The most important members of the team – the grounds staff

Many team sports are often played on grass pitches and these are maintained by dedicated teams of professionals who spend much of their time tending to the grass and ensuring that the pitches are match ready. Without these individuals there would be no surface to play the matches on. Much like the players spending time improving their skills by watching Rugby Training drill Videos like the ones you can see at the grounds team will also be researching new ways to help the health on the grass and ensuring that following on from a match the grass surface is cared for and restored back to health.

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There are a number of things to consider when looking after a rugby pitch.

  1. Rugby pitches much like other sports pitches need to be mown all year round. The height at which you set your mower will depend on the time of year and the weather, but the general rule of thumb is that the grass should never get long enough that the freshly cut blades do not then blend into the bulk of the grass. During the summer the length of the grass should be between 1 and 2 inches, whilst during the winter months this is made longer at around 3 to 4 inches. You should always make sure that you use a mower that collects the grass cuttings as it goes along as raking grass cutting off the pitch will damage the surface of the remaining grass.
  1. Before a match it is important that you have a procedure in place for what needs to happen to the pitch in terms of maintenance and any remedial works. This is why staff should always be trained in pitch care. A variety of techniques may be used including harrowing, rolling, verti-draining and brushing and these may occur before or after a match.

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  1. Call off a match due to the weather is an inevitability with outdoor sports but this should always be done with the consultation of your pitch team as playing a match on an already soaked pitch can lead to irreversible damage and will cause more problems in the long run and also be costly to repair.
  2. Fertilising your pitch is much like your sports team taking supplements and vitamins and should be monitored carefully. Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium are all compounds that are important to the health and growth of the pitch, although they can be detrimental in the wrong amounts. This is where core sampling comes into play and can indicate what fertiliser is best for your pitch.

Author: Kei Taylor

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