Natural or synthetic? This debate in the sports field industry has raged on for years and will continue for years to come. But at the Singapore Sports Hub complex, the best parts of natural and synthetic grass have been combined in advance of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), a biennial multi-sport event — including sports like soccer, golf and softball — involving participants from the 11 countries of Southeast Asia.

This playing surface, called Eclipse Stabilized Turf, combines natural and synthetic grass, but is recognized by FIFA (international soccer’s governing body) as 100-percent natural turf. It was installed at the National Stadium – The Sports Hub’s signature field – to be used at the start of the SEA Games, which began June 5. Following the installation of the playing surface, The Sports Hub named Australia-based company HG Sports Turf as the official supplier of the Eclipse Stabilized Turf for the National Stadium for the next three years.

PHOTO COURTESY OF XXX

According to an official statement from The Sports Hub, “the reinforcement of the artificial grass combined with the open-weave backing guarantees stability and an even playing surface.”

The field installation comprises 800 rolls of Eclipse Stabilized Turf, each weighing 1,653 pounds. The turf has an expected lifespan of 15 years in Singapore.

According to a report by http://www.ChannelNewsAsia.com, to maximize the potential of the Eclipse Stabilized Turf, the grounds crew installed growth lights and additional fans for air movement and made improvements to the irrigation system. The crew also has installed moisture and temperature probes to manage the climate in the stadium. If there is a non-sporting event in the stadium, protective covering will be laid over the surface.

The previous hybrid turf at the National Stadium was subject to scrutiny because of its poor condition, drawing criticism and concern from several international sporting heavyweights, according to the Channel News Asia report.

Photo courtesy of HG Sports Turf. Background photo by Istock.