Artificial turf has been the primary playing surface for competitive hockey for more than forty years: at international, national, and club level. There is a wide choice of turf systems available, from the top-specification water-based system, used at the Olympics and Hockey World Cup, to sand-based systems suitable for a wide variety of additional sports and applications.
Artificial turf hockey pitches can be accredited with International Hockey Federation (FIH) certification and can be tested to FIH International, FIH National Class 1, and FIH National Class 2 standards.
International hockey match on an FIH certified pitch
Hockey on the sand-dressed pitch at Southgate Hockey Club in Barnet
Senior Mens hockey match on Blakedown's pitch at Kings School in Winchester
Women's hockey game on a water-based pitch
School hockey on a water-based pitch
England Hockey player Simon Mason opening the sand-dressed pitch at Dauntsey's School
Opening Blakedown's hockey pitch at Chew Valley Leisure Centre
Opening ceremony for Blakedown's hockey pitch at Sharnbrook Upper School
Short corner on a sand-dressed hockey pitch
Hockey pitch opening ceremony at North Oxfordshire Academy
Womens' hockey on an FIH certified hockey pitch
Astroturf pitch construction for schools by Blakedown
Blakedown Sport & Play is one of the country’s leading hockey pitch construction contractors. We offer a range of high specification surfaces suited to top-level competitive hockey through to recreational surfaces for schools and leisure centres. Our in-house design and build service can be tailored to meet clients' requirements for any type of hockey facility.
We are Sport England framework contractors for hockey pitch construction, principal contractor members of the industry body SAPCA, and a leading contractor for pitches built for professional hockey clubs requiring FIH or England Hockey certification.
The state-of-the-art sand-dressed pitch at Magdalen College School in Oxford, designed and built by Blakedown Sport & Play, was surfaced with an Edel Grass Triple T monofilament turf and meets FIH Global and England Hockey Category 1 performance standards.
The playing surface was laid onto an Engineered base of double-layer macadam, with 15mm in-situ shockpad, and seamed lines for cross-play hockey training and football as well as the main hockey layout. The construction also included twinbar fencing, goal recesses, a tarmac spectator area, modular changing block, and tree planting and landscaping around site.
Sand-dressed hockey pitch at Magdalen College School, Oxford
Installing the goal 'D' for cross-play hockey
Installing the 23-metre line
The completed pitch with new changing rooms to the left
Sand-based and water-based artificial turf systems represent the best and most popular surfaces for hockey at both professional and amateur levels.
3G artificial turf systems use an infill of rubber crumb as the support material, with only a thin layer of sand at the base of the pile. 3G systems with a shorter pile length of 40mm are suitable for hockey and replicate well the play characteristics of a grass pitch.
A 3G system might be the preferred choice of surface for a new hockey facility if the pitch is to be used at a recreational level, or if the facility must accommodate football as one of the primary sports, or where there is a specific intention to replicate the attributes of a grass pitch.
A polymeric sports surface is comprised of small, tightly packed granules of rubber held together by a binding material. Polymeric surfaces have natural shock absorption qualities and are easy to maintain making them a popular choice for multi-use games areas, netball, tennis and basketball courts, and junior football pitches. Recreational hockey can also be played on this surface which offers satisfactory ball roll and a quick pace of play.
Example: Gladesmore Community School