What is Reference Turf and Why You Need It

Reference turf is a term used to describe a high-quality artificial turf system that meets the standards and requirements of FIFA, the international governing body of football. Reference turf is designed to provide optimal playing conditions for football players, as well as durability, safety, and environmental sustainability. In this blog post, we will explain what reference turf is, how it is tested and certified, and what are the benefits of using it for your football pitch.

What is Reference Turf?

Reference turf is a type of artificial turf that consists of synthetic fibers that mimic the appearance and performance of natural grass. Unlike natural grass, reference turf does not need watering, fertilizing, mowing, or reseeding, which reduces the maintenance costs and environmental impact. Reference turf also offers consistent playing characteristics throughout the year, regardless of the weather conditions.

Reference turf is not a specific brand or product, but rather a generic term that refers to any artificial turf system that meets the FIFA Quality Programme standards. The FIFA Quality Programme is a comprehensive testing and certification scheme that ensures the quality and suitability of artificial turf for football. The programme covers various aspects of artificial turf, such as:

  • The materials and components used in the construction of the turf system
  • The installation and maintenance procedures
  • The performance and durability of the turf system under different conditions
  • The safety and health aspects for players and the environment

The FIFA Quality Programme offers two levels of certification: FIFA QUALITY and FIFA QUALITY PRO. The FIFA QUALITY certification is awarded to artificial turf systems that meet the minimum requirements for community and recreational football. The FIFA QUALITY PRO certification is awarded to artificial turf systems that meet the highest standards for professional and elite football.

How is Reference Turf Tested and Certified?

To obtain the FIFA Quality Programme certification, reference turf systems must undergo a series of laboratory and field tests conducted by independent accredited test institutes. The tests evaluate various criteria, such as:

  • Ball roll and bounce
  • Shock absorption and vertical deformation
  • Traction and rotational resistance
  • Seam strength and surface abrasion
  • UV resistance and color fastness
  • Flammability and toxicity

The tests are performed before and after installation, as well as periodically during the lifespan of the turf system. The test results are compared with the FIFA Quality Programme specifications, which are based on scientific research and feedback from players, coaches, referees, and experts.

The FIFA Quality Programme also requires regular inspections and maintenance of reference turf systems to ensure their quality and performance over time. The inspections are carried out by FIFA-approved inspectors who verify the condition and functionality of the turf system. The maintenance procedures include brushing, cleaning, repairing, and replacing damaged or worn-out parts of the turf system.

What are the Benefits of Reference Turf?

Reference turf offers many benefits for football players, pitch owners, and the environment. Some of these benefits are:

  • Improved playing experience: Reference turf provides a smooth, even, and predictable surface that allows players to perform at their best. Reference turf also reduces the risk of injuries caused by uneven or slippery surfaces.
  • Increased usage: Reference turf can withstand intensive use without losing its quality or performance. Reference turf can also be used in any weather condition, which means more playing time and less cancellations.
  • Reduced costs: Reference turf eliminates the need for watering, fertilizing, mowing, or reseeding, which saves money and resources. Reference turf also has a longer lifespan than natural grass, which reduces the frequency of replacement.
  • Environmental sustainability: Reference turf reduces water consumption, chemical pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste generation associated with natural grass. Reference turf also uses recycled materials in its production and can be recycled at the end of its life cycle.


Reference turf is a high-quality artificial turf system that meets the standards and requirements of FIFA for football. Reference turf is tested and certified by independent accredited test institutes under the FIFA Quality Programme. Reference turf offers optimal playing conditions, durability, safety, and environmental sustainability for football players, pitch owners, and the environment.

If you are interested in installing reference turf for your football pitch, you can find more information on the FIFA website. You can also consult with reference turf manufacturers or installers who can advise you on the best reference turf system for your needs.

Thank you for reading this blog post about reference turf. I hope you learned something new and useful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.

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