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FIH Gen-2 Multi-sport Pitch Guide

31.8.2020

Context
We live in a world where collaboration and sharing is king. So are imagery and visualisation as key tools to communicate an idea or concept.

The main mental image associated with a “multi-sport artificial sports surface” tends to be more associated with long-pile “3G” pitches or a backyard sand-filled multi-marked tennis court surface, where a combination of large-ball sports such as rugby, football, and AFL are thought to offer a “true multisport” solution.

This often leaves small-ball sports looking for other venues where a 3G surface is not entirely suitable.

For the development of artificial turf surfaces, a range of technologies exists that best suit the specific needs of each sport. As these technologies and specifications become more fine-tuned, the less likely we can picture a broader cross-sport usage.

The Problem
All sports have unique qualities and characteristics for both their rules of the game and in the court/track/field of play requirements.

In the world of sports facility development, our funding agencies, State and local Councils are seeking more and more that we look for opportunities to join together and create better ‘bang for buck’ and greater multi-use in our sports infrastructure.

The typical approach to sports surface development is to seek funding for a sports-specific surface that best serves that particular sport, often without regard for other users or the potential to tap into wider uses and ultimately, revenue streams.

The question is: How can we provide for greater sharing and collaboration across individual sports at the community level, and convince the funders that we offer more than just a single-sport offering, to secure and attract funding?

What We Did To Help
A pioneering joint initiative between the sports of hockey, tennis and netball has led to the creation of an innovative new multi-sport concept known as ‘Gen-2’.

In communicating the multi-sport nature of Gen-2 short pile surfaces, 106 Architects were engaged to produce the visual assets for the recently released FIH Gen-2 Guide. These visual images allowed readers of the Guide to understand exactly what other sports might look like when overlaid and integrated onto a full-size hockey turf.

In our school and community sports facility projects, we often get asked: “.. what other sports can be accommodated on a hockey field?”

By utilising the proven technology of short-pile synthetic turf preferred by hockey, and incorporating the latest innovations in shock pads, the Gen-2 surface has been specially designed to become a great all-round solution.

The FIH has produced a guide that shares the Gen-2 design concepts, promotes good practice and encourages the development of facilities that all of the sports can benefit from.

A copy of the guide and more information about the benefits of Gen-2 fields and courts and this exciting collaboration between England Hockey, Lawn Tennis Association and England Netball, can be found on the FIH website.

How will this change multi-sports?
It’s a concept 106 Architects has been considering for sometime when designing for our clients, enabling large and small ball sports to co-exist together. We continue to challenge this – with innovations like these providing a wonderful springboard to push boundaries across sports and recreation facilities – to make the most of collaborative opportunities.

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