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Comparison Between Artificial Turf And Natural Grass


a) How does the product affect physical performance of football players?

There is no difference between these two types of grounds in terms of players’ physical conditions. As the artificial turf ground gets softer, level of physical performance somewhat increases and the ground can affect the muscle structure a little more. This is an issue completely depending on the amount of fill material used. When the amount of fill sand, sbr granule and epdm rubber and loop height are adjusted properly, artificial turf grounds are able to provide the same football playing norms with natural grass. Due to the fact that natural grass grounds get heavier with rain, artificial turf appears as an alternative to natural grass, since players have to spend more energy on heavier grounds.

b) How does the product affect technical abilities of football players?

Artificial turf, which was developed as an alternative to natural grass, is applied in order to provide just the same ball playing conditions and ground-ball interaction observed on natural grass. One of the objectives of artificial turf application is ensuring virtually the same properties with natural grass grounds. However, artificial turf provides significant advantages to the players in terms of both physical performance and technical abilities. Today, use of artificial turf for youth development facilities gradually become widespread among professional football clubs. New players reach better levels of muscle development and technical development thanks to artificial turf. Players become more agile on artificial turf grounds and use or control the ball in a more efficient manner. It is a requirement for natural grass pitches to somewhat rehabilitate the ground after every use in order to put dislocated pieces of soil into place. With good practices, it is nearly impossible to encounter similar ground dislocations or deformations on artificial turf grounds. Thus, players can better take the advantage of technical abilities and having the ball.

c) How does the product affect the performance of the ball?

Ball roll behavior greatly depends on the smoothness, humidity rate and naturalness of the playing field; damages caused by the players; length and specific weight of the grass. It can be safely said that there is no difference between artificial turf and natural grass in terms of ball roll behavior. There is nothing more inconvenient than too much or too little bouncing of the ball for a football player. Players can easily accommodate themselves to the situation, but what is important is that bouncing characteristics of the ball must be better than observed on natural grass. Natural grass cause different bouncing behaviors (hard surface, wet surface or watery surface) and there would be no problem if artificial turf is applied properly. Tests performed on the issue have proven that bouncing characteristics of the ball are the same on artificial turf and on natural grass. There are standards determined for the bouncing behavior, angular direction before and after bouncing and rolling distance of a regular ball, and the ball must show the same performance on artificial turf and natural grass. Measurements are carried out at all weather conditions. As is known, one of the objectives of artificial turf is providing that all competitions around the world are played under the same conditions. If Africa, it is too much harder to grow natural grass than in Europe. There are significant differences between America and Russia in terms of ground conditions. It is not possible to get the same performance from natural grass at all climates, while one can offer artificial turf under the same standards anywhere. This factor is experienced during international competitions played on pitches located at different regions and there are important differences even in the country. As an example, ground conditions of Akçaabat Spor Stadium and Beşiktaş İnönü Stadium are not similar.


a) Is there any difference for muscle injuries?

Football is not a kind of sports causing many injuries. However, there is always infinite number of risks under any circumstances. Professional or amateur, all football players are observed to suffer from back and joint pains. Scientists and medical teams try hard to uncover the reasons for these problems. The pitch on which the matches are played are seen among the primer causes of injuries. Hard surfaces generally cause more injuries than soft surfaces and there are studies for minimizing the risks for injuries. Artificial turf grounds also have to provide a soft surface, just like natural grass. However, too soft surface may also become problematic for the players. It is also a possibility to have different ground conditions at different sections of the pitch, which is also an important risk factor, since the players manage their movements and actions based on the prevailing surface conditions observed on the pitch. On the other hand, artificial turf grounds provide the same performance effect on any point of the pitch, which is an important advantage for the players. Since the objective is fulfilling the same norms with natural grass grounds, properties of artificial turf heavily matches the conditions offered by natural grass.

b) There are any problems caused by friction?

As artificial turf is synthetic, it is supposed that burns can easily occur on this type of ground as a result of friction. However, thanks to the fact that the product is made of polyethylene having silicon content and sbr or epdm rubber is used as fill material, parts of the foot in direct contact with the surface do not suffer any problem caused by friction. No wounds or lesions are experienced rooting in burns or wears. On the other hand, these risks are somewhat higher on natural grass grounds. Natural grass has a vegetable structure and there are differences in terms of hardness between a natural vegetable and a yarn having silicon content. Fill material used for natural grass are soil and sand, which in turn causes a harder surface. Sand is used for maintenance works carried out on natural grass pitches and it can even be harmful for the players. This effect is minimized on artificial turf grounds by using sbr or epdm granules in place of sand. Soft silicon structure of the yarns used and soft fill materials makes artificial turf advantageous against natural grass. People are accustomed to play on natural grass and artificial turf also gives the impression of natural grass in terms of color and appearance. When artificial turf is regularly used, players would feel no difference between artificial turf and natural grass and they would not want to leave artificial turf.


a) What is cost comparison?

