Aim:

To assess whether the pitch/s conform to standards set out by Sport England and the RFL. 


Sward Composition

Method:

Measure percentage grass, weeds, pests & diseases as a factor of 100 over a 1 square metre area.

Timing:

  • During season.
  • Out of season.

Effects of incorrect procedure:

  • Poor surface durability.
  • Poor surface playability.

Equipment:

  • Quadrat.
  • PQS Tables.

Practical Tips:

Use lightweight timber frame (like a picture frame) ‘strung’ with string, polypropylene, nylon line or fishing line. Strung to form a 10 x 10 grid to represent 100 (%) 


Surface Levels

Method:

Measure the variation of the localized surface levels over the length of a 3 m straight edge.

Timing:

  • During season.
  • Out of season.

Effects of incorrect procedure:

  • Poor surface playability.
  • Risk to players/officials.

Equipment:

  • Straight edge, wedge & spirit level.
  • PQS tables.

Practical Tips:

Substitute test equipment can be made of other materials particularly wood, i.e. goal uprights or crossbars, and metal. However, keep in mind that wood can warp and metals can be heavy and prone to rust (oxidation) so appropriate treatment and care should be exercised. The Straight Edge & Wedge can also be used, with a spirit level, to check gradients. 


Sward Height

Method:

Measure the average height of grass across the pitch.

Timing:

  • During season.
  • Out of season.

Effects of incorrect procedure:

  • Poor surface durability.
  • Poor surface playability.

Equipment:

  • Rising plate or alternative measuring device.
  • PQS Tables

Practical Tips:  

  • Something as simple as a pencil or a wooden, plastic or metal rule can do the same thing.
  • Measure random areas across the pitch, not just the high wear areas. 

Pitch Dimensions

Method:

Check different dimensions to see if they conform to RFL regulations.

Timing:

During season.

Effects of incorrect procedure:

  • Delay to start of match to allow remedial action.
  • Match postponed by officials.
  • Reported to league.

Equipment:

  • 100 m surveyors measuring tape.
  • Ground pin.

Practical Tips:  

  • This is easier with two people to complete and should take approx. 30 mins to complete.
  • Regularly check markings that are easily worn.