Is Artificial Grass or Natural Grass Better for Playing Sports On?

Sports grounds and park managers spend a lot of time and money on the upkeep of their fields. Not only can these sports arenas get muddy and uneven through use, but they may need reseeding and extra care in the high-traffic sports seasons. If you’re deciding whether to switch from natural grass to artificial grass, you may think that folks in the stands and your players on the field will see the difference between the two. However, the technology has advanced far enough that artificial grass often looks like the real thing.

But is natural or artificial grass better for playing sports on? Call us biased, but we think artificial grass is the way to go. Here are five reasons why artificial grass is the best for a sports field.

1. Durable

Think about how rough some sports can be on their surroundings. For instance, baseball requires sudden, quick bursts of energy, where the cleats dig into the field. Think of all the running and kicking that happens on a soccer field or during a game of rugby, where havoc is standard.

In hot weather, natural grass lawns and fields can get a little crispy, and the grass can wear away in places if there is a lot of play on the field. Since artificial grass doesn’t have that problem, you can play more games and book more tournaments on your field. Communicate what kind of artificial grass you’d like, such as a more heavy-duty artificial grass instead of a lighter weight (such as the kind used for landscaping or a pet area). That distinction will be important when planning an installation.

2. Easy to Maintain

Admittedly, there will be some wear and tear on your sports field, simply because sports will take place on it. Because of its durable nature, you’ll spend less time maintaining your artificial grass than you would a natural grass field. Not having to mow the grass, use any pesticides or fertilizer on it, or water it means you get more playtime.

Players at natural grass sports arenas or schools may not use these fields as often because the organic surfaces may require downtime to recover from a big game weekend or tournament. Not so with artificial turf.

Playing on a muddy field may not only be dangerous to your team’s players (injuries can happen in slippery conditions), but it can also damage a natural grass field. With an artificial grass field, you’ll have fewer headaches since there won’t be mud at all, and you won’t have to worry about the rain because of the drainage system under an artificial turf field.

3. Painted Lines on the Field Won’t Fade

The big game day comes, and you have several games lined up … and it rains. Or sleets. Or snows. This type of wear and tear comes up a lot in the Pacific Northwest with our beautiful rainy season. This precipitation can fade the chalk lines drawn on natural grass. That’s a lot of work that suddenly becomes moot.

Another scenario might involve a long weekend of games planned, and the lines look faded by the time Sunday afternoon comes around. It may be difficult to see these lines if lots of gameplay takes place on the field. This can lead to confusion and frustration during a game or at least slow the game down as the referees or umpires discuss plays. However, if you have artificial grass , the lines don’t have to be made with chalk but can be permanent and easy to see at all times.

4. Shock Absorption

Think about how dusty it can get when players slide into home base during a game of baseball. It can be unpleasant when the dust from the field gets into the air, especially if your audience members or players have allergies. On an artificial grass field, though, the parts that were previously all dirt will be red or brown-colored. Not only is it better for the air quality around a game, but artificial grass is known for absorbing shocks, so players will have fewer bruises at the end of the game as they slide into home. These shock-absorption qualities also don’t affect the way balls bounce, while still protecting your players.

The latest in artificial grass technology means there is less friction on human skin compared to natural grass. When playing on a natural grass field, there is also a danger of cuts and scrapes from natural debris, such as small stones in the earth.

5. Safe to Use

Some folks might hear “artificial” and immediately assume that the materials the turf is made from might contain toxic chemicals that are bad for the players. The truth is that the turf is made of non-toxic and lead-free materials. Synthetic turf is made from the same type of plastic used in household products, and there have been no harmful effects from coming into contact with these materials daily. Often, these synthetic fibers are manufactured to resemble natural grass and are made from nylon, polypropylene, or polyethylene, connected to a backing material that lies on top of the base.

And artificial turf doesn’t require the use of pesticides or fertilizers for a healthy green color. This means those chemicals aren’t on the grass and won’t seep into the water table. But won’t your players have to fight off insects, you ask? No, it also means your players won’t have to suffer through a game rife with gnats, mosquitoes, or other pests since these insects cannot live in the synthetic materials. They live in natural grass, but there is nothing for them in the synthetic turf materials.

As you can see, artificial grass has so many advantages and can handle whatever your coaches and players hand out to it. Contact us today about installing artificial grass on your sports field—we’d love to answer your questions.