THE FIRST MAJOR EVENT ON DRY TURF
Although the iconic blue Poligras Paris GT zero pitch that has been recently installed in Muscat looks like an oasis in the desert, it is, in fact, the opposite. Featuring a new and proprietary friction-reducing technology called Turf Glide which reduces friction and abrasion, the turf has been FIH innovation-certified for dry hockey.
The FIH’s Jon Wyatt explains the significance of this;
“Developing artificial hockey surfaces that require little or no water whilst still maintaining the characteristics that allow the speed and skills of top-level hockey, is a core target of our global sustainability strategy. The Hockey5s World Cup in Oman will be the first major event played on dry turf and is a significant step towards our goal of dry hockey at all levels of the game.”
Made with 80% biobased material and a manufacturing process powered by green energy, the Paris turf not only saves water but also 73 tons of CO2 compared to a conventional turf, making it the world’s first carbon zero hockey turf.
A PHENOMENAL INSTALLATION
Sport Group’s general manager and head of major events Shaun Goudie, who has just overseen the pioneering turf installation in Muscat explained;
“Being part of the creation of the world’s first Hockey5s World Cup, and the first major event on dry turf has been phenomenal. In total we have installed two Poligras Paris GT zero pitches including the main tournament turf which has seating for 5,000 spectators and a full-size turf which will be split into four Hockey5s practice pitches. It has been a huge team endeavour alongside our expert installation partner Firas bin Fatik. Our team has been on site for two weeks in temperatures of 30+ degrees but it has been worth it.
The transformation of the space into an international hockey venue, all the while leaving a minimal footprint on the planet, is an honour to be a part of.”
DRY HOCKEY – THE COACHES’ PERSPECTIVE
As the US teams enter their final month of preparation ahead of Oman, their coaches explained what dry hockey means to them. Rachel Dawson explains;
“Waterless turf will be a pivotal advancement for the sport, and while a period of adaptation is to be expected in the upcoming years, this innovation will unlock new potential for the sport through greater accessibility, sustainability, and minimized complexity.”
Harry Singh, speaking from the men’s locker room said;
“We see dry hockey as an innovative shift that can further elevate the game’s accessibility and appeal. Embracing the dry pitch in the Hockey5s World Cup marks a significant leap towards sustainability and innovation in our sport. As the world turns its focus towards water conservation, this initiative not only showcases an exciting evolution in gameplay but also echoes our commitment to a more environmentally conscious future for hockey.”