synthetic turf field
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 3, 2012
International firm completes Vietnam’s first FIFA two-star installation and hosts FIFA educational seminar
ACT Global Sports recently completed the first and only FIFA two-star installation in Vietnam at Lam Dong Teachers College Stadium in Dalat City. The new football turf replaced natural grass, and is used for top-level Vietnam League One football (soccer) matches.
ACT Global’s Xtreme Turf consists of a tufted fiber on a reinforced triple backing. As a FIFA Preferred Producer for Football Turf, their artificial turf products are scientifically tested and engineered to meet the highest quality and performance FIFA standards. ACT Global’s Xtreme Turf has been installed in many top-performing professional stadiums around the world.
The field was professionally installed by Hoang Nguyen Trading and Construction Company Ltd in partnership with ACT Global. Project scope included a full design and build, featuring a sub-base with a sub-soil drainage system and sturdy, suitable roof design. Maintenance training and equipment was also provided as part of the project
Prior to the new field design and synthetic turf, games often were cancelled or postponed due to inclement weather, and the stadium was not getting enough playing time. Daniel Clapham, regional sales manager, said he has since received positive feedback regarding the quality of the turf, reduced maintenance and increased revenue from field rental.
“ACT Global is proud to be part of such a successful and professionally executed project in this mountainous region with such high annual rainfall,” said Clapham. “Players and coaches agree that investing in high-quality synthetic turf systems can provide huge performance benefits as well as increased playing hours all year round.”
Clapham said that this is a trend they are noticing around the world, as more emerging markets are turning from price-driven decisions to recognizing the long-term value of quality products, professional installation methods and commitment to field maintenance.
ACT Global also recently hosted a FIFA seminar in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam that was attended by some of the regions foremost experts. FIFA spoke in detail about the developments in the artificial turf industry in recent years and the positive impact this has had on the sport including the multiple benefits of selecting a FIFA Preferred Producer for football turf. Mr. Hy, president of the Vietnamese Football Federation, and Mr. Vien, vice president, both attended and confirmed the benefits of the new Dalat stadium, as well as the commitment of the Federation to the FIFA Quality Concept.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Austin, Texas
Leading North American industry delegates explore the benefits of the FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf
Following the Synthetic Turf Council Meetings held in Las Vegas, leading USA manufacturer ACT Global Sports hosted a FIFA Seminar for industry design consultants, test institutes, manufacturers, contractors and maintenance providers. The FIFA delegation was represented by Group Leader Mr. Johannes Holzmuller, Junior Manager Nicholas Evans and Dr. Eric Harrison, the primary author of the FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf. The presentations by these experts and information from ACT Global as a FIFA Preferred Producer for Football Turf provided the attendees a greater understanding of the roadmap to a truly highly quality sports turf installation.
Just recently the Synthetic Turf Council adopted the durability and natural grass performance benchmarks of the FIFA Quality Concept. The FIFA Quality Concept was develop so players and stadium owners would have guidelines for choosing a field system that is safer for the players, performs like a natural grass stadium, saves maintenance costs and lasts for years of intense use. The Guidelines for Synthetic Turf Performance set forth by the STC, establishes the very same methods based upon proven research and is being promoted for voluntary use by field owners and their consultants.
Dr. Eric Harrison the author of the FIFA Quality Concept presented his ideas in support for and the science behind the Synthetic Turf Council’s decision to adopt these methods for the American multi-purpose sports’ market. Dr. Harrison states, “The adoption of the FIFA Quality Guidelines by the STC for synthetic turf in North America is a strong indication of the industry’s commitment toward enhancing durability and performance for all ages of athletes in many sports. FIFA leadership has strived to deliver the objectives of its guidelines through many years of education, testing and monitoring of sports surface performance around the globe and was pleased to have this forum for in-depth discussions.”
Director John Baize commented, “We firstly appreciate the support of FIFA, sponsorship by ProGrass and the many attendees who invested their time to participate. We are very pleased that so many firms are passionate about increasing true quality to our customers as evidenced by the significant amount of lively discussion. As a FIFA Preferred Provider, we appreciate the opportunity to be a catalyst for selected leaders of the synthetic turf industry to better understand and implement FIFA Quality Guidelines for the North American market. This is an important step in the industry’s effort to continually upgrade and raise the bar for athletic performance for the growing synthetic turf market.”
As a FIFA Preferred Producer for Football Turf, ACT Global is responsible for maintaining ISO 9001 Quality Standards as well as enhanced obligations in the areas of research, testing, manufacturing, construction, installation and maintenance. It is headquartered in Austin, Texas and has regional locations in The Netherlands, Cyprus, Poland, Thailand, Australia, France, The United Kingdom, Malaysia and China. Local sales and support is offered with representatives located in over 50 countries through an expanding partner network of leading sport field contractors. ACT Global Sports is notable for being the only company in the world that is a FIFA Preferred Producer for Football Turf, Synthetic Turf Council Certified Manufacturer and holds an ISO 9001 certification.
