The grass on the football pitches of the Spanish La Liga

The grass on soccer fields is a large green surface that, in addition to being a pretty image, represents an enclosure that makes players feel comfortable and prevents injuries.

Types of grass for soccer fields

The grass usually carries the seeds of the varieties "Festuca arundinacea", "Poa pratensis", "Lolium perenne" "Bermuda grass" according to the indices of the UNE 41959-1:2002 IN standard, which vary depending on the weather and the type of subsoil.

Tipos de césped
Types of grass on soccer fields

Some soccer fields are betting on hybrid planting, with an artificial base and sowing seeds on top.

Types of seeds according to the climate and the UNE regulations

Grass on soccer fields
Grass on soccer fields

1-Atlantic Climate

2-Continental Climate

3-Mediterranean Climate

4-Arid Mediterranean climate (rainfall less than 250 mm.)

Grass on soccer fields
Grass on soccer fields

In addition, the field will have an automatic irrigation and drainage system according to the UNE 41952-2 standard, with a set of sprinklers that will be buried and protected with a safety cover.

There was not always a regulation that regulated its state and this meant that football clubs sometimes played with the state of the grass according to their interests, in terms of hardness, humidity, even the shape of the cut looking for curious shapes as shown in the figure.

Today the soccer fields have fixed regulations, according to the categories, which we are going to try to outline.

Turf regulations on soccer fields

All football pitches have been governed since the 1016/2017 season by the same UNE 41951-1 regulation.

  • La altura del césped que debe ser entre 15 y 35 milímetros para alto nivel, 20 y 50 para nivel medio y entre 20 y 60 en el nivel básico.
  • La dimensión del terreno. Oscilan según el nivel del partido. Para uno de alto nivel deben ser de 105 metros por 68, lo que hace un total de 7.140 metros cuadrados.
  • The degree of humidity, provided that the weather conditions allow it.
  • Control of vegetation cover, avoiding weeds
  • La firmeza del césped es un parámetro relacionado con la humedad. Se deben hacer distintas mediciones y la media debe estar entre 65 y 120 gramos en nivel alto, 55 y 140 en el medio y entre 35 y 150 en el básico.
  • Traction rotational, that is, the resistance to the breaking of the surface layer, favoring the player's grip.
  • Test of felt thickness and rooting depth.
  • Degree of rolling of the ball or interaction between the ball and the turf.
  • Degree of bounce of the ball, placing it at a height of 3 meters, according to the regulations, it will bounce between 25 and 45 cm for high level.
HerbHigh levelMedium levelBasic level
Grass height in mm15-3520-5020-60
Felt thickness/mmUnder 10(15)Under 10(15)Under 10(15)
Live vegetation cover (%)Over 95Over 90Over 85
Weeds (%)5510
Pests or diseases234
Lawn uniformity at 3 mm distance (%)Under 12Under 18Under 25
Uniformidad de césped con marcador de perfilUnder 6Under 10Under 10
Infiltration (mm/h)over 50over 20over 10
Ball bounce (%)25-4520-5015-55
Rolling ball (m)5-123-122-14
Hardness (grams)65-12055-14035-150
Tracción (Nm)over 45over 40over 35
Turf regulations on soccer fields
  • Las marcas deben ser blancas, con dimensión en anchura máxima de 12 cm. como el ancho del palo de la portería.
  • The cut is always widthwise, one going and one returning up to a total of 18 stripes, with fixed measurements as indicated in the diagram, so that the fields of the Spanish league are identified with the type of lawn mowing.
Campo de fútbol
Soccer field of dimensions 100×60

How rolling is measured

Rolling ramp
Rolling ramp
  • Identification of the surface, location and area and previous history.
  • Average rolling value per area, individual results if required and details of any deviation from the procedure.

This is tested with a one meter high ramp at a 45º angle, the ball is placed on top and allowed to roll naturally.

The test should be performed at several points. They will reach between 5 and 12 meters for high level, between 3 and 12 meters for national level and between 2 and 14 for local level as indicated in the table above.

Targets of Plantae on soccer fields

Given the importance of grass control on football pitches, especially in league matches and international competitions, irrigation control is essential to avoid:

  • Waterlogging that are not favorable and it is more complicated to comply with the regulations.
  • Deficiencies of water that harm the appearance of the grass while at the same time influencing the hardening of the ground.
  • Saving water.

Plantae is meeting with several first and second division clubs within the LFP to listen to your needs and install humidity, conductivity and temperature sensors. In this way, it controls the need for irrigation, the accumulation of salts and the quality of the root system by controlling the temperature of the subsoil.

The accumulation of salts makes the soil compact and the absorption of water and nutrients is altered.

Los sensores/sonda tienen las ventajas de:

  • They provide information in real time on the state of the lawn.
  • Control salinity and humidity.
  • Measure the temperature of the subsoil.
  • Check the flow of the pipes.
Sprinkler irrigation
Sprinkler irrigation-1-Spray irrigation.2-Humidity, conductivity and temperature sensors/probes. 3-Wet bulb. 4-Terrain. 5-Salinity accumulated by evaporation.

Sources

Ministerio de Cultura y deporte

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