Sport specific requirements

Have you considered the sports specific requirements for your playing surface?

Different sports have different requirements when it comes to installing a synthetic option. Synthetic turf surface types vary significantly from sport to sport in terms of factors such as pile height, playability, construction methods and material use (infill, shock pads etc.).

The study has included analysis of seven sports:

  • Australian Rules Football
  • Cricket
  • Hockey
  • Lawn Bowls
  • Rugby Union
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

A number of these sports can use the same type of surface, for example Australian Rules Football and Cricket often use the same oval.

In Western Australia natural grass playing grounds are still extensively used for all the sports. A number of the sports such as Hockey and Tennis have been using synthetic turf surfaces since the 1970’s.

There are currently no synthetic turf sports grounds for Australian Rules Football, Cricket (outfield only), Rugby Union, and Soccer in Western Australia. The first official Australian Football League and Cricket Australia endorsed synthetic turf ground is due to open at Point Cook in Victoria in late 2011.

Hockey is played on both synthetic turf and natural grass fields with nearly all higher level competitions in WA being played on synthetic turf.

Lawn Bowls over the last decade has seen a number of associations shift to synthetic due to factors such as the lack of skilled groundskeepers, water shortages and the desire to play all year round.

Tennis has some unique factors compared with the other sports as there are four types of surfaces that can be used they are:

  • Natural grass (lawn)
  • Hard court (acrylic)
  • En-tout-cas (clay)
  • Synthetic turf

Historically the majority of tennis courts in WA have been natural grass (lawn) and there has been a transition in recent years to hard and synthetic surfaces for a variety of reasons.

Depending on the surface type a number of sports can use the same surface. Multi-use should be encouraged wherever possible to ensure facilities are being well used and the provision of facilities is being done so in an efficient manner.

More information

Chapter 6 of the Natural Grass vs. Synthetic Turf Surfaces Study Final Report


Step 4 - Broader environment


The information in this guide was published in 2011 and cannot be relied upon as professional advice concerning the decision as to natural grass v synthetic turf. No assurance is given as to the accuracy of any information contained in this guide and readers should seek more up to date information prior to making a decision. Readers should obtain their own independent and professional advice in relation to their project.