Miami University Field Hockey Field Testing

Oxford, OH

In 2021, Miami University was looking to replace the synthetic turf carpet on their women’s field hockey field. Sportworks Design worked with Miami University to perform four tests on the existing field hockey field for it’s compliance with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) category guidelines. The tests gave the university the needed information on potential improvements that might be needed to comply with FIH, before replacing the surface. The tests that were performed on the field were, Gradient and Profile Survey, Surface Regularity Testing, Irrigation Performance Measurements and Surface Drainage Testing.

Field Hockey

Higher Education

Gradient and Profile Survey:

A gradient and profile survey was completed in accordance with the FIH Hockey Turf Standard Construction and Performance Requirements. The survey was performed on a 10-foot by 10-foot grid across the field. The spot elevations, contours and gradient and profile slopes were shown on a plan sheet along with the averages across the field.

The FIH Preferred Gradients are no greater than 0.2% in the longitudinal direction along the length of the field and no greater than 0.4% in the lateral direction across the width of the field. The maximum gradient in any direction shall not exceed 1.0%. FIH does allow existing bases to be reused for new synthetic turf field hockey fields. When an existing field is being resurfaced, the requirement for a Category 2 Field will be relaxed to no greater than 15% of the overall mean.

Surface Regularity Testing:

The Surface Regularity Test was completed in accordance with the FIFA Method 12 Surface Planarity Assessment Procedure and Guidelines. A 3-meter-long straight edge was pulled over the synthetic turf field in the longitudinally and transversely directions. Deviations between the surface and the straightedge greater than ¼” (6 mm) were recorded on a site plan.

Irrigation Performance Measurement:

The irrigation test was performed in accordance with the FIH Hockey Field Irrigation Facilities Guidance Manual. The test was performed directly on the synthetic turf field hockey field.

The testing methodology consists of placing collection dishes on the field, on a nominal 10m x 10m grid. The outer boundary of the grid is measured 2 m outside the end lines and 1 m outside the side lines of the playing field. Each collection dish was 100 mm diameter by 15mm depth. For this test, a full watering cycle (8 minutes) of the irrigation system was ran on the field. The volume of water collected in each dish was then measured and recorded. This test measures the consistency of the irrigation system across the field.

Surface Drainage Testing: 

The drainage tests were performed in accordance with ASTM F2898 – 11, Standard Test Method for Permeability of Synthetic Turf Sports Field Base Stone and Surface System by Non-Confined Area Flood Test Method.  Five (5) tests were performed directly on the synthetic turf field.


The information that was collected with the four tests were complied into a report that summarized the tests and findings. The field hockey field surface was then replaced in the summer of 2021.