In June of 2010 the training field in Lurgan Town was successfully tested by Labosport, conducted under FIFA Preferred Producer, ACT Global Sports.
Lurgan Town Boys Football Club in Northern Ireland was developed in 1988 to give all boys the opportunity to play football. With solid management and a strong following, the club has won many trophies and is now considered one of the top junior clubs in the country.
The club needed a new generation of football turf for their training grounds. Lurgan Town F.C. has chosen ACT Global Sports’ Xtreme Turf based on the natural appearance and proven durable playing surface. According to the clubs President, Mr. Maurice Houston, “We are very excited with this new playing field which will expand our capacity tremendously. The training field demonstrates beyond the top quality we requested from a FIFA one star field but under two star standards. The Directors of Lurgan Town Arena are extremely pleased not only with the quality of the pitch but the professional manner in which ACT Global carried out and supervised the work from start to finish.”
Director of ACT Global Sports, Wil Ditzel mentions, “In our testing protocol, all our products are tested under one and two star FIFA requirements, whereby the awarded two star certification has tighter tolerances. The club’s advantage of now having a four year certification will benefit by possibly renting shared hours of the field to local schools or other clubs. Lurgan Town F.C. is also confirmed that their members are playing on a safe surface.”
ACT Global Sports is headquartered in Austin, Texas with additional production locations in Calhoun, Georgia, Asia and Europe. The company services their international clients through offices in The Netherlands, Cyprus, Poland, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, UK and France. Local sales and support is offered through an expanding partner network of leading sport field contractors in over 50 countries.
Reprint of feature article in recent Turf Roots IV, 2010– Courtesy of FIFA
FIFA Win in Africa Project by ACT Global Sports
It is apt that a football stadium with such a rich history is named “Rufaro”. The word “Rufaro” originates from the indigenous Shona language (a Zimbabwean ethnic language), which means “happiness”. This proud happiness is openly displayed on the faces of the locals when enquiries are made about their new football turf stadium. FIFA funded the renovations of the Rufaro Stadium from a natural turf stadium to a football turf stadium under its Win in Africa with Africa initiative. FIFA has so far funded the construction of 52 of these football turf facilities in Africa as part of its development initiative and in line with their three core objectives to “develop the game, touch the world and build a better future”. In the majority of the African countries where this type of synthetic pitch has been laid, it has given African associations an opportunity to use these football turf facilities as their national football stadiums, something they did not have in the past as most national stadiums were used for political rallies and other military parades.
The Rufaro Stadium has hosted world-famous artists such as reggae star Bob Marley, and when Diego Maradona visited this stadium he was taken aback by the overwhelming welcome he received from the football-crazy Zimbabweans. This football shrine, which is situated in the centre of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, has a capacity of 35,000 people and is home to eight of the 16 professional football teams in Zimbabwe. The new football turf at the Rufaro Stadium was opened on 26 June 2008.
Structured interviews were held with various football stakeholders in Harare to determine the attitudes towards and their perceptions of the new football turf at the Rufaro Stadium. The stakeholders who were interviewed included football administrators, players, referees, medical doctors, managers of professional teams, Harare city council members, the media and football spectators. The Rufaro Stadium is presently the home of all “Zimbabwe Warriors” national football teams, including the national women’s football team.
The political and economic situation in Zimbabwe made it virtually impossible to focus on the development of sports facilities. The football administrators who were interviewed stated that the unstable political situation and the declining economic situation had cascaded down into the organisation of sport as there were far more urgent challenges the government had to channel the resources into. One administrator commented that the laying of the new football turf at the Rufaro Stadium had been the most positive development for Zimbabwean football in many years. One positive impact is that the new football turf stadium can now generate a form of income for all of the stakeholders. The city council of Harare receives a certain percentage of the weekly gate takings as the custodians of the Rufaro Stadium, which can be used to further upgrade the football facility. The teams receive a percentage of the gate takings to be used for the development of their clubs, and the Zimbabwe Football Association earns a percentage from national team games to further develop the game among their affiliates.
