2 min

Why a good pitch wins games

Whether it is football, hockey, rugby, basketball or any other sport; athletes want their balls to behave predictably. Needed: a high-quality and reliable surface. That's where Kiwa kicks in.

Sportspeople train and compete on pitches, courts and tracks every day. They need to be able to rely on the quality, consistency and safety of the surfaces. International sport regulators such as FIFA for football, ITF for tennis, IAAF for athletics and FIH for hockey set the standards for how the surfaces perform.

Pitch perfect: durable, safe & uniform

The materials of the pitches, courts and tracks must comply with international sports standards, which vary depending on whether the surfaces are for recreational or professional use. There are some differences but both need to absorb shock to protect the athletes from injury, and both need to be uniform. Kiwa works around the world to make sure sport facilities comply with those standards.

Kiwa’s team of sports facilities experts carry out 150 different tests in the laboratory, focusing on three main areas: durability, safety and uniformity. We test hundreds of football pitches worldwide every year.

Durability testing: a six pointer

Ties Joosten from Kiwa explains: “In the Netherlands for example, we have some of the best recreational sports facilities in the world. It’s important we maintain that quality, not just for safety but also for the enjoyment of the sport. We test surfaces to make sure this is consistent.”

"For soccer pitch surfaces, Kiwa tests uniformity and performance in the lab by measuring a football’s speed, bounce or distance rolled. They can test the strength of the fibers in artificial turf, by measuring the force required to pull them out of the mat. They also test the durability of the turf using a machine that simulates the sun, exposing the surface to UV; three months in the machine simulates five years on a pitch. Since every part of the structure of a pitch or track is important, we also test the materials – sand, asphalt or concrete – to ensure they’re high quality.”