To tie in with the start of the football season, our latest blog post looks at the rise in popularity of 3G and 4G pitches.
There’s been huge amounts of innovation over the last few decades in synthetic sports surfaces, from the very first pitch; Astroturf to an industry constantly churning out new design and manufacturing techniques. Recently questions have been raised about the safety of 3G pitches for football and rugby, with concerns over health and injury for players.
So how do 3G and 4G pitches differ, what are their benefits and how do they affect the playing experience?
3G or 3rd Generation pitches are usually the most popular for football and rugby players as the materials used in the synthetic turf replicate the look, feel and playing experience of natural grass. These pitches are made up of long synthetic grass (usually around 40-65m) filled with a cushioning rubber as a performance infill and sand as a stabilising infill, which allows better grip, smoother playing surface, shock absorption and excellent ball performance.
Sports facilities also offer 4G surfaces (even 5, 6 or 7G) which is synthetic turf, like 3G, but without the need for infills. The surface is denser in its construction and therefore does not require the infills for performance and stabilisation. But whilst these types of surfaces exist, the label ‘4G’ is often referred to as a marketing gimmick as there is no proof or difference in performance or concept. Brands just often use this terminology to be seen as industry leaders.
Both 3G and 4G artificial pitches provide an all-weather alternative for training when outdoor surfaces are unplayable are becoming increasingly common for top-level football. 3G surfaces also are a great solution for grass roots football or non-league football clubs look for a synthetic turf pitch that is versatile.