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Synthetic turf pitch for football and hockey players in Görlitz, Germany
A leap forward in quality for football and hockey: In Görlitz in the German region of Saxony, a synthetic turf for football and hockey players was created at a traditional sport stadium. The following information provide insights of how the different demands of the two sports can be met and combined in one
The sport stadium “Eiswiese” can really be called a traditional sport facility. After purchase of the land in January 1911, already on February 15, 1914 the sports field was inaugurated under the name “Preußenplatz”. Plans for a synthetic turf pitch on the existing large playing fields have already existed since 1994.
The sports facilities are located in the residential area of the city of Görlitz in the low-lying areas of the town moat – the name “Eiswiese” (ice field) undoubtedly originates from the micro-climate of this field, surrounded as it is on two sides by road embankments up to eight or ten metres high. The previous all-weather pitch was a completely flat area with differences in height of less than two centimetres. Combined with a very close top-layer material, an insufficiently functioning drainage system and slope and ground water from the embankments, this naturally led to large areas being flooded after periods of heavy rain.
After examination of the construction substrate it was decided to scarify the top and dynamic layer to mix it with the mineral mixture underneath and then after profiling and compacting the substrate to build directly on top of it.
In order to drain water from the pitch, a line of drainage pipes was installed at five metre intervals and joined to a ring draining system around the playing field. The water draining naturally from the embankments, which previously flowed onto the pitch from the sides, was redirected directly into the ring drainage system.
Along with permanent removal of previous limitations and hindrances caused by poor construction and the somewhat controversial location, the objective was to create a playing field which could be used both by footballers and hockey players. To achieve this it was decided to construct a pitch with the size 91.4 m long and 55.00 wide as dictated by the competition regulations for field hockey. This size also corresponds to Rule 1 of the German Soccer Federation which states that a pitch must be at least 90 metres long and at least 45 metres wide. The choice of surface was decidedly more difficult. While hockey players favour a planar dimensionally stable synthetic pitch with non-filled pile layer and a pile height of 12 – 13 millimetres, footballers prefer smooth blades and a higher pile in order to play “in the surface” as it were. Due to these differing requirements, mutual use of the playing field required a compromise from both sides. The solution was found in the use of a sand/rubber filled surface of type E with a pile height of 35 millimetres, a textured fibre structure and a excess length of 10 – 15 millimetres on a 35-millimetre-thick elastic supporting layer although this was in contrast to its suitability according to the standard DIN V 18035-7: 2002-06 Appendix A. This surface corresponds on the one hand to a competition conform football pitch with high quality requirements and, on the other hand, to a medium quality requirement for a hockey pitch, i.e. one rather more suited for training.
The playing field is surrounded on all sides by a paved path. Widened spaces in the paved area provide storage space for hockey or junior football goal nets as well as player and team benches.
Rounding off the sports area is a 60-metre-sprint track for use in school sports and adjoining a long-jump pit which emphasises the multiple utilisation of the sports facilities. Due to the relatively low frequency of use and inexpensive investment costs, a water-permeable, injection-coated plastic surface (standard DIN V 18035-6: 2004-10 Appendix A, surface type A) was used for the running track.
Existing spectator lighting was already located in the road embankments, but this proved to be in very poor condition and did not correspond to the building standards. Although this was not changed, a new floodlight system made up of 6 floodlight masts with a light point height of 16 metres was installed in order to allow the pitch to be used for longer in the evening. This floodlight system corresponds to lighting class III as per the standard DIN EN 12193: 2008-04 and as such is suitable for training, school and amateur sport and regional league matches.
For cost reasons, irrigation of the pitch was limited to mobile swing arm sprinklers and existing connection points around the sides of the pitch. An alternative watering system but more expensive, is a similar system installed by the Bauconzept in a sports site in nearby Borna. Here the complete large-size playing field is watered from three underground sprinklers located on both long sides of the playing field and having a maximum sprinkling range each of 56 metres. The water is supplied from a cistern refilled with drainage water from the surface of the pitch.
Although playing on a synthetic turf pitch demands some adjustment by the players, especially in the case of football, the sport-physiological properties of the whole construction, the even surface and the more intensive use which is possible with synthetic turf pitches of the third generation, are held in high esteem by both players and team functionaries.