FEATURE: There is a groundswell of interest for the new Tiger Ecocept hockey pitch
TigerTurf are the FIH and Hockey Australia preferred supplier for the provision of synthetic hockey turfs. This status is earnt though producing a quality, tried and tested product. Like any progressive company TigerTurf have strived to produce a point of difference. Their newest innovation TigerTurf Ecocept produces hockey turf materials and construction operations which are described by Hockey Australia journalist, Ben Somerford, as “GROUND BREAKING”.
What makes this innovation so significant?
Where traditional water based synthetic hockey pitches are kept watered (for performance and safety reasons) using water cannons spraying the pitch, new TigerTurf Ecocept pitches will be watered from underneath. This is possible because of a waterproof membrane which is laid over the entire pitch, before the EcoCept Insitu shock pad and drainage system is laid on top. The advantages of the waterproof membrane are that it allows the field to be irrigated with minimal water loss, i.e., in windy conditions water from the cannon is blown outside of the pitch as well. This is hence cost saving. Secondly, because it is watered underneath there is no need for the traditional ‘turtle back’ playing surface to drain above surface water. This will mean the playing surface is flat which definitely lends itself to a much improved quality of play. It is also then possible that recycled water used from captured rainfall on the turf itself, treated, stored onsite, and then introduced back into the playing surface from underneath the turf itself.
recycled plastics and car tyres are used for developing shock pad
The EcoCept Insitu shock pad is the next most significant change. Ecocept was developed by the clever folks at TenCate to revolutionise the construction of high performance sports base systems. It is a porous pavement, specifically developed for synthetic turf athletic playing surfaces. It is a simpler, faster and environmentally sustainable construction process that combines several critical functions in one layer. TenCate Ecocept ™ is manufactured on site using 80 – 90% recycled end-of-life waste plastics and rubber mixed with a binder to a pre-determined ratio. Any waste plastic can be used, including old synthetic turf which has the potential to be recycled into even better new synthetic turf fields. This is an eco-game changer. The advantage of this are that can save roughly 140 tons of materials from landfill for each full-size field, reduce the need to excavate and remove local soils and likewise the need to backfill with crushed stone and save up to 300 truckloads and 190 tons of associated carbon emissions per field.
Hockey Hibiscus Trust chairman Merv Huxford is celebrating the start of earthworks on a new hockey facility in Millwater.
TigerTurf launched its new, world first, Ecocept performance sports bases at the new MetroPark Hockey centre in Millwater, Auckland. The MetroPark hockey field of 6,000m2 will consume approx. 45,000kgs of plastic waste and old car tyres previously destined for landfill. The development of the thicker shock pad has excellent drainage performance eliminating costly below field drainage. It can consistently provide shock absorbency across the field hence helping to prevent sports injuries, and finally it enables multiple hockey fields to be developed at once from the one shock pad, hence a cost saving advantage.
Finally the surface. TigerTurf’s WETT Pro Hockey surface has evolved from 36 years of development. It is approved to FIH Global Accreditation standards. The unique texturised monofilament yarn ensures a grain free playing surface which means the ball and stick travels smoothly in all direction. Maintains a fast pace in line with player’s demands – whether wet or dry. The surface enables the player to pull the stick in all directions without noticeable grabbing or catching of the stick – whether wet or dry. The unique yarn used has been designed so that it doesn’t shine when wet, or under floodlights, whilst retaining moisture to the surface benefiting both the game and environment. TigerTurf WETT Pro shows little sign of deformation after extensive wear tests. The “spring” in the fibre means it is safe to fall on, yet not too soft that players will tire out. The WETT Pro multi-directional surface compresses straight down, then bounces back to its original position. This means there is less movement and increased surety in player foot placement.
Who would have thought that so much could go into the development of today’s artificial hockey pitches to make the game more enjoyable and skilful.