FIFA has finally adopted definitions for the various types of infill used in long-pile synthetic turf fields. In addition, the football governing body has also sharpened the definition for a non filled system to end the debate of what product constitutes being called a non filled system.
As you can read here, the process to produce the definitions started two years ago before the process came to a standstill due to COVID-19.
At a recent meeting of the Technical Advisory Group of FIFA, a body that consists of representatives of the synthetic turf industry, testing institutes, national FA’s as well as representatives of other sports that play on long-pile synthetic turf (e.g. rugby), the following defintions were accepted:
- Polymeric infill: Systems with non-biodegradable polymeric infill (polymer as per ECHA definition)
- Biodegradable infill: Systems with biodegradable polymeric infills (polymer as per ECHA definition) without non-biodegradable polymeric infill.
- Natural infill: Systems containing non-chemically modified natural organic material infill without polymeric infill or biodegradable infill.
- Mineral infill: Systems filled with only solid, non-organic infill without any polymer added.
Non filled systems
While the first ever non filled system for football had no infill material at all between the synthetic turf grass blades, a growing number of installing companies have started adding stabilizing sand to the carpet. To end the debate about what is or what isn’t a non filled synthetic turf field, FIFA has now settled for the following definition:
- Non filled: Systems without any infill.