You may have noticed water gushing out of a hose before a soccer game and even at halftime of a game. Chances are you have or have not. Those are sprinklers and what is have been doing is – wetting the soccer fields.
Wetting soccer fields is commonly the first thing that is done before any game commences. It can be done by different methods but sprinklers are mostly employed and are mostly seen on TV.
Whether you’re a passionate soccer fan or just curious about the intricacies of field maintenance, this article will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of why wetting the field is more than just a routine procedure.
- Why Do They Wet Soccer Fields?
- What Methods Are Used To Water The Field?
- When Is The Best Time To Wet Soccer Field?
- Why Do They Wet Soccer Field During Halftime?
- How Much Water Does A Soccer Field Need?
- How Often Should a Soccer Field Be Watered?
Why Do They Wet Soccer Fields?
Simply put, wetting the soccer field has several benefits.
First, it makes the game faster, which in turn leads to more exciting matches. A wet surface allows the ball to move more quickly, resulting in dynamic gameplay and increased action.
Wetting the soccer field helps eliminate the inconsistencies found in many natural turf surfaces. Uneven patches or variations in grass coverage can create advantages for certain players or teams.
By wetting, these differences are minimized, ensuring a fairer playing field for all.
And, maintaining a proper level of moisture on the field reduces the risk of serious injuries.
When the field is wet enough, there is less chance of players getting hurt. Dry grass can be rough and cause cuts and bruises when players slide or fall.
But when the field is wet, it becomes smoother and softer, making it safer for players
Improve Playing Surface
Imagine playing soccer on a hard and rough surface. With every dribble, shooting, and passing, it makes it difficult to control the ball and make move it more difficult to make successive passes.
Also, this makes it easier for players to slip and fall.
Now let’s switch the case to a wet soccer field. Imagine playing on a wet soccer field, every move, slide, and pass is made effortless and smooth.
By wetting soccer fields, the playing surface is soft and easier to play on.
Reduce Dirt and Dust
Just like how foggy it gets on a windy day, playing soccer on a hard and rough surface can be uncomfortable and blur your vision.
It helps to wash away dirt and dust that can accumulate on the field.
This means players can see the ball more clearly and have better control over it. Imagine trying to play when the field is dusty and the ball gets covered in dirt with every kick
Another important advantage is that wetting the field can help reduce respiratory problems.
Dust particles in the air can be harmful, especially for people with conditions like asthma or pneumonia.
By keeping the field damp, it minimizes the amount of dust that gets kicked up into the air during the game.
Reduce Injuries and Abrasions
One of the major reasons why they wet soccer fields is to ensure the safety of soccer players.
Playing soccer on a hard and rough playing surface is dangerous and poses danger to the knee, ankle, elbow, etc. A fall onto such a surface will render you with a sprain, strain, bruise, and scar that will remain.
By wetting soccer fields, this can be reduced and managed. The soccer field becomes softer and helps reduce impact when falling or slipping.
When players slip or fall or make contact with the ground, the only thing they worry about is mud on their jerseys.
Watering the soccer field improves its appearance by giving it a fresh and healthy look. This is one of the reasons why they wet soccer fields.
When the field is dry and rough, it appears neglected and empty, which negatively affects gameplay. Players are less likely to feel motivated to play in such conditions.
And, when the field is wet and soft, it improves the gameplay experience, making it more enjoyable.
This applies not only to the players on the field but also to those watching the game from home or at the stadium.
Maintaining Soccer Fields
Another reason why soccer fields are watered is for maintenance purposes.
By wetting the field, its performance is improved, and it helps the grass to grow and stay fresh.
During soccer games, the field experiences a lot of pressure from players passing, shooting, and dribbling the ball. This intense pressure can cause damage to the field.
Wetting the field is a way of taking care of it and preventing excessive wear and tear. Regular maintenance and watering of the field extend its lifespan and reduce the need for costly repairs.
What Methods Are Used To Water The Field?
There are various systems used to water soccer fields, depending on the available resources and field requirements.
Some common methods include:
- Manual Sprinklers: This involves using portable sprinkler systems that are manually moved around the field to distribute water. These sprinklers can be adjusted for coverage and water flow.
- In-Ground Sprinkler Systems: These are permanent irrigation systems installed beneath the field surface. They consist of a network of pipes and sprinkler heads strategically placed throughout the field. Water is distributed through the sprinkler heads using automated timers or manual control.
- Water Trucks or Tankers: In cases where there is limited or no access to irrigation systems, water trucks or tankers can be used. These vehicles carry large quantities of water and spray it onto the field using hoses or specialized sprinkler attachments.
- Sub-Surface Irrigation: This method involves installing a network of perforated pipes or tubes beneath the field surface. Water is distributed directly to the root zone of the grass, promoting efficient water usage and reducing evaporation.
- Reclaimed Water Systems: Some soccer fields use reclaimed or recycled water for irrigation. These systems are designed to treat and reuse water from various sources, such as wastewater treatment plants or rainwater harvesting systems, for field irrigation.
When Is The Best Time To Wet Soccer Field?
The best time to wet soccer fields is 24 hours before or hours before the game starts.
The goal is to get the field to soften the playing surface and to provide a safe and comfortable pitch for the players.
This can be done early morning or early evening before a game to render it safe and settle down dirt and dust.
There are a few factors to bear in mind before wetting the soccer field. These factors are:
- Weather conditions
- Time of the day
- Time of the game
- The working condition of the field
However, watering the soccer field before the game is mostly done to ensure optimum performance.
Remember, the goal is to wet and not overwet the field as this could make the field too slippery and soft making it unsafe and uncomfortable for soccer players.
Why Do They Wet Soccer Field During Halftime?
Before wetting soccer fields, it is important for both teams to agree on the decision, as stated by FIFA.
If both teams cannot come to an agreement, the field will not be watered, and the game will continue without wetting the field.
After the first half of the game, it is logical to wet the field again. During the first half, the field tends to become dry due to the players running on it and making it dry.
Also, the sun is another factor in why it is wet the second time. If the sun is out, then most likely has the field gotten dry.
So, the field is wet again during halftime to continue the game and efficiency of players to enjoy the gameplay.
How Much Water Does A Soccer Field Need?
When soccer fields are constantly used and exposed to the sun, the running and evaporation can make the field lose moisture. This can affect how the ball moves during the game.
However, the question that often comes up is how much water soccer fields actually need.
The general rule is to water the fields 48 hours before the match day. This ensures that the fields have the right amount of water for the game.
Fortunately, groundskeepers these days have an easier time with the invention of sprinklers. They no longer have to struggle with watering cans and can use sprinklers to efficiently water the field.
This helps maintain the right balance of water, which is really good for the natural grass to grow well.
The exact amount of water needed for a soccer field depends on the weather conditions of the day.
Groundskeepers need to find the right balance.
However, if we were to talk numbers, it’s estimated that up to 10,000 liters of water may be needed daily to properly maintain a soccer field.
How Often Should a Soccer Field Be Watered?
How often a soccer field should be watered depends on different things like the weather, the type of soil, the kind of grass, and how much the field is used.
It’s important to water the field regularly to keep the grass healthy and the playing conditions good.
Usually, it’s best to water the field deeply but not too often.
This means giving it a good amount of water that goes deep into the ground and then letting it dry out a bit before watering again.
This helps the roots of the grass grow strong and makes the field more resistant to all the running and playing on it.
During dry times, soccer fields are usually watered around 1 to 3 times a week.
Watering fields helps in improving the playing surface, reducing dirt and dust, reducing injuries and abrasions, aesthetic features, and maintaining the soccer field.
It’s very crucial for efficient gameplay and overall enjoyment of the game both for the players and the viewers.