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11.10.2011 - Ausgabe: 5/2011

Germany’s men claim a seventh European Field Hockey Championship title

The feat was achieved on a Polytan hockey surface.

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The German women’s team had lost by three goals to nil against the Oranje the previous day. Their loss certainly had nothing to do with the Polytan surface: “The hockey players love to perform in the Warsteiner HockeyPark. The stadium boasts one of the world's best hockey pitches,“ explains Wolfgang Hillmann, vice president of the youth section of the German Hockey Federation. “The system is perfectly calibrated and the pile height of 13 mm allows the ball to run quickly and smoothly; as a result there are few technical errors. The risk of injury is also minimal – most injuries on natural grass are caused by bumps.“ German men’s international Timo Wess is another devotee: “The grass is very good. It is a quick surface which holds water for a lengthy period." This is a particular challenge facing a hockey pitch: rain water must drain away quickly but at the same time the pitch must store as much water as possible in order to create the perfect conditions for a hockey match. For professionals competing on another surface is unthinkable, with natural grass having disappeared from the top hockey leagues a number of years ago.

Wolfgang Hillmann has no doubts whatsoever: “An artificial hockey surface offers the same conditions as the perfect natural grass pitch – perfectly mown, fertilised, watered and bump-free. But how frequently are natural grass pitches in optimum condition? The required maintenance alone would be far too great. An artificial surface, by contrast, is always in perfect condition.“ But it isn't just the grass layer that is important – an elastic layer is also laid beneath the turf in order to simulate the characteristics of natural grass and to achieve the defined force reduction response.

The Polytan MegaTurf hockey pitch in the Mönchengladbach Stadium was laid for the 2006 World Championships and has since been used for a wide variety of sports: the Mavericks, the local American football team, play matches at the HockeyPark, which also hosts concerts and other events – nonetheless, the Polytan surface remains in tip-top condition. Thanks to the 100 per cent textured filaments used in its construction the hockey turf is extremely robust. This means that the Warsteiner HockeyPark will continue to offer a top-notch pitch for future international events and we can all look forward to even more exciting competitions.

 

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