Turf Pitches

Turf pitches are used in many sports, such as rugby and football. Turfs usually consist of organic material, soil, and water. Despite careful engineering, turf pitches sustain damage from intense player–surface interactions. To ensure that turf pitches remain in optimal condition, turfs are regularly assessed and monitored.

To address limitations associated with current monitoring methods, researcher Frazer Anderson and colleagues proposed a new prototype device to monitor turf surfaces. Designed to evaluate shear stability, the ability to resist shear force, the proposed prototype employs a test arm to move a mass to a pin inserted into the turf (shown below).

The researchers varied pin lengths in their proposed device to monitor turf surfaces at depths greater than currently possible. Furthermore, they designed the base plate to have greater sensitivity when assessing turf conditions. These changes were made to address the limitations of current monitoring devices. Subsequent evaluation of this prototype by the researchers found that the device accurately measured the relative shear stability of various turf surfaces.

Images were obtained from the mentioned paper authored by researcher Frazer Anderson and colleagues (article is open access and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License)