Combined natural and synthetic turf

Natural and artificial surfaces have begun to merge, and systems are now available in which plastics are used to reinforce the root structure of grass - for instance in the form of a plastic webbing through which the natural grass grows, or a system of stitching tufts of synthetic fibre into the natural grass sward. By this means the user-friendliness of a natural grass surface is combined with the superior durability of artificial turf, hopefully giving stadium managers the best of both worlds.

As practical experience of these combined systems increases and the technicalities are perfected they may well become the compromise of the future, offering a cost-effective, multi-use natural playing surface. In that case sporting authorities will soon have to face some interesting decisions as to whether these systems are to be classified as 'natural' or 'artificial'. Because of climatic difficulties, the Ulleval stadium in Norway has used such a system for many years.

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