For athletic fields used for soccer (association football), important components of playing quality include: ball rebound resilience, rolling resistance, traction (i.e., grip), and hardness. Other criteria related to, but not direct measures of, playing quality include surface evenness, grass cover, and water infiltration rate.
Standards of playing quality were developed on the basis of comparisons between players' perceptions of surfaces and the results of objective tests taken on the fields within 2 h of matches. Questionnaires were collected from 444 football players at 20 different fields. The fields were tested in the same locations within each field at six 5 by 5-m plots.
The results were used to formulate standards in the form of “preferred” and “acceptable” limits for each component of playing quality. The apparatus, test methods, and proposed standards for association football fields are described.