The first reaction to poor drainage and cancelled games is the installation of additional drains. However, the real cause of failure can often go back to the construction and to lack of thought in the future use. The following are a few considerations that have a major influence on future performance of the sports pitch.
1. The gradient and grade of the pitch is vital to promote surface run-off.
2. The attention given to the subsoil after grading – together with the proper assessment of the nature and depth of the materials in the profile below.
3. The methods of spreading the topsoil – these influence the degree of compaction and ultimately the condition of grass cover and the ability of the soil to drain.
4. The classification and depth of the topsoil has a bearing in view of its infiltration and permeabiliy potential.
5. The performance requirements are important – namely, must play be possible today after good rain yesterday or can play be postponed until the surface dries out.
6. What degree of usage is required – the number of hours of active play per week – particularly in the wet winter months
7. Will the budget cope with attention needed in maintaining a intensive drainage system – in particular annual sand dressings at the cost of in the region of £2500 per application.
8. Will essential maintenance be carried out during the playing season and the proper renovation completed in the short period between the end of play and the beginning of the next season starting in August/September.