17 May 2016

How do we tackle the new FIFA requirements?

FIFA Quality Concept
All artificial grass systems that have been approved in the Netherlands are documented in a so-called sports surface list for football, managed by NOC*NSF. This is a database that buyers of a sports field can consult to see whether their specific preferences or requirements are already available. Moreover, buyers can check if what they have been offered has been tested in terms of sports functionality and quality.

But FIFA, too, does its part when it comes to determining standards. It does this in the form of the FIFA Quality Concept (FIFA QC). FIFA QC was updated in 2009, 2012 and again in 2015 according to the latest insights in the field of sports characteristics and the quality of artificial grass. FIFA QC has two levels: FIFA Quality (previously FIFA*) and FIFA Quality Pro (previously FIFA**). Quality focuses on a sustainably well-performing basic level, specifically intended for grassroots sports. Quality Pro is geared towards sporting performance at top level, for example for stadium pitches, where the emphasis lies less on the lifespan of the field.

The Dutch Football Association, KNVB, has decided that, starting from 1 January 2010, all artificial grass fields laid in the Netherlands must comply with the FIFA standards.

Development of the standard
The most significant change in the FIFA QC 2015 is the introduction of the Lisport XL durability test. This is a new, mechanical method of forecasting the long-term characteristics of an artificial grass field after many hours of use. To meet the FIFA Quality Inspection demands, 6020 cycles must be completed and 3000 cycles for Quality Pro.

The Lisport XL machine runs on a testing area of 5x1 metres on which the total artificial grass system is installed. Using this methodology, it is now even possible to measure the ball roll after pitch use – and therefore the performance level of an artificial grass fibre in the long term. The sports-technical laboratory at TenCate Grass has been using the new Lisport XL machine since December.
artificial turf heracles - TenCate Grass