UPDATES: 50mm Pile Height systems now allowed by World Rugby

UPDATES to World Rugby’s Rugby Turf Performance Specification and allowance of minimum 50mm pile height turf systems


World Rugby officially updated its regulation, allowing from the 1st of December 2020 grass systems with at least 50mm pile height to be used for multi-sport, community venue, etc.. where rugby is not the main sport.

For standard rugby pitches and high level facilities, the World Rugby still recommends a 60mm carpet system.

“World Rugby strongly recommend that fields use a 60mm carpet as these have a proven track record for providing excellent surfaces for rugby. Consideration of carpets with pile heights between 50mm and 60mm should be restricted to multi-sport, community-based fields that wish to offer rugby as an additional or optional sport.”


The lower pile height standard provides new opportunity to enlarge the number of facilities that are Regulation 22 complaint, therefore potentially allowing more and more teams to safely train and play contact rugby worldwide.

It is worth reminding  that all systems still needs to have a shockpad installed underneath the carpet, and HIC value must be minimum 1.3m at any point during the lifetime of the pitch.



Where the pile height declared is less than 60mm, all of the following manufacturer’s declarations in official laboratory report must be made:

  • Total pile weight must not be less than:
  1. 1,450 g/m2 where the pile height is greater than 55mm and less than 60mm
  2. 1,350g/m2 where the pile height is greater than or equal to 50mm and less than 55mm when tested to ISO 8543
  • Stabilizing infill depth must not be less than 10mm when tested to EN 1969
  • Splash must not exceed 3.5% when tested to the appropriate FIFA Method

A copy of the latest “World Rugby’s Rugby Turf Performance Specification” can be downloaded at: World Rugby Player Welfare – Putting Players First : Rugby Turf Performance Specification – Technical

Click here to download the document.

Send this to a friend