10 2019How FieldTurf Changed Sports ForeverFieldTurf was built on innovation, dating back to their invention of long-pile infilled turf, which revolutionized the industry. Since, FieldTurf has grown an idea and a profound passion into a global company with over 20,000 installations worldwide.THE EARLY DAYS OF ARTIFICIAL TURF Many remember the short-pile carpet turf systems introduced in the 1960’s, brought to fame after its installation at the Astrodome. Regarded as first-generation systems, they solved a problem but were quickly reputed as hard, abrasive, and unforgiving amongst athletes. Something needed to change. THE MOMENT THAT CHANGED IT ALL In the early 90’s, FieldTurf introduced a long-pile infilled system and gave birth to the third generation of artificial turf. This concept focused on infill, commonly made of crumb rubber and sand, which acts like the dirt would in a natural grass field.FieldTurf patented its 3-layer design (base layer of sand, a mix layer of sand and rubber, and a top layer of rubber), and several other key innovations, which showcased leading performance and shock absorption. The 3-layer system became a key contributor to FieldTurf’s popularity amongst athletes. BRING IN THE HUSKERS At FieldTurf, the most told tale is that of Coach Tom Osborne. In the fall of 1998, Coach Osborne travelled to Maryland to meet with FieldTurf’s founders, and legend has it, he walked across the field and asked, “Where’s this field you want to show us?” which was quickly answered by “Well, you’re standing on it.”Soon after, in the summer of 1999, FieldTurf was installed at the University of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium. The surface was replaced in 2008 and once again in 2013. Twenty years later, FieldTurf is still the surface of choice for the Cornhuskers.Nebraska was impressed with the technology, and their confidence in the product helped pave the road for not only FieldTurf but for the artificial turf industry as well. In the following years, FieldTurf installed systems at Washington State University, the University of Washington, and the Seattle Seahawks—their first NFL project. Sports surfacing was forever changed. THE EVOLUTION OF FIELDTURF Since day one, FieldTurf has continuously strived to Change The Game for athletes and facility owners by innovating products and introducing new solutions. Although their initial system quickly became a fan favorite, FieldTurf didn’t rest on their laurels—they were hungry and driven. Today, FieldTurf offers a series of game-changing fibers, high-performance infills, sport-specific applications, smart field technology, and more. WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS All FieldTurf systems are engineered and tested at the FieldTurf Innovation and Performance Center (FIPC). The center ensures that any and all existing and new FieldTurf systems set superior standards for performance in their respective classes.The state-of-the-art facility is one of the most advanced laboratories in the industry. FieldTurf’s development focuses on safe, durable, and high-performance turf systems with great value. The FIPC helps ensure that all systems meet these objectives.PARTNERING WITH THE BEST FieldTurf pushes testing efforts to the limit with the help of leading independent experts and labs to ensure that they continue to deliver high-quality systems. FieldTurf has worked with Penn State's Sports Surface Research Center (SSRC) on several key projects.FieldTurf is a FIFA Preferred Producer, FIH Preferred Supplier, and World Rugby Preferred Turf Producer, showcasing leading quality and performance. LAYING THE FUTURE OF FIELDTURF The innovative spirit FieldTurf started with is alive and well and is sure to continue to push the boundaries day in and day out. Only the future will tell what is in store for the evolution of artificial turf, but FieldTurf promises a commitment to continue to provide the best surface possible for athletes and field owners. FieldTurf may have invented long-pile artificial turf, but that’s not where their innovation journey ends. Their thirst for greatness has driven them to continue to launch game-changing technologies, to maintain their industry leadership position, and to be the choice of customers around the world.Here are some of FieldTurf’s latest and most innovative additions:CORE FIBERFieldTurf’s latest innovation in fiber design is CORE, the world’s first super fiber! It’s the first to showcase a multi-layer, dual-polymer fiber design. As single-layer polyethylene fibers have certain inherent limitations, CORE overcomes them to provide leading levels of stability, durability, and resilience, as well as a more realistic, grass-like texture.FieldTurf manufactures CORE and all other FieldTurf fibers in the state-of-the-art facility, Morton Extrusionstechnik. The