Use of Artificial Turf in Australian Rugby

Technology in the area of artificial playing surfaces has improved over time and artificial playing surfaces are widely used including in Rugby. The Australian Rugby Union is committed to integrating new technologies to help improve the standard of our game. The use of artificial turf as an advancing technology is one that has been highly commended in all sports fields, and one which the ARU looks to use more often.


World Rugby has produced the World Rugby Artificial Rugby Turf Performance Specification to set a minimum standard for artificial playing surfaces which may be used in rugby. The World Rugby Artificial Rugby Turf Performance Specification stipulates the testing and approval procedures which Manufacturers and other entities involved in the installation of artificial playing surfaces must comply with in order for their products to be approved for use in Rugby. The Game may not be played on any artificial surface which does not meet the World Rugby Artificial Rugby Turf Performance Specification, the requirements of Regulation 22 and Law 1 of the Laws of the Game. The World Rugby Artificial Rugby Turf Performance Specification will be amended over time as technology and research evolves in the area of artificial playing surfaces.


A copy of Regulation 22 can be found here.


The World Rugby’s Artificial Rugby Turf Performance Specifications can be found here.


The World Rugby’s One Turf programme was launched in December 2010 to redefine the use of artificial turf as a playing surface for Rugby and boost global Rugby participation.


For the first time a structure has been implemented to regulate and standardise the development, performance and maintenance of artificial turf worldwide through the appointment of Preferred Turf Producers and Accredited Test Institutes. The One Turf concept, has come about as a result of collaboration with seven other sporting federations all of which understand the long term benefits of creating a set of criteria for artificial turf for use across the community level of each sport. Installing a One Turf compliant pitch means that clubs can play multiple sports on one field, resulting in the potential for increased membership, participation and revenue to cover ongoing costs and future refurbishment of these facilities. One Turf facilities could potentially provide a local community with an opportunity to experience many sports in one location whilst also promoting healthier lifestyles. A One Turf facility can also prove more appealing for local and national government funding.


For further details and information including playing on and installing an artificial pitch we suggest you refer to the Smart Fact Sheet and FAQs.


Historically the perception was that you could play 24/7 on synthetic sports surfaces and little maintenance was required. 

Written by Australian synthetic sports turf expert Martin Sheppard, in conjunction with Europe’s leading expert Alastair Cox; The Smart Guide to Maintaining Synthetic Sports Turf (Long Pile) brings together the best thinking globally.  

Additionally, The Smart Guide to Synthetic Sports Field Rubber Infill, also authored by Martin Sheppard, provides the latest information and addresses the perceived health issue concerns. 

Further important information can be found here; Guide to Rugby Turf and non-technical version of testing criteria