How to maintain a 3G pitch

Artificial and Synthetic Clay Tennis Courts

While 3G surfaces are low maintenance, they may require more work in order to keep them in excellent condition than the more common porous macadam surface. That means if you are going to have a 3G MUGA surface installed at a sports club or school, you need to understand how best to maintain the surface for optimal performance.

It is also important to factor in the cost of this maintenance when you make the decision to have one installed. Let’s look at the key ways to keep your 3G pitch in great condition.

The right equipment

Two of the most important features of a 3G pitch in good condition is to keep the turf upright and ensure that the spread of the infill is even. The most effective way to do this is to use a compact tractor with a drag brush. Carrying this out on a regular basis will increase the lifespan of the pitch and ensure the most natural feel from the surface.

Consistency and scheduling

Before you plan maintenance for the pitch you need to understand how often it will be in use and for how long the sessions will last. 3G pitches are highly durable but they will wear down if they are used very frequently with proper maintenance. Once you have established how much use the pitch will see, you can plan appropriate maintenance to take place.

Skilled staff

You need to have staff with the experience to maintain a 3G pitch – if you have never had a 3G pitch at your facility before, it may be necessary to provide additional training to existing staff or bring in someone with specific 3G expertise.

Expert help and guidance

It’s also worth pointing that even if you have skilled staff in-house, you may need to bring in an artificial grass specialist from time to time. Like real grass, a 3G pitch needs to be mowed but there are also issues to think about including topping up the infill and carrying out chemical moss and weed treatments.

What is a 3G pitch?

Synthetic Grass Tennis Court Surfaces Image

You may have heard of the concept of a 3G pitch in the context of a sports surface or a five-a-side football field, but not be aware of what the term means. Interestingly, 3G pitches are becoming popular around the country everywhere from schools and sports clubs to leisure centres and even professional football stadiums. So let’s take a look at what a 3G pitch is, and why it is used.

3G stands for ‘Third Generation’ and it is an artificial playing surface that mimics natural grass. You might be more aware of the term ‘AstroTurf’ – 3G is just the most up-to-date and advanced version of this playing surface.

What is 3G made from?

3G pitches are effectively a carpet-like surface with pile (artificial blades of grass) supported by a layer of sand and an infill of rubber crumb. The height of the pile depends on what the surface is going to be used for. A shorter pile is suitable for sports like hockey, while a longer pile can be used for rugby. Football can be played on any pile length depending on preference.

What is it used for?

3G pitches are now common throughout the UK. They are used by schools, sports clubs and leisure centres as a MUGA surface, allowing for a full range of activities to be played. Interestingly, however, the Football League voted in 2014 to permit the use of 3G pitches in stadiums in professional football in the UK. A number of clubs, including Sutton United now use a 3G pitch.

One of the major advantages a 3G pitch over real grass is that it is an all-weather surface that does not become waterlogged. It also does not suffer from the same level of wear and tear as real grass, making the pitch more consistent.

Three alternatives to a hardcourt

Tennis ball on a hardcourt

When having a new tennis court constructed, many homeowners, schools or sports club opt for a hardcourt. There is no doubt that courts made using tarmac are by far the most common in the UK as they are typically cheap, easy to maintain and highly durable, making them an excellent all-round choice regardless of your needs and requirements.

But this does not mean that you have to choose porous macadam for your court. There is actually a huge range of different court types that you could select. Here we look at three alternatives to a tennis hardcourt that you could opt for instead.

Real grass court

While hardcourt might be more common, the grass court is probably the world’s most iconic tennis court thanks to its association with the prestigious Wimbledon tournament. For homeowners, a real grass court can add value to a property, and the softness of the surface means it is more comfortable on the joints. It is also relatively uncommon to find grass courts, so playing on one is a unique experience.

However, grass courts also come with their drawbacks. Firstly, grass is a very high maintenance surface that requires constant attention. Additionally, grass can become saturated and unusable in wet weather (and for several days after heavy rain, if not covered).

Artificial grass court

If you like the idea of a grass court, but can’t commit to the expense or the challenges regarding maintenance, there is another option. Choose a synthetic grass surface and you can experience the feeling of playing on natural grass without many of the inconveniences of the surface.

Artificial grass is cushioned like real grass, so it is comfortable to play on. It is also far cheaper to have installed and maintained throughout the year – artificial grass is far less hassle than genuine grass. Additionally, our artificial grass surface is porous and can used in most weather conditions.

Artificial clay court

Real clay is a very popular surface on tennis courts around the world, but it is not really practical in the UK due to the climate. However, if you are interested in playing on clay you can opt for an artificial clay surface. Like artificial grass, this is a carpet surface that has been designed to mimic the playing characteristics of the real court.

If you are interested in having any kind of tennis surface installed, the team at Sovereign Sports would be happy to talk through the range of options available to you. Please contact us today for more information.