The Football Turf Round Robin comes to Asia

What is the Round Robin? Why is it needed? And why did FIFA choose to go to Asia?

The on-site testing of an artificial turf field is an essential part of FIFA’s Quality Programme for Football Turf and the final quality control before FIFA can list it as a certified field. To ensure that this testing is performed consistently across the world, FIFA works only with test institutes and technicians who have first obtained a testing accreditation from FIFA. This accreditation can be acquired through successful participation at the Round Robin, a 4-day test event at which each technician performs 2 field tests. FIFA then, using statistical analysis, compares the results of applicant technicians to the results of accredited technicians and awards a 5-year accreditation to the successful technicians.

This year the Round Robin took place at King’s Park in Kowloon, Hong Kong with a total of 37 applicant and 16 renewal technicians aiming to pass the Round Robin and join the 80 existing accredited technicians. With a pass rate of roughly 60%, no other accreditation body has such stringent criteria for technicians to pass before they are accredited to conduct field-testing worldwide!

The first of its kind outside of Europe – why Asia?
With 14 test institutes based across the globe, from Australia to the United States, the Round Robin has become a key event in football turf testing calendar. Going to Asia, for the first time since the Quality Programme’s inception in 2006 provided several benefits to FIFA. One benefit to this move was to further promote the FIFA Quality Programme in Asia, recognising the huge potential for growth in this part of the world. In addition, with the majority of our test institutes based in Europe, hosting the Round Robin in Asia meant that test institutes had to travel with the same test equipment they would usually use for field-testing abroad, a regular occurrence for many labs. This year, despite added challenges of 27-degree heat and 85% humidity, the Round Robin proved to be the best organised to date after extensive optimisation on previous years. Next year the Round Robin returns to Europe but who knows where it will be held in the future?

Special thanks go to World Rugby, the Hong Kong Football Association, Hong Kong Rugby Union and all technicians who contributed to a successful event in Hong Kong.
Check out our FIFA Football Turf Accredited Test Institutes and 5 different tests which are involved in a FIFA field test: