HomeSportsHockeyFIH Calls for Dry Turfs in India, Deeming it a Necessary Evolution
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FIH Calls for Dry Turfs in India, Deeming it a Necessary Evolution

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Eager to replace water-intensive fake grass fields, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) plans to require dry turfs at big events after the Paris Olympics. They visited India to talk about this new idea. They want India to try dry turfs, which have already been used in South Africa. These turfs were first used in competition in Oman. The FIH says dry turfs are better for the environment because they don’t need as much water as the current artificial ones, which use 6,000 liters of water every day.

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Cox, when asked whether the players are ready for the change, said:

“This is just an evolution. We think manufacturers will change the coatings on the sticks to lower friction. In the long term, I don’t think we will see major differences.” 

So far, by FIH’s own admission, the experiment has yielded mixed results.

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In its assessment after the Hockey 5s World Cup, the FIH stated that:

“The new prototype performed better than any existing turf but there is still improvement to be made.”

“Based on player feedback it is clear that areas need to be improved…” 

Since the late 1970s, when fake grass fields were first used instead of real ones, players like wet fake grass better. Dry fake grass, on the other hand, is made from sugarcane and doesn’t need water.

The FIH has stated in the past that:

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“Experience shows that water provides fast, predictable, and consistent playing conditions that allow players to perform to the best of their ability.” 

But, because many places don’t have enough water, the world group has to find better ways to use water.

Cox Reasoned:

“I think the players and some of the techniques have to evolve. So, yeah, I don’t think it will make a major transition. The difference will be significantly less if we remove the natural grass to synthetic turf, what we did 50 years ago was radical.”

“…it is a totally different game then what it really was when it was played on grass. The major hockey games in the world now are almost exclusively played on synthetic turf.”

Hockey India didn’t attend Wednesday’s event. When asked, a source said HI doesn’t oppose the idea but wants clearer guidelines before taking action.

A source in HI told PTI:

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“We have to have specific guidelines from FIH on how to go about it. Till the time it happens, we cannot proceed.” 

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