Grass lawns are an important covering of playing surfaces in many sports, including football (soccer), American football, tennis, golf, cricket, softball and baseball.
Grass playing fields, courses and pitches are the traditional playing surfaces for many sports, including American football, association football, baseball, cricket, golf, and rugby. Grass surfaces are also sometimes used for horse racing and tennis. Type of maintenance and species of grass used may be important factors for some sports, less critical for others. In some sports facilities, including indoor domes and other places where maintenance of a grass field would be difficult, grass may be replaced with artificial turf, a synthetic grass-like substitute.
Football pitch technology has moved forward tremendously since the 1970s/1980s, when it was found that by December, almost all pitches turned into mud baths. Today's technology includes the use of drainage pipe at 5m centres, a gravel raft, a sand (suspended water table) rooting zone, undersoil heating and supplementary lighting on the surface that encourages growth. Management techniques have also advanced, with more emphasis on soil and plant biology, morphology, and the zoology and physiology being introduced into the management of a grass sward. There are also a number of materials and methods to reinforce a natural grass playing surface.
As stadiums have been developed, and are generally now nearly sealed constructions, meaning there is less light and air movement on the playing surface, new processes and procedures have been introduced to counterbalance the effects of this.
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