21 March 2023
TenCate Grass’ zero-water technology provides solution that is good for hockey and the environment
At TenCate Grass, sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. We relentlessly work on innovations that are more sustainable and help contribute to solving societal challenges. Water scarcity for example is a growing concern. By 2025, an estimated two-thirds of the world’s population will face water shortages. This is being exacerbated by climate change, which is altering the weather patterns and driving shortages and droughts in many parts of the world.
Field hockey on dry turf
Turf is a product that doesn’t require water, allowing big water savings when introduced for a wide range of applications, including home lawns and play, recreation, and sporting applications. However, one such exception is elite Field Hockey where water is used to improve the playability of the surface, the speed of the game and the excitement. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is aware of these concerns and is working hard to support the transition towards dry turf for field hockey. The goal of the FIH is to have the 2026 World Championship played on a dry (or non-irrigated) field followed by the Olympics in LA in 2028.
Water usage average hockey fields
A conservative estimate is that an average hockey field uses approximately 3 million liters of water every year. There are several thousands of these types of fields around the world. Additionally, it should be noted that 3 million liters is equal to 3,000 cubic meters of water and that 1 cubic meter of water is estimated to ‘cost’ 3 kg of CO2 emissions. The FIH calculates that around 1 million liters of water is needed for a major tournament like the recent Tokyo Olympics.
Quality hockey on dry field
Currently dry fields are slow, often abrasive and do not facilitate fast exciting hockey. At TenCate Grass we have developed a new technology that enables a dry field to mimic the playing characteristics of current wet fields. Following many years of research focusing on player-led insights, including biomechanical measurements and extensive feedback on preferences and opinions, we have had a breakthrough. The new system, which is fully certified, retains many of the advantages of wet fields without the need for water.
Levelling the playing field for water-stressed countries
Several pilots have already been tested and validated by players, with the first full-sized field currently being installed outside of Amsterdam with the support of the Royal Dutch Hockey Association. Further fields will follow shortly and a full worldwide roll out in 2024.The roll out of this technology will also support large hockey playing nations that have struggled with the transition to wet fields due to a lack of water in their regions, supporting the game to a more global sport once again.
We believe that with this new innovation we can avoid the difficult choice between what is good for the game and player, and what is good for the environment, by providing a solution that is great for both.