Tuesday, April 16, 2024

First ‘dry hockey turf’ in African continent opens in Bloemfontein

The first ‘dry hockey turf’ in the African continent was opened at St. Andrews School in Bloemfontein, South Africa on Wednesday.

In what the world governing body calls the ‘FIH Innovation Category Dry Turf Hockey Field’, it said that it “represents yet another step taken by the global hockey community, towards making the sport more sustainable by moving away from watered turfs.” This was a move proposed by the FIH during its 46th Congress in 2018. 

It is the first turf containing no sand and not requiring any irrigation to be installed in the African continent. 

The dry turf was on show at January’s Hockey5s World Cup. Shortly afterwards, the 2026 World Cup officials reneged on playing the showpiece on the innovative surface.

Danger and an inconsistent dry pitch led to world hockey bosses cancelling plans for the event to be played on waterless artificial turf. 

The new pitch – completely carbon neutral and made of 80% biobased material (sugarcane) – was due to be played at Wavre and Amstelveen. 

A statement following the Bloemfontein pitch opening read: “FIH has made a strict commitment to make hockey a globally sustainable sport and will continue to work towards reducing any adverse footprint on the environment. 

“The initial steps have already been taken, with a steady reduction in water usage, showcased by the turf used at the Olympic Games in Tokyo requiring 39% less water for optimal performance than the turf used in Rio only four years earlier. The upcoming Olympic Games in Paris 2024 will also, for the very first time, feature a carbon neutral hockey turf and further reduce the watering required.”

Total Hockey


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  1. he Olympic Games are a celebration of athleticism, unity, and sportsmanship on a global scale. It is a testament to the dedication and hard work of athletes from around the world.


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