There is no statutory provision for natural playing surfaces, but a grounds management framework, based on existing performance quality standards, updated for today's market, will for the first time enable the industry to establish industry-wide benchmarks and appropriate standards of provision.
The GMA have consulted widely across the industry to develop the framework. This has included the following:
- Establishing a working group made up of experts across the industry to adapt and develop the technical data from the original Performance Quality Standards (PQS).
- Detailed discussions with National Governing Bodies, Sport England, and industry experts.
- Industry wide consultation with contractors, Grounds Managers, and suppliers.
The framework can assist everyone involved in managing and maintaining sports grounds including Grounds staff, Ground Managers, Club Committees and Senior Management. It is aimed at all aspects of the industry including community clubs, local authorities, education, and professional sports clubs.
Adopting the principles of GMF will provide benefits across any organisation including players, coaches, and spectators. The variety of benefits provided from better quality playing surfaces include the following:
Grounds staff and volunteers
- Broader professional skills
- Improved personal career development
- Increased pride and satisfaction of playing surfaces they produce
- Understanding of what makes a natural surfaces high quality, and how to enhance it further
- A method to measure and quantify improvements
- Better use of budgets
- A tool to communicate with management, or owners, to help them understand the needs and resources to maintain the facility
Facility operators, including education, local authorities, professional clubs, and community clubs
- Better use of budgets
- Better return on investment
- Enhance understanding of grounds management
- Improved knowledge to communicate with grounds staff
- Improved knowledge to support grounds staff development
- More clarity on quality of playing surface required for level of sport played at site
- Reduced cancelation of matches
- Increased income
- Increased playing capacity
- Increase in player satisfaction
- Drive up playing surface quality standards
Players, coaches, and spectators
- Improved player satisfaction
- Increased pride and satisfaction of ground and facilities
- Better understanding of what makes a quality playing surface
- Fewer matches cancelled
- Improved playing surfaces
- Support technical development by playing on better playing surfaces
- Reduced injuries from poor surfaces
The answer is both! Integral to this will be a grounds manager skills and knowledge framework to help to continually improve standards and the effective use of available resources.
Undertake a technical assessment of your playing surface to understand where you sit on the framework. This should be undertaken by a suitably qualified individual who is familiar with technical assessments.
Following an initial assessment, it is advisable for the Grounds Manager to undertake a series of self-assessments of the playing surface to ensure the standard is being maintained. Please click here for more information on self-assessment.
The skills and knowledge framework will create an incremental and progressive pathway linking the grassroots volunteer to the professional. It provides a clear development pathway for those who want to progress a career in sports turf management.
Specific training and education modules will be developed to match the framework’s skills and knowledge matrix and will be tailored to include the requirements of specific sports. These will be delivered both online and in traditional format.
GMF will be monitored and reviewed an on annual basis to ensure it remains appropriate and up to date to meet the needs of the industry. This will include all aspects of the framework including the technical data, the skills and knowledge matrix and resources required to achieve each level.
The annual review will obtain feedback from a range of different users of the framework including facility operators, Grounds managers, grounds staff, NGBs, consultants and GMA staff.