FIFA partnership with Loughborough University paves way for turf testing

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A partnership involving Loughborough University and football’s governing body is hoped to improve the durability, safety and performance of artificial pitches.

FIFA have this week issued new testing methods and introduced new testing devices which will be used to assess artificial playing surfaces in line with the highest industry standards.

The changes are the first since 2015 – when the FIFA Test Manual for Football Turf was last updated.

Prof. Steph Forrester from the University’s Sports Technology Institute said: “With the development in artificial pitches since the standards were last updated, it was important that we assess the move in technology and implement a new foundation for testing to take place.

“More and more football is being played every week and these artificial surfaces need to be able to handle it.

“As part of the FIFA Football Turf Technical Advisory Group, we’ve worked incredibly closely with FIFA and Labosport to finalise these new tests which looks to ensure pitch quality across the globe whilst developing new, safe and sustainable innovations and technologies.”

Work at the University led the development of a new advanced artificial athlete algorithm – providing a comprehensive insight into the surface’s performance by measuring peak shock absorption, peak deformation, and energy return

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