AFL/Cricket Australia Synthetic Turf Program

Synthetic turf technology has evolved significantly over the past 10 years. Long pile synthetic turf with performance infill allows synthetic turf to mimic the properties of natural turf, both in terms of player comfort and playability. As a result of these developments, in what is thought to be a world first for two sporting codes, the AFL and Cricket Australia joined together to develop a synthetic turf program to enable the playing of community level Australian Football and Cricket on an approved synthetic product.

n 2007 the AFL, Cricket Australia, Sport & Recreation Victoria and JLT Trustees (the insurer to both sports), commissioned the University of Ballarat to determine whether specific criteria could be developed for the use of synthetic grass for Australia Football and Cricket. Criteria for a synthetic turf product were developed following a number of tests on natural turf football and cricket ovals. The AFL and Cricket Australia subsequently endorsed the playing of community level Australian Football and Cricket on a synthetic surface meeting those criteria.

Why Synthetic Turf?

Synthetic Turf fields have the ability to address a number of issues that can impact on participation. These include:
  • weather variability Australia has been impacted significantly by both drought and floods in recent years, which has seen grounds closed for training and play. The ability for synthetic turf to continue to provide a safe and playable surface no matter what the weather brings is adistinct advantage.
  • venue supply and participation increases participation increases in both sports have placed additional demand on grounds already at capacity. From 2008-2012 Australian Football and Cricket participation combined has increased by 250,000 players.
  • getting more use out of finite open space resources accessing additional land for new sporting ovals is increasingly difficult. Synthetic surfaces allow up to 3 times more use than natural turf and can therefore create better usage outcomes from existing available space.

Licencing Program & Approved Products

The AFL and Cricket Australia has established a licensing program to that ensures the quality of products being manufactured from a performance and longevity perspective and that the products comply with safety and insurance requirements.  Laboratory tests and field tests ensure products meet the program criteria after manufacturing and once installed.  A number of Synthetic Turf Manufacturers have been licenced to manufacture and install approved AFL/Cricket Australia products. For a list of current licenced Manufacturers please visit the website at www.aflcommunity.com.au and click through to the Administrators/Facilities section.

More Information
For more information on the AFL/Cricket Australia Synthetic Turf Program please visit www.aflcommunity.com.au or email syntheticturf@afl.com.au.

Visit website: www.aflcommunity.com.au