What is a MUGA Pitch?
MUGA is an acronym for Multi-Use Games Area.
Just as the name suggests, these types of pitches are suitable for multiple sports that can all take place on the same pitch.
Multi-Use Games Areas have been popular for a number of years, in the shape of macadam surfacing suitable for various sports, including tennis, basketball and netball.
However, in recent years other types of surfacing have been developed to offer additional playing characteristics and a better playing experience than those early surfaces.
The advent of 2G and 3G artificial turf has drastically improved the playing experience to more closely represent playing on real grass, but of course, unlike the real thing, it enables local clubs and leisure centres to use these types of surfacing virtually around the clock.
Today, we are going to be looking at the different types of MUGA surfacing and the sports that they are designed for. But first, let’s begin by looking at why installing a MUGA surface is an excellent idea for your sports club, local leisure centre or school.
Why Install A Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA)?
There are many reasons to install a MUGA surface.
Multi-Use Games Areas are a very cost-effective way for leisure clubs and sports teams to create a surface that can be used for multiple sports all on the same pitch, so reducing the need for building multiple pitches.
It means that several clubs can get together and share the cost of installation, making owning a MUGA a more viable option for smaller clubs.
Unlike playing on surfaces such as grass, MUGA pitches have the capacity to allow for continuous play, almost around the clock.
Most types of MUGA surfacing require very little ongoing maintenance and can last many years, which makes them an excellent long-term investment with low ongoing costs.
There are also the physical and mental health benefits of having good sports facilities in the local area. Encouraging people to participate in sporting activities is a great way to tackle obesity and improve mental health.
What Sports Can Be Played on A MUGA Surface?
There are several different types of MUGA surfacing to choose from, but most sports – including football, rugby, cricket, netball, tennis, badminton, basketball and athletics – can be played on MUGA sports pitches.
What Are the Different Types of MUGA?
There are currently nine different types of MUGA surfacing, each with its own particular strengths and weaknesses.
Each surface is suitable for different types of sport and activity, too.
Deciding upon the best type of MUGA usually comes down to budget requirements, which sports you want played on the surface, longevity and required playing experience.
Let’s take a look at the different types of MUGA pitch.
Type 1 & Type 2 – Macadam
Types 1 and 2 are the earliest forms of MUGA surfacing and comprise a porous macadam.
Macadam can have lines painted on the surface to create the courts and pitches, and can also have coloured anti-slip coatings applied.
These types of surface are primarily designed for rebound sports, such as netball, tennis and basketball.
Type 3 – High Grip Polymeric Surface
The next type of MUGA surface, Type 3, is a high grip polymeric surface.
Consisting of a rubber surface, similar to wet pour, high grip polymeric surfacing is best suited for rebound sports, including netball, tennis and basketball.
The polymeric system is made up of EPDM rubber crumb granules, which are bound together and laid onto a macadam surface.
Type 4 – Polymeric Surface
Type 4 MUGA surfacing, like Type 3, consists of a polymeric system, but it does not have the high grip finish of a Type 3 surface.
This makes Type 4 surfaces suitable for different types of sport, such as football, general sports and recreational use.
Due to its greater shock absorbency, a Type 4 surface would not be suitable for tennis or netball.
Both types of polymeric surfacing can come in a wide range of colours, to create an attractive finish.
Type 5 – Sand Infilled Artificial Grass With Shockpad
A Type 5 MUGA surface consists of a sand infilled artificial grass, also referred to as 2G artificial turf.
This form of MUGA pitch has a shockpad installed underneath the artificial turf to absorb and cushion trips and falls.
This type of surface is ideally suited for sports including 5-a-side football, hockey and rugby.
The synthetic fibres of 2G artificial grass usually consist of a 20–25mm pile, which is infilled with sand to replicate the bounce and playing characteristics of real turf.
Type 5 surfaces require more maintenance than Types 1 to 4. This form of sports surfacing requires fairly regular brushing and the occasional top up of the infill material, to ensure the surface is kept in a playable condition.
Type 6 – Sand Infilled Artificial Grass Without Shockpad
Type 6 MUGA again consists of 2G artificial turf, but without the shockpad.
The removal of the shockpad underlay gives the surface additional stability and provides a different bounce and roll, making it an ideal surface for tennis.
It’s also possible to play football and hockey on a Type 6 pitch, but the lack of shock absorption means that it doesn’t comply with the respective sports’ governing bodies recommendations, due to the increased chances of injury.
Type 7 – Sand Dressed Synthetic Turf
This type of surface features synthetic fibres that are sand dressed, rather than infilled, making it a good surface for playing hockey.
Most other sports would be unsuitable for playing on this type of surfacing, as it can wear quicker than other forms of MUGA and there is also the potential for carpet movement.
Type 8 – 3G Turf
3G, or Third Generation Turf, is referred to as Type 8.
This type of artificial turf consists of long-piled synthetic fibres which are infilled with both sand and rubber crumb.
The rubber crumb infill provides a better bounce and roll than Types 5 & 6, making this form of surface perfect for football and rugby.
Required maintenance of a 3G pitch includes fairly regular brushing and ensuring the rubber crumb infill remains at the appropriate levels.
It is also important to ensure that players wear the appropriate type of football boot for 3G turf, to prevent damaging the surface.
Type 9 – Needle Punch Carpet
Needle Punch Carpets are considered to be suitable forms of surfacing for tennis, netball, football and hockey.
This type of surface can be installed with or without a shockpad, and may also be sand-filled or even bonded to an existing surface.
The numerous advantages of MUGA surfacing has meant that, particularly in recent years, the demand for good quality MUGA pitches has remained high.
And the development of 2G and 3G artificial turf has drastically improved the playing characteristics of MUGA surfacing and taken it to a whole new level.
Installing a MUGA pitch is a very good investment for local sports teams and leisure centres, as they can be used for a wide variety of sports, virtually around the clock.
Choosing the best type of surface depends largely upon which sports you intend to be played on the surface and, of course, budget.
If your club is considering installing their very own synthetic turf MUGA pitch, then we can help.
We manufacture both 2G and 3G surfacing, perfect for a wide range of sports. For further information, please click here, or call us today on 012415 931200.