Dry hockey as the goal
German sports flooring manufacturer Polytan and Belgian sporting goods manufacturer MakinH are entering into a strategic partnership with one goal, which is to develop solutions for the current issue facing the hockey industry: dry hockey. Both companies are represented at this year’s FSB and will present their partnership for the first time at the Polytan exhibition stand (Hall 10.2, Stand E011) at 2 pm on Thursday 26th October. At the stand, there will also be a live demonstration of MakinH’s Rewetta® hockey ball on Polytan’s Olympic turf, Poligras Paris GT zero.
Advancing climate change forces us to rethink, and sport is no exception. In doing so, one of the key issues is reducing the consumption of water in hockey, which thus far has typically been used in unlimited amounts. A professional hockey game requires the field to be fully wetted. A single spraying procedure easily consumes 10,000–15,000 litres of water, meaning that each watered hockey field consumes millions of litres of water every year. In collaboration with the FIH, Polytan and its partner MakinH want to do their bit for sustainability by finding new solutions and placing hockey at the forefront of sustainable innovation. For example, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced that the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris will be the last official hockey tournament at which full watering of the pitch is allowed.
The goal of the collaboration is to realise and further develop innovative and sustainable products for use in hockey. Polytan has developed Poligras Paris GT zero, the world’s first carbon-neutral synthetic turf for field hockey, specially for the Olympic Games in Paris. The GUTcert-certified surface is produced up to 100% climate-neutrally, without compromising on playing characteristics, not least thanks to a fundamentally improved product design that leads to reduced water consumption. Thanks to TurfGlide technology, an innovative and proprietary technology, it reduces surface friction so that even less water is needed to reduce the friction resistance, and minimises the risk of injury. Poligras Paris GT zero is currently the only turf that is approved for the category of water-based hockey turf and the new FIH innovation category “Non-Irrigated”.
The Belgian sporting goods manufacturer MakinH has also developed a recyclable, self-wetting Rewetta® ball, which reduces the water consumption needed for a fast, professional game by eliminating the need to spray the field with water. Instead, the ball releases a film of water droplets upon impact when hit or while spinning, giving players on the field the necessary ball control. Instead of watering the entire pitch, MakinH applied a small quantity of water to the surface of the Rewetta® ball, instead of the playing field. As a result, several hockey training sessions or even an entire competition day can be played using just a few litres of water. This brings MakinH closer to its self-imposed goal, which is explained as follows by MakinH CEO Veerle Balcaen: “Thanks to technical progress, it is possible that hockey will develop into a sustainable sport where no more irrigation is needed.”
The two partners have made it their goal to optimise their hockey products, as pertains to the FIH specifications for the innovation category of non-irrigated hockey turf. In addition, they will exchange information and samples of their products to highlight the benefits of combining both products together, and realise further optimisations in the interest of the hockey community. Polytan’s first non-irrigated hockey turf system and MakinH’s self-wetting Rewetta® hockey ball are the perfect duo on which to build the partnership. Friedemann Söll, Chief Product Officer for the Sport Group Global: “Truly sustainable hockey sport will require an innovative combination of ball and turf technology. Our goal is to enable sustainable, professional and affordable hockey.”
Polytan will be exhibiting in Hall 10.2 at Stand E011 at FSB 2023 from 24th to 27th October. Here, there will also be a live demonstration of the Rewetta® hockey ball on the Poligras Paris GT zero Olympic turf at 2 pm on 26th October 2023. MakinH will also be exhibiting at FSB and will present its innovations in Hall 10.2 at Stand B020–C021 (ESTC).