An important contribution that FIFA intends to make to African football is to help all African footballers play on decent pitches. Climatic conditions in Africa, however, make it extremely difficult to sustain high-quality natural grass pitches. The climate in Zimbabwe does not allow for the sustainability of a natural grass pitch at international level. Heavy summer rain and dry winters make it difficult to maintain quality grass pitches in Zimbabwe. A case in question, in Harare, is the Independent Stadium, which had to be closed because it was difficult to maintain the grass field and too costly to renovate given the political and economic challenges the country is facing. Heavy summer rain caused flooding to the natural grass football pitches, which led to the abandonment or postponement of important league and international games. This also resulted in a backlog of fixtures and incomplete leagues. The reconstruction of the Rufaro Stadium into a football turf facility has answered many of the challenges facing Zimbabwean football such as usage, watering and maintaining the same condition of an international football pitch all year round. The drainage system at the new Rufaro Stadium makes it possible to continue with games after heavy rainfall.
When interviewed, Zimbabwean football administrators, players, referees and spectators unanimously agreed that the new Rufaro Stadium had definitely had a positive impact on all of them. They stated that the green pitch all year round had created a psychological feeling of wanting to play. This has had an impact on player development as the quality of the pitch psychologically brings out the best in players. A female supporter commented that: ” … seeing the pitch for the first time, I felt like running onto the pitch as a player.”
All stakeholders, when interviewed, agreed that the general appearance of pitch now encourages people to watch more games and it has given the game of football a more professional image. The players’ technique has improved and the game seems faster. One coach commented that his players had a more positive attitude when playing on the Rufaro Stadium surface. His players seemed to be enjoying the game more on the smooth football turf surface than when they played away from home on an uneven, bumpy natural grass surface.
Coaches, players and spectators all agreed that the players’ technique was better on the Rufaro Stadium surface than on the natural grass pitches in Zimbabwe. Players find it easier to control and pass the ball on the football turf pitch than on the natural grass pitches. Players have complained that the natural grass pitches in Zimbabwe were hard and in most cases uneven, which makes it difficult to control and pass the ball. The referees who were interviewed from the Zimbabwe referees association commented on how well the game flowed and said that they too were happier to be part of the game at the Rufaro Stadium.
The referees further commented that the markings on the football turf pitch do not fade and are clear to both referees and players, which makes it easier to handle the game, especially when the ball is out of play. The clear markings allow the referees to see an infringement from a distance, unlike on natural grass pitches, on which the markings fade and make it difficult to judge when the ball is out of play or whether they were right in awarding a penalty when a player is fouled in the penalty area. One coach commented that the players’ enhanced technique will lead to more of them receiving lucrative football contracts with foreign teams.
The new football turf at the Rufaro Stadium has led to the field being used more for youth development. Schools are encouraged to use the pitch when the professional teams are not training. Junior teams of professional clubs play games in the morning and the professional teams play in the afternoon. This has helped to fill the huge youth football development vacuum that existed before Zimbabwean football had a football turf pitch.
FREQUENCY OF USE OF THE RUFARO STADIUM
The new Rufaro Stadium was reopened on 26 June 2008 and the new home of Zimbabwean football has been put to full use. Activity on the pitch thus far has been; 4 International games; 14 CAF Club competition games; 190 Training sessions for local teams; 103 League games; 16 Cup games; 12 Friendly games. This does not include the usage by schools and youth groups that also use the football facility.
This evidence proves that the new Rufaro football turf has contributed to the development of football in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean football administrators have acknowledged that the new Rufaro Stadium has helped to instil a more professional approach to the preparation of national teams and they have alluded to the fact that more football turf facilities will be needed in other provinces in Zimbabwe to fast track the development of the game in the country. This would increase the number of people playing the game and help to take Zimbabwe back to their former football glory.
The manager of one of the top professional clubs in Zimbabwe commented:
“ZIFA (Zimbabwe Football Association) should appeal to FIFA to lay another artificial field in Zimbabwe. The new concept of artificial pitch has allowed the Dynamos to grow in terms of their fan base and football strength. Now that we are using the new Rufaro Stadium as our home field, we reached the semi-finals of the African Club Championship, which we had not done for many years. ”
For more information regarding FIFA’s Football Turf testing standards please visit the FIFA website.
The top Irish professional club, Crusaders F.C. plays in the IFA Premiership. Due to the harsh winter climates, the club needed a synthetic turf alternative to natural grass at its Seaview Stadium.
The club also demands a surface that performs like natural grass and protects the players from impact and lower extremity body movements. After a careful review of the many turf systems, Crusaders F.C. selected the latest Xtreme Turf for its professional players.
The transition to this synthetic football turf at Seaview will be fruitful for the club. The matches at Seaview Stadium in Northern Ireland will be the only field to survive the harsh weather conditions over the winter period. It also allows the stadium to expand its potential uses especially after earning the important FIFA Two-Star certification. This FIFA Recommended Pitch enables Seaview to host international competitions as the FIFA field test confirms the highest playability, safety and performance.
