FIFA carried out the annual field test round robin for field test institutes in October 2012, in cooperation with the International Rugby Board (IRB). At the round robin, all participants wishing to become accredited technicians for the Quality Programme had to perform a complete field test under the observation of FIFA and consultants.

Thanks to prior harmonisation of FIFA and the IRB’s field test methods for artificial turf, participants were able to complete the field test round robins for both organisations at the same time. The tests took place over four days at the ground of the French Rugby Association in Marcoussis, Paris, and 44 technicians from already-accredited test institutes, as well as technicians from two prospective test institutes, took part.

Subsequent to the basic field tests, which are one important part of certification of an artificial turf installation, the technicians also conducted a further product identification test once they were back in their laboratories.

The evaluation of the results showed that all technicians passed the round robin and received accreditation as officially accredited technicians. As a result, the two applicant laboratories, the Spain-based Instituto Biomecánica de Valencia (IBV) and the France-based Novarea, will enter the FIFA Quality Programme for Football Turf as accredited field test institutes and are therefore able to perform field tests according to FIFA standards.

Due to the schedules of the test institutes, FIFA will change the timing of the annual field test round robins from autumn to spring. This means that the next round robin will not take place until March 2014. FIFA will publish the dates and open applications for test institutes who would like to participate nearer the time.

Further information on all FIFA-accredited test institutes can be found here.