Synthetic turf in Rugby
Synthetic turf is also commonly used in rugby. The International Rugby Board (IRB) globally promotes the use of artificial surfaces with its One Turf Concept. Goal of this concept is to set a standard that promotes mass participation in a multi-sport environment. Synthetic turf shall be understood as an alternative to natural grass. The IRB also promotes their Preferred Turf Producers to foster the use of artificial turf. Advantages of synthetic turf in rugby include a faster game and the possibility to play despite harsh weather conditions. The new dimensions set by the IRB for the playing fields shall facilitate usage of stadia where Rugby is not the primary sport.
IRB does not only promote the use of artificial turf but also conducts research into developing these surfaces. This research is in particular related to avoidance of serious injuries, ensuring that the turf pitches are as safe as possible for players. (see for example Risk of injury associated with rugby union played on artificial turf by Colin W. Fuller; Lucy Clarke; Michael G. Molloy (2010); http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02640411003629681).