Hockey is played on a variety of artificial surfaces. The majority of these surfaces also have a shock pad base underneath to increase shock absorbency. Hockey can played on the full size pitch areas, or cross play on the full size pitch where two 9-a-side matches can be played.
Line markings can be cut in to the surface or, as a less permanent option, can be painted on using two-pack polyurethane paint.
Each surface potentially requires a slightly different maintenance regime.
The sand filled surfaces, with pile heights typically 20 to 24mm, require regular brushing. The maintenance interval depends upon the surface usage, but can be as regular as every week. In addition, the surface will need chemical treatment and deep cleaning throughout its life, and may even require complete sand removal and replacement if contamination is widespread.
Sand dressed carpets are predominately a surface designed for hockey, but are also used for football and tennis. The surfaces, usually with pile heights between 15 and 20mm, have less sand than the filled surfaces and can have faster play characteristics, ideal for hockey. As with sand filled, these carpets require regular brushing as well as chemical treatment and deep cleaning.
The newest addition to artificial grass, are the 3G surfaces. These are sand and rubber filled carpets ranging in length from 35mm to 65mm. All are generally used for football, but the shorter versions can be used for hockey practice. The surfaces require regular brushing, particularly prior to hockey being played, but again the regularity will depend upon usage. As the rubber granules are a loose infill, they may migrate off the surface and on to surrounding areas. The granule levels may therefore require topping up from time to time.
Needle punched artificial grass generally has a short pile (8 to 15mm) and with a dressing of sand. These surfaces can be used for multi sport purposes and generally require minimal maintenance. They will need chemical treatment and brushing to ensure dirt and general debris is removed from the surface.
Water based artificial grass pitches have no infill and are used for national leagues and international matches. The carpets generally have 10 to 15mm pile height and use water on the surface to give good ball roll speed. These surfaces require regular brushing to remove debris, but also regular treatment with moss killers and algaecides. The damp conditions allow moss and algae to spread rapidly and in order to ensure complete removal a pressure washer system should be used.