• Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Sneak peek at FIFA manual test requirements

FIFA will release its updated manual with test requirements for football turf mid-April. Last week, delegates to the ESTC Congress were briefed about the upcoming document. Sportsfields.info reports.

The new document has been in the making for several years and is set to replace the 2015 version. However, due to the possible impact of some of the content, the 2015 version will remain valid until the next meeting of FIFA’s Technical Advisory Group, where it will be decided whether the 2015 version can become obsolete. The next FIFA TAG meeting is scheduled for the second half of this year.

‘FIFA Basic’: an additional norm

The current FIFA Quality Pro and FIFA Quality marks for football turf will soon be complemented by a FIFA Basic standard.

This standard describes a minimum quality a field must meet to be validated, and validation is only done through a field test. It is introduced to validate, in particular, small-sized pitches with a minimum size of 25x16m. Fields that meet the criteria will only be issued a test-report and not a certificate, while confirmation of passing will only be valid for three months.

FIFA Quality Pro goes up

From April 2024 onwards, synthetic turf products that want to be certified FIFA Quality Pro will have to pass 6,000 cycles on the Lisport XL. This is twice the number of cycles that systems are currently subjected to.

No significant changes are reported regarding the current FIFA Quality standard.

New product developments

To support the development of new infill solutions (preferably from local sources), the Frozen test, which establishes how infill materials perform in freezing temperatures, will become optional.

Following the trend to introduce fibres with recycled content, FIFA will describe in the new manual what will be acceptable.

As it stands, no non-filled or mineral-filled system has been approved for either FIFA Quality or FIFA Quality Pro.

Test methods

The upcoming manual will no longer feature the skin abrasion test. However, a particle size analysis (of infills) has been added, which will use additional sieves to analyse the infill particle distribution. This is in response to the idea by some companies of introducing polymer infills that have particles that measure larger than 5mm to avoid them being classified as a microplastic.

New test criteria

The new manual will include a different algorithm for the Advanced Artificial Athlete (AAA), a new method to establish the Rotational Traction (soon to be called the Rotational Traction Athlete test), HIC testing (in a laboratory) and an adjustment of the vertical ball rebound test.

Some of the criteria the synthetic turf surface will be required to meet will be slightly adjusted from what has been in use since 2015.

In the coming weeks, we will upload several articles on this platform that will discuss the new approaches and criteria in more detail.

New approach

The new manual is expected to be easier to read, as it will contain more visuals/pictures, while the text will be simpler compared to the previous manual.

Guy Oldenkotte

Guy Oldenkotte is senior editor of sportsfields.info and has been covering the outdoor sportssurfaces market and industry since 2003

Leave a Reply