Pitch Elements

1. Carpet
As the name implies this is the synthetic carpet which is laid over the shock pad and whilst the only visible element of the pitch the other three fundamental elements described below are arguably more important than the carpet.

2. Shock Pad
The shock pad acts as the underlay to the carpet and is a vital ingredient in how the pitch “plays” in regard to bounce and speed and is also critical in cushioning the impact on players and enhancing their “comfort” on the pitch.

3. Base
The base is a stable table on which the shock pad and carpet are laid and is responsible for providing the camber of the pitch and therefore the surface drainage characteristics. Suitable bases are usually but not exclusively constructed from asphalt or stabilised crush rock.

4. Sub-Base
The sub-base provides the ultimate support and sometimes the required surface profile to the base and is particularly critical for pitches built over filled sites and even in unfilled sites. As there are many different soil types and fill material expert advice, on a case by case basis, is required to determine the correct treatment and construction method for the sub-base.

5. Summary
Carpet and Shock Pads are manufactured and installed by specialist manufacturers and contractors. The other elements are essentially civil engineering issues which require some knowledge of the requirements of elements 1 and 2 but can performed either by sub-contractors to the installation contractor as part of a full design and construction project or could be separately constructed by a civil engineering contractor.

Flood Lighting
Most club pitches require lighting for training and low level playing (an even 300 lux) but 500 lux is required for high standard club play up to 1000 lux for International standard play.

Irrigation
Irrigation is only essential to water-filled surfaces which are effectively unplayable unless the carpet is heavily watered. Somewhat less water is required to create an optimum playing surface for hybrid (or sand dressed) pitches and for sand-filled pitches no irrigation is required although under some circumstances such pitches can be improved by the application of water.