5 best practices for upgrading your school sport Fields of Play

Apr 10|NewsBy Jarrod Hill

At SPORTENG, we understand the pivotal role that a well-designed and maintained sports field plays in nurturing athletic talent, promoting physical activity, and fostering a sense of community within schools. As experts in sports infrastructure, we've compiled the five best practices to guide you in upgrading your school's Field of Play (FoP) and creating an environment where excellence can flourish. 

  1. Comprehensive site analysis: lay the groundwork for success

Before embarking on any new FoP or upgrade of an existing facility, a thorough site condition assessment is essential. The success of most projects is often directly attributed to identifying and addressing project risks and constraints. 

The success of most projects is often directly attributed to identifying and addressing project risks and constraints. Whether it be confirming the drainage point of discharge, understanding geotechnical conditions and/or integrating the sport’s governing body FoP geometric requirements within the site topography, SPORTENG's experienced team can provide valuable insights into optimising the FoP design based on these factors. A well-informed beginning ensures that your upgraded field exceeds expectations for performance and longevity. 

Aerial view of a school natural turf oval Field of Play

Natural turf oval designed and installed over a 50m-swimming pool at Cranbrook College, NSW

  1. Smart surface selection: choose the right playing surface for your game

Selecting the right playing surface is crucial for the overall playing experience. Surface durability and the longevity of the underlying pavement or profile are critical for long-term success when upgrading sports facilities. 

For schools, due to the high intensity of use and reduced spaces, the choice often comes down to synthetic grass or acrylic for multi-use Fields of Play. Both offer durability and low maintenance compared to natural turf.  

While synthetic grass replicates natural turf conditions and meets performance standards set by sports governing bodies like AFL and FIFA, acrylic surfaces lead the way when it comes to a low-cost, highly durable multi-sport surface.  

As the most durable option for school multi-use areas, acrylic surfaces require the least maintenance and offer easy rejuvenation through recoating, ensuring prolonged and consistent performance over the years. 

School students playing basketball on an outdoor blue acrylic courtAcrylic surface for Badminton | Volleyball | Basketball | Netball use at Blackburn High School, VIC.

However, under the right conditions and with appropriate maintenance budgets, natural turf is the ideal surface for large-format FoP.  

  1. Advanced drainage systems: keep your field dry and playable

One of the most overlooked aspects of a high-performing sports field is an efficient drainage system. Adequate water drainage is crucial for maintaining a consistent playing surface, preventing waterlogging, and ensuring safety. SPORTENG employs cutting-edge drainage technologies to design systems that effectively manage water runoff, preserving the integrity of your field and reducing the risk of weather-related disruptions. 

  1. Multi-sport flexibility: maximise usage and participation

In a school setting, versatility is key. Design your Field of Play to accommodate a variety of sports and activities, promoting inclusivity and maximising field usage. Whether it's soccer, rugby, athletics, or field hockey, SPORTENG's expertise lies in creating multi-sport environments that cater to diverse sporting needs. Our designs prioritise flexibility, ensuring that your school's field becomes a hub for a wide range of activities, both competitive and recreational. 

4 photos showing the Deakin university sporting complex with people playing sports on it

Multi-use sports facility at Deakin University, VIC

  1. Sustainable practices: nurture the environment and your investment

An environmentally conscious approach is integral to any modern field upgrade. Incorporate sustainable practices such as water-efficient irrigation, recycled materials, and energy-efficient lighting. SPORTENG is committed to eco-friendly solutions that not only reduce the environmental impact but also contribute to the long-term sustainability of your upgraded field. 

We believe that investing in a sports field should be an investment in the future, both for your school and the planet. 

By following these best practices, you are not just upgrading a sports field; you are creating a space that inspires excellence, inclusivity, and community engagement. At SPORTENG, we are passionate about bringing your vision to life and ensuring that your school's Field of Play becomes a source of pride, joy, and sports achievement. 

Contact SPORTENG today to embark on the journey of transforming your school's sports field into a world-class facility that will elevate your game and leave a lasting impact on generations to come. 


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