A 3G pitch is the most advanced surface that is currently on the market and is primarily used for Football with a 50mm pile height on the surface. It has been developed in recent years to become more of a multi-use surface by altering the pile height of the surface. A 3G pitch can be used for Hockey and football together when there is a shock pad installed underneath and the pile height is lowered to 40mm and Football and Rugby when there is a thicker shock pad underneath and the pile height is increased to 60 or 65mm.
With any 3G pitch there is a combination of infill, firstly using sand as a base layer within the surface to stabilise the yarn and a rubber infill for performance which will allow the surface to pass testing for FIFA Quality and Quality Pro, FIH National (Community Use) and World Rugby Reg 22. The infill application will be different for each sport and product depending on the manufacturer.
Although mainly used on full size artificial pitches for the above mentioned sports, 3G products are being used more and more for MUGA areas where a tired tarmac area is being upgraded to allow communities to use the area on a more regular basis and generate income, or in schools to upgrade an area to allow for a better standard of football to be taught. MUGA’s using 3G surfacing are even being built on a smaller scale to a full-size pitch to allow maximum usage of areas that may have been previously unusable due to poor conditions of natural grass. When a school chooses this option rather than sand dressed, they will also benefit from renting the area out to the community, which will allow the school to generate income which will ultimately pay for the resurface of the pitch in 8-10 years’ time.
Like every synthetic pitch, 3G surfaces need regular maintenance both in house and from a professional maintenance company. You should maintain your pitch at least once a week using a drag brush and on bigger areas a small tractor with a drag brush will be better suited. Depending how often the area is used the recommendation is for a minimum of 4 professional maintenance visits per year which will include a more thorough brush of the surface, top up of infill at the end of the calendar year, moss and algae treatment and any line repairs that may become worn over time. If the right maintenance is in place there is no reason why the 3G pitch wouldn’t last way beyond its 8 year guarantee.