19Oct2020

Innovation key at LaLiga to maintain high-quality pitches

The overall quality of all LaLiga pitches keeps improving by setting the standard higher each season. During our Pitch Management e-Workshop, Pedro Fernández-Bolaños shared the most important aspects of their overall focus areas and new innovations to ease the work of groundsmen.

Switch towards hybrid & grow lighting systems

In recent years, there’s been a switch towards hybrid pitches. In the 2015/16 season only two LaLiga Santander clubs were using a hybrid pitch while in the current 2020/21 season already eleven clubs have integrated it as well as two LaLiga Smartbank clubs. 

Furthermore, the same tendency can be seen with the use of growing lights with eight clubs using the technology during the 2015/16 season and 21 clubs in the ongoing 2020/21 season.

“During the winter break two seasons ago, LaLiga carried out a shade analysis showing that 90% of grass coverage in LaLiga Santander and 85% grass coverage in Smartbank.”

The impact of the LaLiga Broadcast regulations on the quality of the pitch

The LaLiga Television Broadcast Regulations not only requires clubs to provide a pitch that is safe for the players and behaves in a uniform way, but one that is in the best possible visual state for TV broadcasts. Therefore, aspects such as the hardness and resistance of the pitch, the uniformity of colour on the grass or the height are emphasised.

As a result of all these checkpoints and goals, groundsmen have guidelines on which are helping them to keep improving the quality of their pitches, with support of Pedro Fernández-Bolaños and his team.

Innovation is key at LaLiga

LaLiga is also known for its innovation, which translates into state-of-the-art apps which support the work of LaLiga groundsmen including.

On the LaLiga Greenkeeper App, all clubs receive detailed reports on the condition of the pitches, replacing a paper report that previously had to be completed. In addition, groundsmen can consult the matchday weather condition via a dedicated forecast control panel. Another interesting feature is the matchday checklist control panel to make sure that all broadcasting requirements are met.

“The two most important tasks of a Grounds Quality Manager focus on making sure that there are no delays or match suspensions due to the pitch and to raise the overall standards of all LaLiga pitches.”

Want to learn more? Rewatch the recording at the ESSMA Knowledge Platform