|Sport||Appropriate surface for|
Women’s Regional Leagues
Local and County Leagues
League Level 7-9 with full Mini and Junior teams
National Conference Leagues
The playing surface is of a quality that provides a good experience for recreational players providing a surface that is reliable and consistent. The playing surface should be able to sustain a reasonably high level of activity without significant deterioration of the surface. It would have some resilience during periods of adverse weather however this capacity will still be limited so usage during these periods will need to be managed carefully.
For more details about the playing surface standards please refer to the technical data below.
Good player experience
Playing surface could deteriorate during sustained periods of adverse weather
Provide a safe playing surface for users
Still likely to have cancelations during a season
Relatively low maintenance costs and time commitments
Needs careful management of usage to ensure surface quality doesn’t deteriorate
Reduced cancellation of matches compared to a basic level playing surface.
Improved player retention and recruitment
Improved carrying capacity of the playing surface
Grounds manager, staff or volunteer should demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of playing surface preparation techniques and maintenance operations. They would undertake repairs during and after the season to ensure the quality of the playing surface is retained but are likely to rely on external support for any specialist services.
Individuals can undertake a basic playing surface quality assessment, identify commonly occurring issues and have a good understanding of the Health and Safety Legislation.
The Grounds Manager should be competent and familiar with basic management skills and able to supervise others on a one-to-one basis.
For more detailed information about what is required to maintain a playing surface to this standard please refer to the full GMF Skills and Knowledge Matrix.
Having appropriate equipment and machinery that is well serviced and fit for purpose is essential to maintaining playing surfaces to the desired standard. The machinery list would be relatively small to maintain a playing surface to Good standard and would also include a lot of hand tools.
For the infrequent operations it is often more cost effective to use contractors rather than cover the cost of purchasing and servicing machinery that is rarely used. Contractors can often provide expertise and experience that also provides added value compared to undertaking the works in house.
For information on how contractors can provide additional support please click here.
There are limited resources (time and budget) available for playing surface maintenance however small improvements in the resources and capabilities of the Grounds Manager can have a significant impact on the quality of playing surface that can be prepared.
Although it is important to have an individual who has overall responsibility for the maintenance of the playing surface, it is possible to have a team of people to assist with the maintenance to help share the load. This model works in both volunteer and professional settings.
Changes in budget can have a significant impact on the quality of the playing surface. A decrease can dramatically reduce the quality of the playing surface, while conversely an increase, in the hands of a knowledgeable groundsman, can make a significant improvement to the playing surface quality.
It is also important that the budget is used in areas that will have the biggest impact. Budget should be used carefully and not wasted on unnecessary items that will have minimal impact on the quality of the playing surface.
Support from the organisation responsible for the ground is essential. This support should cover the following areas
- Prioritise the playing surface as an asset that has an impact on players, spectators, coaches, and income.
- Invest in your Grounds Manager’s knowledge and education in the form of training and other CPD activities.
- Understand if additional workforce may be required to support the Grounds Manager such as end of season working groups, use of sub-contractors for specialist work etc.
- Work with the Grounds Manager to prevent damage from overuse and poor weather conditions.
- Provide appropriate ring-fenced budget for materials, machinery, and servicing to allow the Grounds Manager to do their job properly.
- Promote and thank your Grounds Manager for the job that they do, as often they are hugely underappreciated.
- Understand your playing surface and what areas need to be improved to progress to the next level.
- Obtain a playing surface report to identify the technical areas of improvement.
- Invest in your Grounds Manager to develop their knowledge and skills as this alone will have a significant impact on the quality of the playing surfaces.
- Invest in the right materials and tools to allow your Grounds Manager to undertake appropriate repairs and improvements to your playing surface.
- Consider regular external contractor support to undertake specialist annual operations such as decompaction and end of season renovation.
- Support your Grounds Manager to understand what they need in terms of support and resources to prepare a playing surface to meet your ambitions.
- Understand budget requirements to maintain a playing surface at the Advanced level.
To understand more about the next GMF level please click here.