REGULATION 22.  STANDARD RELATING TO THE USE OF RUGBY TURF

22.1           Definitions

 For the purposes of this Regulation 22 the terms below shall have the following meanings assigned to them:

Accredited Test Institute means an entity approved by World Rugby to provide Laboratory Tests which comply with the requirements laid out in the Rugby Turf Performance Specification.

Field Tests means testing of an installed Rugby Turf playing surface(s) by a Test Institute in accordance with the Rugby Turf Performance Specification.

Laboratory Tests means tests conducted on sample(s) of Rugby Turf playing surfaces by a Test Institute in accordance with the Rugby Turf Performance Specification.

Manufacturer means a manufacturer of artificial playing surfaces intended for use in rugby.

Rugby Turf means an artificial playing surface, and all associated run-off areas, for training and playing the Game, which meets the requirements of the Rugby Turf Performance Specification and Regulation 22.

Rugby Turf Performance Specification means the World Rugby standard relating to Rugby Turf which is available on the World Rugby website at www.worldrugby.com.

Rugby Turf Expert Group means the group appointed by World Rugby to be responsible for the management of the Rugby Turf Performance Specification.

World Rugby Preferred Turf Producer means any World Rugby accredited entity which is responsible for the manufacture, construction, installation and maintenance of Artificial Rugby Turf surfaces.

22.2           Introduction

Technology in the area of artificial playing surfaces has improved over time and artificial playing surfaces are widely used including in rugby. World Rugby has produced the Rugby Turf Performance Specification to set a minimum standard for artificial playing surfaces which may be used in rugby. The Rugby Turf Performance Specification stipulates the testing and approval procedures which Manufacturers and other entities involved in the installation of artificial playing surfaces must comply with in order for their products to be approved for use in rugby. The Game may not be played on any artificial surface which does not meet the Rugby Turf Performance Specification and the requirements of Regulation 22 and Law 1 of the Laws of the Game. The Rugby Turf Performance Specification will be amended over time as technology and research evolves in the area of artificial playing surfaces.

22.3           Testing Protocol

The suitability of an artificial playing surface for rugby depends on the surface layer, the preparation of the sub-base and the composition of the existing sub-soil. Therefore, testing of the surface will necessarily involve Laboratory Tests and Field Tests. A surface can only be certified as meeting the Rugby Turf Performance Specification upon the successful completion of both the Laboratory Tests and Field Tests. Accordingly, only installed Rugby Turf surfaces which have been tested and proved to meet the Rugby Turf Performance Specification will be permitted for use in rugby.

Step 1

Manufacturer and/or World Rugby Preferred Turf Producer submit product sample to Test Institute

Step 2

Product sample subjected to the Laboratory Tests - if it passes it moves to step 3

Step 3

A surface comprising the material of the product sample which satisfied the Laboratory Tests is installed

Step 4

The installed surface undergoes the Field Tests

Step 5

If the surface passes the Field Tests it is certified as meeting the Rugby Turf Performance Specification by the Union

Step 6

The surface must be retested in accordance with the requirements of Section 22.9 of this Regulation

 

22.4           Rugby Turf Performance Specification Tests

22.4.1        Laboratory Tests

Manufacturers (including World Rugby Preferred Turf Producers) must submit artificial playing surface samples as defined in the Rugby Turf Performance Specification of each product type/model proposed for classification as a Rugby Turf to an Accredited Test Institute. Successful completion of the Laboratory Test phase will enable progression to Field Tests.

22.4.2        Field Tests

 (a)     Field Tests are carried out upon the artificial playing surface once it has successfully completed the Laboratory Tests and has been installed. 

(b)     The date set for the Field Tests shall be as close to the installation date as practicable.

22.4.3        Test Evaluations

There are three basic categories of test which determine the suitability of an artificial playing surface for rugby. These may be broadly identified as:

  1. The reaction of a ball to the artificial playing surface (Ball/Surface Interaction)
  2. The reaction of a Player to the artificial playing surface (Player/Surface Interaction)
  3. The resistance of the artificial playing surface to wear and tear, and the environment (Durability)

The Rugby Turf Performance Specification sets out that the testing process as a minimum will include:

Laboratory Tests

(i)      Identification

(ii)     Durability

(iii)    Climatic Resistance

(iv)    Player/Surface Interaction

(v)     Ball/Surface Interaction

Field Tests

(i)      Construction (Slope, Evenness, Base Permeability)

(ii)     Player/Surface Interaction

(iii)    Ball/Surface Interaction

(iv)    Identification

22.5           Test Procedures

The test procedures and methods are outlined in the Rugby Turf Performance Specification and may vary from time to time as determined by the Rugby Turf Expert Group. The Rugby Turf Expert Group is appointed by the World Rugby to monitor developments in technology with respect to Rugby Turf and amend the Rugby Turf Performance Specification as appropriate.

22.6           Inherent Dangers

Rugby is a contact sport and there are inherent dangers in playing the Game on any surface including Rugby Turf.

22.7           Modifications

Any minor modifications in the profile or composition of an artificial playing surface which has passed the Laboratory Tests must be submitted to a Test Institute together with relevant evidence that the surface continues to satisfy the requirements of the Rugby Turf Performance Specification. Any significant change will require a complete re-evaluation of the surface by an Accredited Test Institute.

22.8           Maintenance

The party acquiring and/or responsible for the maintenance and/or management of the Rugby Turf surface must demonstrate to the Accredited Test Institute on a periodic basis as required by the Union and/or World Rugby, that it is maintaining the Rugby Turf surface such that it continues to meet the Rugby Turf Performance Specification, the requirements of Regulation 22 and Law 1.1 of the Laws of the Game.

22.9          Additional Testing

If World Rugby becomes aware of concerns over the suitability of a surface for rugby, additional tests may be requested prior to certification of the surface as complying with this Regulation. These tests may be tests already contained within the Rugby Turf Performance Specification or other tests depending on the reason for the concerns.

22.10       Continued Testing

Each Rugby Turf surface will be re-tested by an Accredited Test Institute every two years during its lifetime to ensure that through an appropriate maintenance regime it continues to meet the Rugby Turf Performance Specification, the requirements of Regulation 22 and Law 1.1 of the Laws of the Game. Where World Rugby deem it to be appropriate, this requirement may be shortened so that the Rugby Turf Surface shall be tested before the two-year time period has passed. These instances along with the time frame within which that testing must be completed will be identified in the Rugby Turf Performance Specification. Unions, may at their own discretion insist on a shortened requirement but may not permit the time between re-tests to exceed 2 years.  

22.11         Contact

World Rugby Technical Services Department,
World Rugby,
World Rugby House,
8-10 Pembroke Street,
Dublin 2,
Ireland

t:  + 353 1 240 9200
f:  + 353 1 240 9201
w: www.worldrugby.org