Since the First Turf in 1976 at the Montreal Olympics, Sport Group with Poligras and AstroTurf, have transformed turf and transformed hockey
MONTREAL: FIRST ON TURF
The First turf was made by AstroTurf in the USA, using nylon fibers. It rained during the Montreal Olympics and the turf played much better… hence hockey’s wet turfs were accidentally born.
Nylon was an outstanding surface for hockey and allowed the game to see the benefits of a fast, flat surface. AstroTurf have continued to innovative this surface and it remains excellent for hockey and very popular.
MOSCOW 1980: FIRST ON POLIGRAS
The original Poligras turfs were made from polypropylene rather than nylon.
These early turfs where a major advance on grass, but they had a grain and were hard which sometimes caused the ball to bobble. They required less water than nylon but tournament directors would often flood them for fear of drying out.
SYDNEY 2000: FIRST COLOURED TURF
Over the years the turf innovation was continuous leading to better and better hockey, however the next step-change was cosmetic.
The Sydney Olympics saw the first colour added to the turf, with non-green surrounds. This became more and more popular and was continued for the Beijing Olympics which had two coloured surrounds.
2003: FIRST POLIGRAS POLYETHYLENE TURFS
In 2003, Poligras turbo-charged the game by introducing turf made from polyethylene fibers.
These fibers were more durable but crucially softer and less abrasive. This softness meant the ball sat on the surface better giving the players more control and allowing the ball to be moved at higher speeds. Softer turf reduced the bounce making 3D skills possible and the players felt confident to run faster and dive.
This innovation led to a skills revolution led by Jamie Dwyer, Luciana Aymar and Teun de Nooijer, who took the game to new levels.
LONDON 2012: FIRST ON BLUE
The Poligras London Blue was designed to broaden the appeal of the game, to be electrifying for players and fans and to provide greater visibility for TV audiences. The game wanted, and needed, to be noticed, and now the turf literally stood out like a beacon.
600,000 fans watched hockey at London 2012 and the world suddenly saw how amazing hockey is.
2014: FIRST TEXTURIZED TURF – MORE SKILLS, MORE CREATIVITY, LESS WATER
Poligras reinvented turfs again in 2014 with new texturized turf technology which introduced a multidirectional fiber shape. This totally removed the grain and therefore any resistance to ball movement. Ball control was now limitless.
The skills could now be fully fluid, 360° & 3D. This turf innovation added more rocket fuel to the game with greater control, creativity, and speed.
The technology was also developed to hold water better, and that result was that up to 50% less water was required for match play. The Poligras Platinum turf used for Rio 2016 was a performance and environmental breakthrough. And the standard of hockey was remarkable.
TOKYO 2020: FIRST TURF MADE FROM SUGAR CANE
For the Tokyo Olympics, we created Poligras Tokyo GT, the world’s first climate positive hockey turf. Made from 60% sugar cane this revolutionary hockey turf provides a huge reduction in CO₂ emissions, with each turf saving 28 tonnes of CO₂ during production.
BIG STADIUM HOCKEY: FIRST TO BREAK FREE
Big Stadium Hockey is Poligras’s portable turf concept which allows a full sized hockey turf to be temporary installed in only 3 days at large venues. It was first used at the Stoop Rugby Stadium in London where 12,000 fans watched England play New Zealand in the FIH Pro League. The turf is then quickly removed so the stadium is ready for the next event.
This ‘hockey this weekend, rugby next weekend’ technology helps hockey break free from smaller hockey-specific venues. It will also be used for international hockey 5s events in downtown locations.