‘Mileage counter’ measures hours of play, impact on pitch and the state of pitch maintenance Heracles’ new synthetic turf system in the Polman Stadium in Almelo, the Netherlands, latest (r)evolution in synthetic turf systems for football. This is an evolution because of its exceptional characteristics and the combination of all the components of the synthetic turf system, and a revolution due to its unique measurability, through the use of sensors. Heracles Almelo now has the very first ‘smart synthetic turf system’ in the world. The pitch satisfies the highest standards set by FIFA and UEFA, which is a requirement for top-flight football.
Evolution in synthetic grass systems
Thanks to the system approach of TenCate, the main sponsor, and its design partners Edel Grass, Sekisui Alveo and Oranjewoud, a balanced system of components has been achieved. Developments in many areas have taken place over the past few months that have been incorporated in the new synthetic turf system. These include developments relating to the shock pad, the composition of the fibre, the infill and the method of tufting the top layer. The creation of the synthetic turf system was the result of a joint endeavour by Edel Grass and Oranjewoud in collaboration with TenCate and standards institutes.
The development of the system and the mutual interrelatedness of the components determine the unique playing characteristics of the synthetic turf pitch. This gives the players and technical staff of Heracles Almelo – and its opponents – the confidence that they seek of being able to practise football at the highest level. The playing characteristics of the pitch were developed in close cooperation with the technical staff and players of Heracles Almelo.
The special combination of two synthetic turf fibres – the soft, resilient TenCate Monoslide™Pro fibre and the TenCate Tapeslide™XT fibre, which among other things encases the infill – and the fact that the synthetic turf has fifty per cent higher density will ensure the desired rolling and rebound characteristics of the ball for a long time. The other system components too – such as the infill, which was specially developed for this pitch, the backing and the geotextile from TenCate, together with the shock pad from Sekisui Alveo and the stable sub-base structure – all contribute to the characteristics and qualities of this new synthetic turf system. Resilience, the stability of the pitch and low sliding resistance are thus safeguarded for many years.
The new synthetic turf pitch very closely resembles natural grass, thanks to its playing characteristics and the look and feel of the pitch. This is not only of importance for the perception of the pitch during matches, but also for its appearance during competition matches on television. The pitch looks natural both in daylight and under artificial light.
Revolution in measurability
Through the use of special sensors, Heracles Almelo now has a ‘mileage counter’ that measures various activities on the pitch. These include the number of hours played, impact on the pitch at different locations and the physical condition of the pitch; even the frequency and intensity of maintenance is measured. Main sponsor TenCate together with its design partners Edel Grass, Sekisui Alveo and Oranjewoud have thus brought about a revolution in measurability.
Thanks to this ‘Grass Sensor System’ the Polman Stadium in Almelo can now boast the first ‘smart synthetic turf system’ for football. Using the measuring data and analyses, advice will regularly be given to the technical staff of Heracles Almelo. At the same time these measuring data will also provide input for new developments and innovations in synthetic turf.
Heracles Almelo’s new synthetic turf system bears the name Two Dimension Pro and will be marketed exclusively by Edel Grass from Genemuiden, the Netherlands.