What Surface Is Available for Sports Pitches?

flooring for sports pitches

Sports pitches are typically multi-use surfaces with football, hockey, rugby, American football and basketball played on them.

However, the performance of a sports pitch depends on the sport it is used for and this is determined by the pile height of the artificial grass. Longer artificial grass is better for football, but shorter grass is better for hockey. We’ll quickly run through the surface options available to you below to help you choose the right surface:


Hockey should be played on artificial turf with a 14-20mm pile height. This surface will provide adequate cushioning for the ball to reduce bounce while allowing it to zip across the surface. Professional pitches use this surface.


Football should be played on artificial turf with a 40-50mm pile height. This pile height replicates natural grass the best. Professional football training grounds use artificial grass and it’s also a good choice for amateur clubs.


Rugby pitches can use the same artificial turf as football pitches. In fact, some professional rugby teams train on artificial grass. A pile height of 40-50mm is good enough for rugby and we also recommend a shock-absorbing underlay.


Tennis is played on asphalt or porous acrylic. Both are suitable for outdoor use. Indoors, tennis is played on non-porous acrylic. These surfaces are all good to play on. Professional hard court tournaments always play on acrylic.

Multi use

If your pitch will be for general use (hockey and football) then it’s best to choose artificial turf with a pile height of 20-25mm. This pile height is fine for hockey and football, although it won’t replicate a natural football pitch.

Need help choosing the right sports pitch?

Sports pitches should be made from artificial grass although some sports like tennis will call for a harder playing surface.

If you need help choosing the right surface for your sports pitch, we recommend starting by determining the sports that will be played.

Hockey requires a shorter pile than football, but football can be played on a shorter pile, so there are trade-offs to consider. Rugby can be played on the same pile height as an artificial football pitch but also requires a soft underlay to protect players.

For more information or to discuss a project please contact us on +44 1706 260 220 or email sales@tvs-sportssurfaces.com.