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Sports launch criteria for artificial turf

Sports launch criteria for artificial turf
November 3, 2008

The AFL and Cricket Australia have released criteria for artificial turf to be developed that will be suitable to be used on community grounds.

The criteria for the artificial turf has been developed after a University of Ballarat research project, jointly funded by the AFL, Cricket Australia, the Victorian Government and the industry insurer JLT Trustees.

The project was undertaken as a result of the ongoing climate change challenge in regional Australia and the need to look at other long-term options for affected grounds that would require less water and allow current facilities to be used more often.

AFL's General Manager of National and International Development, David Matthews explained that "climate change is an issue for all industries in Australia, including football and cricket, which requires an oval to be in a condition that is safe for use.

"We needed to look at responses that may one day allow some ovals that have fallen into disrepair or are sparingly used to be better utilised and in a way that minimises the amount of water needed to make them safe for use."

Cricket Australiaâs General Manager of Game Development, Damien Bown, added, "as sporting organisations we have a responsibility to ensure we have safe facilities for children to participate in our programs.

"Cricket wants to continue playing a role in helping overcome health issues like childhood obesity. By using innovations like artificial turf we will be more able to cater for the, hopefully, more active population that results from these efforts."

Matthews said the standards had been agreed to by the AFL, Cricket Australia and insurers JLT Trustees and will become a basis for our insurers to be satisfied that the playing surface is fit for purpose and doesnât expose the participants to danger or high risk when compared to existing natural surfaces.

Matthew anticipates that now the standards have been published there will be significant interest in developing artificial turf to be used on community grounds. He added that the AFL would look at accrediting products for use and ensuring appropriate standards of maintenance of venue for ongoing use.

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