3G Football Turf Pitches

In recent years football has seen huge innovations and investment in the development of artificial surfaces. 3G Football Turf Pitches (FTPs) now allow the game to be played on surfaces that replicate the playing qualities of good quality natural grass pitches whilst increasing the levels of use. The success of these surfaces can be seen in their use in major competitions including the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League and FA Cup.

3G Football Turf is a blend of grass-like fibres attached to a special backing with a mix of sand and/or rubber brushed in. We have come a long-way from the sand filled ‘plastic’ pitches once used at Oldham, QPR and Luton in the 1980’s. 3G FTPs come with a longer grass blade and are in-filled with rubber granules giving characteristics that one would associate with playing on a high quality natural pitch such as ball bounce, ball roll, surface hardness and grip.

The FA allow competitive fixtures to be played on two types of 3G FTP:

FIFA Quality Pro Turf – this is the highest grade of surface and is designed to mirror Premier League and International level grass pitches. It requires an annual test certificate to ensure maintains the right quality for use. Clubs playing in Steps 1 & 2 of the National League System are required to have this level of surface. Usage of the surface should be limited to a maximum of 20 hours a week to maintain its quality.

FIFA Quality Turf – this is the most common type of 3G turf used due to its ability to accommodate far higher usage levels each week. This surface requires testing annually for clubs playing at Steps 3-6 of the football pyramid, Women’s Super League and FA Competitions. Testing is required every three years for all other levels of affiliated football.

All 3G FTP pitches with a valid test certificate can be found on The FA 3G register.

More information on 3G FTPs, their design, use and maintenance can be found in the following FA Guide;

FA 3g guide

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