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World Leading Guidance for Synthetic Sports Surfaces

Melbourne based Smart Connection Consultancy, has released three new Smart Guide booklets on the latest innovations, health and safety guidance and maintenance practices for synthetic sports turf for local government, sport and the education sectors.

Martin Sheppard, the author and Managing Director of Smart Connection Consultancy, recognised globally for his knowledge and study of synthetic sports surfaces which can assist addressing the growing demand on local parks and fields as the Australian population continues to grow, said:

“We have seen more than 150 football fields installed in Australia in the past decade with approximately 30 a year being planned and installed annually now. With still some confusion on synthetic surfaces safety and environmental impacts and what type of synthetic systems should be used for what sport. Bringing together the latest research around the major concerns people have and explained them in layman’s terms while also sharing the detailed research for those who are interested in that level of detail. I can not image that for the football codes we will ever see the MCG fully synthetic, but the technology can work with natural grass to provide opportunities for more hours to be played that natural grass cannot cope with. They complement each other”

The Smart Guides were launched at the National Sports Convention’s National Sports Surface Conference on the 17th and 18th July, which played host to over 1,000 delegates, in Melbourne. The Guides include:

The Smart Guide to Synthetic Sports Fields – The Challenges, Perceptions and Reality

Addressing the key perceptions and challenges around player safety and injuries, surface playability compared to natural turf, environmental impacts, health concerns and heat issues.

The Smart Guide to Synthetic Football Fields – Including Hybrid Technology

Exploring the evolution of synthetic football turf and standards for all football codes, including Football (Soccer), AFL, Rugby Union and Rugby League together with the costings, maintenance and design issues discussed.

The Smart Guide to Maintaining Synthetic Sports Turf

Breaking the myth that these fields can be used 24/7 with no maintenance. The latest issue provides increased ideas and support around how to practically maintain the fields to extend the life expectancy of the fields.

These Smart Guides can be downloaded here free of charge as part of the companies continued commitment to knowledge sharing and advocacy to the industry.

About Smart Connection Consultancy and Martin Sheppard

Established in 2004 Smart Connection Consultancy as a sport and leisure management consultancy practice, has been providing advice on synthetic sports fields since 2008 and is involved in the majority of synthetic sports surfaces studies and procurement projects in Australia. Martin Sheppard is the technical consultant on synthetic sports surfaces to various sports codes including:

  • Football (soccer), including: Football Federation Australia (FFA), Football Federation Victoria (FFV) and Football NSW
  • Rugby Union, including: Rugby Australia
  • Rugby League, including: NRL

Martin collaborates with International Federations including FIFA, World Rugby and World Hockey (FIH). Often requested as an Industry expert in the media when communities are concerned about the perceived health and environmental issues around the rubber infill and safety of synthetic sports turf.


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