From the original synthetic surface known as Astroturf to the latest 3G pitches – there’s been huge innovation in pitch technology over the last few decades. Football, rugby and cricket clubs have all benefitted from the ease of use these all-weather surfaces offer. However, with the emergence of 4G pitches, many people are confused about what these surfaces actually do and how they differ from 3G.
4G pitches stands for ‘fourth generation’ of artificial grass and is an improved, more advanced version of 3G. It is a non-infill synthetic turf that uses longer, more resilient fibres to mimic a real grass surface and deliver a better playing experience. It also offers increased player safety due to its high levels of shock absorption and more realistic ball bounce. It’s a more suited surfacing option for football and rugby, with 4G facilities meeting a range of accreditations including FIFA one and two star.
The Future of Football: Exploring the Advantages of 4G Pitches
Despite being the latest astroturf technology, not all venues that claim to have a 4G pitch actually do. Those that do cite this label, often describe their surface as 3G without the rubber crumb infill. As it is not endorsed or graded by any sports bodies yet, it can be misleading for venues to label their surfaces as 4G.
However, there are some venues that have been quick to develop a 4G solution that doesn’t rely on the rubber crumb infill. These are usually referred to as ‘non-infill 4G pitches’ and can be found in the likes of schools, leisure centers, and private sports clubs. As these are more recent developments, they haven’t been widely used as a result of being more expensive and not having the requisite performance credentials.