Following the review of the Lochgilphead sports pitch by Argyll and Bute Council’s Education and Community and Culture services in partnership with ABC Schools (which maintains Lochgilphead Joint Campus for the council) the council asked ABC Schools to replace the 2G surface with a 3G one over the course of the summer.
The replacement surface is intended to be a 40mm Tiger Turf one – MITIE’s Total Turf 40 XQ. The primary use for this is football, but it can accommodate multiple sports.
The pitch is primarily a school facility, with the opportunity for community use outwith school hours.
The recognised standard of play for a community football pitch is FIFA 1*, as outlined in the FIFA Quality Concept.
FIFA’s artificial pitch guidance (May 2010) states:
‘The height of carpet piles range from 40mm to in excess of 60mm.’
FIFA 1* playing characteristics can be achieved on a 40mm carpet.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) list of approved pitch systems (February 2014) shows that Tiger Turf XQ40 is FIH approved.
40mm is the longest pile recognised within the current FIH recommendations.
Longer pile carpets are unsuitable for hockey as the stick can get under the ball more and cause dangerous play when the ball is lifted.
The Camanachd Association can use FIH approved pitches.
The dimensions of the pitch are not and never have been suitable for full rugby match play.
The minimum requirement for IRB22 full contact rugby is 60mm.
The pitch is suitable for non-contact rugby training.
The new third generation surface at Lochgilphead Joint Campus will meet the requirements of the primary client, the school, as well as meeting the needs of the community.
The new pitch will be suitable for hockey, football, shinty, athletics and non-contact rugby training and activities such as tag/touch rugby
A 50mm carpet would be no different in its capability to provide for football, rugby training or shinty.
We would be asking MITIE to remove the cross pitch wires at the weekend, if that were required, and reinstating them for use during the week to allow for full match play.
Pupils at Lochgilphead Joint Campus, and the wider community, are getting a fantastic new all-weather third generation playing surface on which they will be able to enjoy a variety of sports.