FIFA Preferred Producer for Football Turf, ACT Global Sports is pleased to have supplied Xtreme Turf for the mini-football pitch installation for the Cruyff Foundation.
“We are grateful to be involved with this exciting event. The field will benefit the community by encouraging teamwork and boost the spirits of all the young children.” -Director Chris Clapham
Published on www.cruyff-foundation.org
To great interest from journalists from all over the world, the players of the Dutch national team opened the Orange Cruyff Court Hillbrow today in Johannesburg (South Africa). The football pitch with changing rooms and a WorldCoaches office is a gift from the players to the youth of the disadvantaged neighbourhood of Hillbrow. Over the next few years, the pitch will be used to get the township’s youth involved in sport.
The opening was performed by the entire Dutch national squad, together with Johan Cruyff, Ruud Gullit (President of The HollandBelgium Bid) and Henk Kesler (CEO Professional Football of the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB)).
Lasting legacy for South Africa
“The opening of a Cruyff Court is always a special moment, especially with such a delegation in such a special location,” said Johan Cruyff. “However, the opening is just the start. As with every court, we have a multiyear plan for getting the local youngsters involved with the Cruyff Court. In Hillbrow, we work closely with local organisations, such as the Witwatersrand University and Madulammoho Housing Corporation. KNVB’s WorldCoaches will use the court for years after the FIFA World Cup to give the township’s children football training and educate them with life skills – on the basis of my 14 rules that have a place at every Cruyff Court. This means that the Cruyff Court is a lasting legacy for the country.”
The players of the Dutch national team have donated a portion of their match fees to raise the funds of 1 million rand (about € 100,000) needed to build the facilities. The Orange Cruyff Court Hillbrow is a collaboration between the Dutch national team players, the KNVB, the Johan Cruyff Foundation, the Dutch embassy in Johannesburg and the local Witwatersrand University and Madulammoho Housing Corporation.
ACT Global Sports completed a natural grass study at Texas A&M University to find out how their brand of Xtreme Turf compares to natural grass with the focus of sport performance. Kyle Field at Texas A&M was selected as it is well-known for being one of the top natural grass football stadiums in the United States.
As North American buyers seek sport performance benchmarks for American Football, additional research has been needed to also understand the relationship of international synthetic turf standards as established by FIFA and a top natural grass field for American Football. FIFA utilizes natural grass benchmarks in areas including foot stability, traction, shock absorption and ball interaction to create its synthetic turf standards. These benchmarks have led to safer, better performing synthetic turf fields.
The results for Xtreme Turf by ACT Global Sports, fall within the same range as the FIFA Quality Concept standards for synthetic turf for the conducted tests against natural grass.
To read the full article please visit http://actglobalsports.com/ACTGlobal_NaturalGrassStudy_press.html.
Famous Sport Club Corinthians Paulista prefers synthetic turf from ACT Global Sports
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUSTIN, TEXAS:
The synthetic turf surface installed at Sport Club Corinthians Paulista of Sao Paulo, Brazil has achieved prestigious FIFA certification. This is the first FIFA certified field ever installed in the country of Brazil.
To obtain this certification, the field must be tested by an accredited laboratory to prove that its characteristics are similar to natural grass. These measurements include shock absorption, foot stability, rotational resistance, linear friction and ball-to-surface interaction.
Sport Club Corinthians Paulista conducted an extensive study during its selection of a synthetic turf system. Corinthians wanted to make sure the surface would be safe and perform similar to natural grass. As one of the largest soccer clubs in Brazil, it has also high demands for its practice fields due to the intensity of use. FIFA recommended surfaces can meet these demands as part of required durability, UV stability and base construction testing. By comparison, natural grass training pitches are not able to withstand the same number of playing hours.
John Baize of ACT Global Sports comments, “We value the FIFA Quality Concept as an excellent standard for clubs around the world to select synthetic turf systems based upon proven performance criteria. Through a field test and FIFA certification process, a club can gain greater assurance of a safe and superior surface. We are excited to have provided Corinthians with our world-class Xtreme Turf in conjunction with our local partners in Brazil.”
Sport Club Corinthians Paulista is one of the most successful first division teams in Brazil with multiple championships in its history including the FIFA World Club Championship. Founded in 1910, it has an estimated 24 million fans and professional players that are known throughout the world.
ACT Global Sports is headquartered in Texas, USA with locations in The Netherlands, Cyprus, Hong Kong and China. Local sales and support is offered with representatives located in Brazil and over 35 countries through an expanding partner network of leading sport field contractors. The company has ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 quality certifications along with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and a dedicated research and development center.
For additional information, please email email@example.com or visit www.actglobalsports.com. Information concerning the FIFA Quality Concept can be found on www.fifa.com
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