In 2021, when FIFA published its Testing Manual for natural turf pitches as part of its Quality Programme, it laid down a new framework for the quality of natural turf playing surfaces for soccer. This framework was completed in May 2022 when it published the reference values that pitches must meet in terms of the various parameters established for their evaluation.
The Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) has been involved in this new performance framework. In September 2022, when FIFA organized the first round-robin for the accreditation of laboratories, the IBV was awarded its first accreditation as a natural turf testing center. This accreditation, which was recently renewed in Granada, means that the IBV is now one of the world’s leading natural turf testing centers.
As a result, the IBV is currently the only center in Spain that is accredited to certify natural turf pitches, in accordance with the FIFA Quality Programme. Having just embarked on the lengthy preparations for the 2030 World Cup, where the playing surface will be the “center stage”, the IBV is ready to certify that the turf will be in top condition.
Developed by the Institute of Biomechanics (IBV), the eyeturf app has been specifically designed to make it easier to efficiently monitor the condition of artificial turf football pitches. It allows the user to easily check the condition of the playing surface of this type of facility - at a very low cost. eyeturf is aimed at maintenance companies in particular and indeed any actor related to these pitches, whether they are a manufacturer, a sports club or a public body. The application integrates the wealth of knowledge and experience that the IBV has accumulated in the area of sports surfaces over more than thirty years.
Padel tennis is one of the sports that has become increasingly popular in recent decades. The European Committee CEN/TC 217 - Surfaces for Sports has recently adopted the Spanish standard as a reference on which to draw up a European standard. UNE 147301 is a mandatory standard for manufacturers, sports facility managers, installers and players, when it comes to establishing the quality of artificial grass surfaces for padel facilities, both from a technical and from a sporting perspective. Developed by AENOR's Standardization Technical Committee 147, which focuses on sports surfaces, it represents a before and after in the world of padel.
Artificial grass pitches have evolved significantly since the 1960s. The improvement in materials and in their installation have increased their performance to a level similar to that of natural grass pitches, and such aspects as their maintenance and the intensive use of the facilities have also been improved. In order to reduce problems in new installations or in the renovation of existing ones, the execution of the different phases is crucial, ranging from the correct drafting of the tender documents to the execution and supervision of the work itself, or the moment of its acceptance. All this, without forgetting about the need to carry out maintenance work that allows us to extend the life of the pitch in the best possible conditions. The Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) makes its knowledge and experience in this field available to the sector, as a technological partner.