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What is a Sand-dressed Pitch?

Sand-dressed artificial turf is a high specification synthetic sports surface designed specifically for fast paced hockey. Unlike sand-filled (astroturf) pitches, the playing surface is only partially filled (usually about two-thirds of the pile height) so the game is played on the sports carpet, not the sand infill.

Sand-dressed systems usually have a pile height of between 18 and 22mm and can be accredited with an FIH certificate: FIH Global certification is mandatory for all surfaces that host international-level competitions and tournaments. FIH National certification is suitable for national and regional hockey competition.

Our sand-dressed pitch at Magdalen College School A women's hockey game on a sand-dressed pitch Hockey A Desso Trophy sand-dressed hockey turf A sand-dressed pitch used for football as well as hockey Our hockey pitch at Aldersley Leisure Village near Wolverhampton Our hockey pitch at Bedford Hockey Club Blakedown laying the stone base for a sand-dressed hockey pitch Our hockey pitch at Nottingham University A game on an FIH International standard sand-dressed pitch Sand-dressed astroturf pitches come in a variety of colours, and the run-offs can be coloured differently to the main playing area

A womens hockey match

Our Services | Sand-dressed

Blakedown Sport & Play is one of the largest and longest established sports pitch construction companies in the UK.

We specialise in synthetic surfaces and have highly skilled and experienced teams which can construct every element of a sand-dressed pitch: from the foundation works to ancillary components such as fencing, floodlighting, spectator stands and access ways, even clubhouses, changing blocks and landscaping to give finishing touches to a project.

Case Study | Dauntsey's School

Having successfully resurfaced their sand-filled pitch, Blakedown were appointed by Dauntsey's School in Wiltshire to construct a new, FIH-certified, sand-dressed hockey pitch measuring 101.5m x 63m.

Client: Dauntsey's School

Contract Type JCT with CD

Value: £500,000

Build Time: 16 weeks

The surface comprised a 12mm shockpad laid onto an Engineered macadam layer, with Edel's LSR/NDR selected as the playing surface, which also accommodates tennis and football. Adjacent to the main pitch, Blakedown also installed a sand-dressed hockey training facility, and fitted both surfaces with a new sports fencing system.

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A sand-dressed hockey pitch with red run-off

Choosing a Sand-dressed surface

A sand-dressed surface is ideal for hockey clubs, universities, colleges, academies and schools that want to introduce a higher level of performance to their game.

The denser turf fibres of the highest standard sand-dressed systems are known as 'knit-de-knit' - a textiling term meaning they are woven to be 'non-directional', thus the ball rolls more freely over the surface making the game fast and intense. Tennis, football, netball, volleyball, basketball, badminton, and athletics can all be played on a sand-dressed surface.

Sand-dressed Pitch Construction
A diagram showing the layers of construction for a sand-dressed hockey pitch
Playing Surface
The pile of the sand-dressed playing surface will usually be between 18mm and 22mm which is partially filled with infill sand to provide the system with support. Sand-dressed sports carpets are available in a large range of colours - which are also used for coloured run-offs and seamed lines for cross-play lines and other sports. The primary sport on the surface is usually lined in white or sometimes yellow.
Sand-dressed pitches will usually be constructed with a shockpad directly beneath the playing surface. The top-specification shockpad for this type of surface is an 'in-situ' pad, formed and directly laid onto the surface in construction. Pre-formed pads are also available.
Engineered layer
Ideally the playing surface and absorption pad would be laid onto an 'Engineered' base: a single or double layer of porous tarmacadam which acts as a stabilising layer. The alternative is a 'Dynamic' base where the top two layers are built directly onto stone.
Stone layer, Textile Membrane, and Soil Formation
The base construction of a sand-dressed pitch comprises a free-draining stone layer, textile membrane, and drainage system installed into prepared soil formation.

Our services in summary...

Contact Us

Blakedown Sport & Play Ltd.
Apollo Office Park, Ironstone Lane
Wroxton, Oxfordshire
OX15 6AY

Tel: 01295 738238
Fax: 01295 738338

Tel: 01295 738238

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