A guide to 3G or 4G surfaces.

One of our most frequently asked questions: “What is a 3G versus 4G Pitch?”.

Artificial turf terminology can be confusing, the ‘G’ simply stands for Generation so 3rd generation or 4th generation.


1G and 2G Pitches:

Before the development of 3G surfaces, 1G and 2G pitches were the only systems available.

1G pitch systems use a short-pile non-infilled surface, also known as astroturf, including the introduction of water-based hockey pitches.

2G pitches use a short pile artificial grass combined with sand-infill which are still readily available, but commonly known as sand-based, sand-dressed, or sand-filled hockey pitches.


Evolution of the 3rd Generation Pitch:

 3G, 3G Turf, 3rd Generation, 3G Artificial Pitches, are all the same system but different marketing terminology.

The development of 3G turf systems offers a long-pile grass-like fibre typically 40mm – 60mm which are filled with silica sand and rubber granules infill.

Currently, 3rd Generation Pitches are the only approved artificial turf system approved by FIFA under their field test requirements which can achieve FIFA Quality Pro or FIFA Quality certification.


What about 4G surfaces?

4G, 4G Turf or 4G Pitches are also sometimes also known as mineral infill stabilised, mineral infill filled or non-filled surface systems.

4G technology exists, however it is still being developed, and is yet to be accredited by any sporting body including FIFA.

In April 2024, The Fédération Internationale de football association (FIFA) published their latest FIFA Quality Programme for Football Turf Test Manual Requirements which states:

 “Turf systems that are mineral infill stabilised, mineral infill filled and non-filled”. “These systems are currently under development for football and are not yet approved by FIFA. As a result, fields that feature these systems cannot be awarded FIFA Quality or FIFA Quality Pro certification.”


For further information, or to discuss a possible 3G pitch installation or refurbishment project; please call or Send Us A Message with any queries you have and we would be happy to help.

Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.