A state-of-the-art 3G floodlit soccer pitch at Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College has reached a new dimension of safety and performance after winning full FA standards accreditation.
Teams are enjoying the even bounce and perfect roll on the 50m-long playing surface at the college, which is based in Hawkeys Lane, North Shields, and is part of Tyne Coast College (TCC).
Sports specialists say they are thrilled it has met FA synthetic playing surface guidelines following a series of professional British Standards tests.
Safety and performance levels, included how well the ball rebounded and rolled, shock absorption and stability when in use, and its level of grip underfoot, were checked.
The pitch is maintained by experts from the North East Sports Academy (NESA), which is also part of TCC.
It has already hosted Mini Soccer competitive Sunday league fixtures for Cullercoats FC, and is available for other bookings, seven-days-a-week.
Chris Wall, deputy head of department at NESA, said: “It’s really good news that the pitch has met the highest standards of performance and safety.
“It is a top-class facility that allows teams and players to enjoy the game they love with a certainty that they have a quality surface to play on.
“It’s right that synthetic pitches should be checked to the highest of standards, as player safety is of the utmost importance.
“Teams are benefitting from the surety they are performing on a great surface, and I hope many other sides will come and use this excellent facility.”
The FA specifies pitches of all sizes used for competitive play outside of the NLS must be tested in accordance with national standards by a recognised testing institute.
To remain on the FA’s 3G pitch register, they must then be tested every three years.
The pitch performance test is designed to protect players from injury and to limit the potential for legal action against the operator.
Despite advances in synthetic playing surface technology, the FA requires they are maintained and tested to continue to meet the required performance standards.
It says surface imperfections may not be visible to the eye and will not repair themselves naturally, meaning preventable accidents can occur.
Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College’s pitch can be hired from 4pm to 9pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 9pm on Saturdays and Sundays, priced at £40 per hour.
Information on booking is available from Josh Brown by emailing j or by calling 0191 229 5103.