on the ball on both surfaces and no notable differences were observed in terms of the passing success rates.

From a risk for injury report (pdf) from

The only significant difference in injury pattern in this study was a higher risk of ankle sprain during matches on artificial turf and a lower risk of lower extremity muscle injuries. However, the tendency towards a lower rate of severe injuries on grass during training should be investigated further. Wounds, burns and friction injuries have also been reported to be more common on artificial turf.

Clubs that have Practice Fields with Field Turf
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Blackburn,, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Fulham, Leeds United, Manchester City, Middlesbrough, Norwich City, Glasgow Rangers, Werder Bremen, Lokomotiv, CSKA, FC Barcelona, Ajax, FC Sheriff, Shakhtar Donetsk, Monarcas Morelia, Necaxa, Chivas Guadalajara

It seems that from a fan and player perspective, the artificial stuff doesn't go over as well as with these FIFA studies. What are your thoughts on the turf vs. grass debate?


  1. Doesn't go over as well for high profile matches maybe but consistancy regardless of the weather conditions or amount of field usage (especially in adverse weather conditions) the evidence would support the use of turf (per your list of training fields in the above article). This is not even taking into account the lower maintenance costs related to turf fields which is money that can best saved/spent elsewhere on other things to improving the quality of the club using the field.

  2. Turf is indeed a good material.