factory doors opened in 2010, and this facility has since transformed FieldTurf into one of the most vertically-integrated companies in the industry. Our factory features stringent multi-level quality control processes that results in a high-quality fiber production.The FieldTurf CORE product is trusted by Gillette Stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Rutgers University, and over 100 programs.Learn more HereCOOLPLAY INFILLAll playing surfaces absorb heat energy from the sun and then release it back into its environment. This added heat load can cause a discomfort for players in warmer climates or on particularly hot days. FieldTurf’s CoolPlay proprietary cooling technology helps reduce the surface heat by up to 35% when compared to traditional sand and rubber infill systems.The system accomplishes this feat by adding an exclusive extruded composite top dressing to the CoolPlay system. Unlike some competitive systems, CoolPlay requires no water/irrigation to enable its cooling effect.FieldTurf’s CoolPlay technology is trusted by the University of Texas at El Paso, Texas State University, California Institute of Technology, and over 200 programs.Learn more HerePURESELECT INFILLFieldTurf created PureSelect for field owners looking for a natural, environmentally-friendly infill system that eliminates the issues often faced with natural systems. This 3-layer system keeps the silica sand bottom layer but replaces the standard cryogenic rubber in the middle layer with a patent pending olive core material.The material in the PureSelect infill is naturally cooler-playing than standard rubber infills. Moreover, it can be equipped with the FieldTurf CoolPlay top dressing, further enhancing its lower surface temperature characteristics. The system requires the addition of an underlayment system/shock pad under the playing surface, as all-natural infill systems do, but PureSelect offers better performance while eliminating the tendency for floatation and infill migration suffered by other natural infill systems.Learn more HereFIELDTURF DOUBLEPLAYYou’ve probably heard of DoublePlay before—it’s not new. The FieldTurf DoublePlay series has long been a trusted choice of elite baseball programs but has recently been redesigned after extensive testing.This journey had FieldTurf push the boundaries of product innovation like never before, using a scientific approach to analyze ball-surface interaction on a variety of systems. Through the use of advanced high-tech motion video cameras, FieldTurf was able to translate over 300 videos and 70,000 photos into real-life data. Never before has there been a way to build your FieldTurf baseball field with such precision.The result is two products, DoublePlay Speed, which accommodates teams that prefer a field that plays fast, and DoublePlay Natural, which closely matches the performance characteristics of a natural surface.The NEW DoublePlay system is already the trusted surface of the University of Tennessee and Marietta College.Learn more HereGENIUSGenius is the world’s first smart playing surface. Using a dynamic system of embedded and mounted sensors, computer vision, advanced AI, and machine learning algorithms, FieldTurf Genius smart field technology allows a playing field to track usage hours and the number of players across its surface, and it generates maintenance alerts based on real-time data. When maintenance is performed, the system automatically logs where on the field it occurred and then creates an updated heat map.Genius extends the life of a field by automating maintenance tasks. There’s no guesswork required—it’s the smart way to manage your field. Atlanta Public Schools and Roanoke City Public Schools were the first U.S. institutions to connect their fields with Genius.Learn more HereEASYFIELDFieldTurf has designed the simplest, most durable portable field system with EasyField. For applications where field turf must be removable, EasyField helps field owners break down and set up their fields quickly. The system can easily allow an ice rink to convert to an indoor soccer field for the summer months.The EasyField system features lightweight, easy-to-carry panels that connect using a simple but effective interlock system. FieldTurf designed the panels for painless maneuvering and installation. A full-size field can be installed by a small crew in less than a day.EasyField is trusted by the Westminster School, the Kentwood Ice Arena, the Avenue at White Marsh, and over 30 programs.Learn more HereWhat’s next?FieldTurf’s team of passionate innovators continue to push the limits and develop solutions that improve the lives of athletes of all ages and skill levels. They’re driven to solve the industry’s biggest problems and continue to craft their innovation story.Stay tuned to see how FieldTurf will Change the Game… again.