Berkeley, Calif. -- A new turf has been installed at Witter Rugby Field, located on the campus of University of California, Berkeley. This turf replaces the previous turf that was installed in 2011 and putting Cal Berkeley on the leading edge of field construction.
The project, which was completed at the beginning of September, replaced a turf that had reached the end of its useful life. The new surface features permanent rugby lines and markings with a script Cal logo at midfield. It includes a state-of-the-art Geofill system that is an environmentally-friendly alternative infill for synthetic turfs. Geofill is comprised of 90% coconut and 10% naturally-derived plant-based matter, rather than rubber-based fill. The coconut fibers are completely natural and biodegradable, retain moisture well to help with cooling, and are bacteria-free.
Witter Rugby Field features 111,379 square feet of Shaw Sport Turf’s Legion NXT turf system. Legion NXT is made up of a combination monofilament and slit film system. As Shaw Sports Turf’s newest turf system, Legion NXT features the brand-new ThunderBolt fiber. This fiber is 20% more robust than Shaw Sports Turf’s original Bolt fiber for added durability. This system is built for strength, pushing the envelope, and providing endurance through even the toughest of match-ups.
“The previous synthetic turf at Witter Rugby Field required a new surface be put down to create a better and safer playing field for our student-athletes,” said Josh Hummel, Cal senior associate athletics director. “This surface will provide a top-of-the-line turf solution for our rugby program that is safe, maintainable and can support the numerous activities held on Witter Rugby Field. Witter Rugby Field’s primary use is for our varsity rugby program, so to invest in an upgraded surface was our driving function. Like all fields under Intercollegiate Athletics’ purview and care, Witter Rugby Field is shared among the greater UC Berkeley student body and community. So, a durable, safe surface for all students’ recreational use is extremely important to our department.”
Witter Rugby Field serves as the practice and competition facility for Cal rugby. Intramurals events have already taken place at the facility. Cal will play its first home competition on the new turf during the 15s season next spring.
“Witter Rugby Field is a very special venue and the new surface makes it that much more special,” said Jack Clark, Cal varsity rugby head coach. “I have never seen a synthetic field play this naturally. The field plays true and fast, with this natural cleat-in cleat-out reaction. It’s the best surface imaginable and the rugby program is grateful for the improvements.”
Matthew Cohen, territory manager, Shaw Sports Turf, added, “I’m happy Shaw Sports Turf could be involved with Cal Berkeley Athletics. It was great to work with the athletic department team to make the project happen. This will be something the university can be proud of for years to come."
For more information, visit www.shawsportsturf.com.