There are three different types of costs to be taken into consideration during cost calculations for artificial turf grounds: substructure costs, surface costs and operational costs. Substructure costs are largely similar for artificial turf and natural grass, since nearly the same drainage installations, fill techniques and natural soil are used on both systems. However, artificial turf seems to be four times cheaper than natural grass when surface costs are considered. When yearly maintenance costs, frequency of use, maintenance risks causing from improper maintenance practices and operating income are taken into consideration, advantage of artificial turf raises to 11 times against natural grass. Annual costs of technical personnel, fertilizer, seed, pesticide and equipments for applying these such as tractors and lawn movers, which are all required for maintenance of natural grass fields, are close to the cost of building a new ground. Since artificial turf grounds do not cause such expenses and it can be used throughout the year, the money spent for building it can be redeemed in maximum 2 years.  

b) Evaluation for installation time and cost

Natural grass can be applied in two ways: seeding method and installing rolled ready grass on the ground. When seeding method is applied, a period of at least 1-2 months is needed for the filed to become covered with grass. After this, an additional time is needed for reaching maximum performance. In grass installation method, you have to wait for acclimatizing the grass to the weather conditions. As an example, it took 2-3 weeks to rehabilitate the ground of Fenerbahçe Stadium. On the other hand, artificial turf grounds can be used just after installation works are completed.

c) What is the cost of renewing an artificial turf ground?

In case low-cost maintenance works are carried out regularly, the ground can perfectly serve for more than 10 years.

d) Comparison in terms of installation risks

Installing or growing natural grass is always a risky process. The plant can get damaged in case of heavy rain, excessive snow or high temperature. By the way, you are required to take care of the pitch just like a child. The risk of loosing the ground is too high in case of sudden weather changes. Even the irrigation activities must be planned accurately. After doing all these, you may still have zones without grass. The grass may burn as a result of excessive fertilizer use and no one can issue a warranty certificate for natural grass to you. On the other hand, artificial turf is resistant against any environmental effect and you have a warranty certificate in your drawer.

a) What are the differences in terms of seasonal maintenance conditions?
For professional use of natural grass, there should be at least 2 or 3 personnel working for a ground. However, maintenance works on artificial turf are carried out with very little cost during predefined periods. Daily maintenance required to be made on artificial turf consists of general cleaning activities. In monthly maintenance, possible migration of fill granules due to rains or excessive use is compensated by use of a brushing machine or a specially made brush. In quarterly of semi-annually maintenances, brushing is repeated by use of more advanced equipments and granule addition may be made for possible losses. Personnel expenses constitute the biggest part of maintenance costs.

b) Maintenance cost comparison in terms of the absolute money paid

Natural grass is a type of ground which required continuous maintenance. However, you may keep artificial turf in use by meeting very simple maintenance requirements. When annual costs are considered, artificial turf is found to be 11 times cheaper than natural grass. Natural grass requires daily maintenance and a agriculture engineer must continuously take care of the pitch. On the other hand, applying two major and four minor maintenance programs in a year is enough for artificial turf grounds. Although artificial turf seems to cause high costs at time of investment, it makes up the difference during use and becomes cheaper than natural grass in subsequent years.

c) Maintenance requirements based on weather conditions

Natural grass displays high sensitivity to two inevitable conditions in terms of deformation susceptibility: Weather conditions and excessive use. On the other hand, artificial turf displays very high resistance against too high or low temperature values. Besides, excessive use is known to wear out natural grass very rapidly. It is not possible to use natural grass grounds for longer than 2 or 3 hours in a day. Artificial turf is able to overcome all these difficulties. It provides absolute advantage against natural grass on the abovementioned issues. In rainy weather, natural grass pitches are not preferred to be used when not necessary. Professional football clubs staying at a hotel for sports camping purposes sometimes cannot use natural grass grounds due to bad weather conditions. On the other hand, artificial turf can be used in any weather including rainy or snowy weathers. Water does not accumulate on artificial turf pitches thanks to the drainage substructure installed.
Water absorption properties of artificial turf grounds are better than water-holding natural grass. Regional color differences are seen on natural grass pitches because of the materials natural properties. However, artificial turf preserves its color for a long time thanks to the UV additive in its yarn.

d) Maintenance requirements based on frequent use?
Natural grass is a type of ground which is highly prone to deformation in case of frequent use. In order to keep natural grass in use for long times, weekly playing time should not exceed 6 or 8 hours. However, artificial turf does not have such constraints and it can be used 24 hours a day. This is an enormous advantage. For hotels providing camping services for football clubs, natural grass grounds can be used by maximum 4 or 5 teams in a day, and you cannot take the same performance from the pitch in the other day. After a week, condition of the ground would be even worse. This is not a problem for artificial turf grounds.

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