All You Need to Know About Multi Use Games Areas

MUGAs, or ‘Multi Use Games Areas’, are a type of sports surface which can be used to accommodate various different sports, such as hockey, 5-a-side football, netball, basketball, and tennis.

Multi Use Games Areas are particularly useful to schools and local sports community clubs since they are versatile, cost-effective, and, perhaps most importantly, they make very efficient use of the space available. The latter can be particularly beneficial to clients who have issues with space, such as schools, who often face the problem of having limited areas designated for sport.

There are 3 primary options when it comes to surface choices for MUGAs, with different surface types being more suited to different sports. These are as follows:

  • Artificial Turf (More suited to hockey and 5-a-side football)
  • Macadam (More suited to netball, basketball, and tennis)
  • Polymeric (More suited to athletics training)

The first option, Artificial Turf, is typically a sand-dressed surface, but it can also be 3G-based. These are becoming increasingly popular choices within the market. Sand-dressed surfaces have a shorter and denser pile as a result of dressing the surface with sand rather than filling it. More advanced than the standard sand-filled turfs, these surfaces are well suited to hockey, lacrosse, and 5-a-side football. On the other hand, 3G turf is an artificial surface with a long pile, infilled with sand and rubber granules to make the pile stand up, making it more suited to large ball sports like football and rugby.

Macadam, or Tarmac, is a very durable surface which is good at responding to adverse weather conditions, meaning it can be played on year-round and with little maintenance. These surfaces are typically placed on playgrounds (making them particularly popular amongst primary schools) and can be coated with different colours to both improve the aesthetic and to place markings down for games. Markings can range from organised sports, such as netball and tennis, to everyday playground games such as hopscotch or snakes and ladders.

The final option, Polymeric surfaces, are good for sports where cushioning is required, such as athletics training – however they are still versatile, and can be used for sports such as netball, five-a-side football, tennis, basketball, and even wheelchair sports. Their porous rubber crumb surface means that they, like tarmac, can be used in most weather conditions, with the added advantage of being less slippery than tarmac. They can also accommodate running spikes, making them even more suited to being used for athletics tracks.

So, not only are Multi Use Games Areas versatile, cost-effective, and space-efficient, but they can also be tailored to your needs, with custom size, colour, and sports markings options available to be implemented.

If you’re interested in seeing some of our previous MUGA construction projects, take a look at these case studies:

Multi Use Games Area
MUGA Construction
MUGA

 FRONT LAWN RECREATION GROUND £1.5 MILLION COMMUNITY SPORTS PROJECT MADE POSSIBLE THANKS TO FUNDING FROM THE FOOTBALL FOUNDATION.

McArdle Sport Tec & TigerTurf were delighted to have been selected by the Football Foundation to manufacture and construct a 3G Artificial Football Pitch and refurbish an existing Multi Use Games Area.

Havant Borough Council secured a substantial grant of £629,407 thanks to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation. The funding enabled a £1.5 million community sports project at Front Lawn Recreation Ground, Havant, which included refurbishing an existing MUGA, and a brand new 106 x 70m 3G artificial football pitch, built to meet FIFA Quality standards.

The Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since 2000, when the Foundation was launched, nearly 15,000 grants have been awarded worth nearly £580 million. The Foundation has also gained additional partnership funding of just under £800 million, which is an overall investment of £1.4 billion into the Grassroots sport.

Working in partnership with TigerTurf, McArdle Sport Tec were delighted to have been selected as the manufacturer/contractor for this Football Foundation community project. The new 3G TigerTurf Atomic Pro 60 artificial turf replaced an existing natural grass pitch which was prone to waterlogging. The artificial football pitch also benefits from new fencing and floodlights, which will enable all year round playing; the FA expects the new 3G pitch will be used an average of 50+ hours per week.

Neil Cassar, CEO of Hampshire FA, commented:

“We are one of a few county FAs with more than one operational site which is a momentous achievement in itself.  At our HQ in Basingstoke we have seen cup finals hosted and large-scale events hosted for the local community. We have hosted regional finals, courses and much more.

This new facility will go that extra mile to ensuring we can accommodate even more for our members, the very people that serve our beautiful game whilst being closer, more connected with these areas and our members within them. It isn’t simply a facility providing an artificial football pitch – it is a facility for the whole community, where local people can partake in a variety of sports whilst finding out about the work that we do. It will be a community hub where we can deliver a programme of courses including safeguarding, medical, refereeing, CPD and more. Together with our partners and stakeholders, this has been achievable, and we look forward to a bright future ahead for our game in Hampshire.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation said:

“Congratulations should go to Havant Borough Council for working with the Hampshire FA to secure this Premier League & FA Facilities Fund Grant. My thanks go to Alan Mak MP for taking the time to visit the site.

Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded 362 grants worth £12.6m across Hampshire towards Grassroots sports projects worth nearly £28.4m with money generously provided by our funders: the Premier League, the FA and the Government via Sport England”.

“The development at Front Lawn Recreation Ground is great news for our community. Congratulations to everyone involved, and I look forward to supporting this great local facility in the years ahead.”

Alan Mak, MP for Havant

Our Sports Surfaces

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

ST JOHN’S SCHOOL

We constructed a MUGA facility at St John’s School in Marlborough; this consisted of the installation of six new tennis courts.

McArdle Sport Tec were pleased to be appointed as the chosen contractor to construct six brand new tennis courts at St John’s School in Marlborough.

The location was the site of the old St John’s Upper School, a picturesque setting, high above the historical town of Marlborough. The new tarmacadam courts were one of the final stages of a big construction project at the school totalling over £26 million.

The site was on a steep hillside so the six courts were staggered. After the old school buildings were demolished, extensive earthworks had been undertaken. This included the construction of various retaining walls to accommodate the new facility.

Different surfaces were selected for each court depending upon the primary usage, either tennis or netball.

“The tennis courts will be an enormous benefit to students at St John’s.  We will also be making the courts available for use by community groups during evenings, weekends and school holidays, giving a real boost to the provision of sports facilities in the town.”

Dr Hazlewood, Headmaster

Our Sports Surfaces

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

G4S NETBALL CENTRE

McArdle Sport Tec successfully constructed a tennis facility in East Grinstead with nine new netball courts.

We successfully won a tender to construct the G4S Netball Centre in East Grinstead. The project included the construction of nine tarmac netball courts with the addition of fencing, floodlighting, and a terraced spectator stand and access paths. The facility was built over three tiers and was funded by Mid Sussex Council, Sport England, National Sports Foundation and the G4S.

The new Netball Centre was officially opened by Phyllis Avery, the President of England Netball. This was followed by Scarlet Williams, who was a home grown England U21 player and the face of The G4S Netball Centre, playing in the opening match.

Just two months after the opening ceremony, East Grinstead Sports and Social Club (G4S Netball Centre) won The Rose Award for contribution to the development of Netball at grassroots level.

The nine court netball centre provided a regional centre of excellence for the South East, with no other similar Netball facility within the region at that time.

The centre gives hundreds of young women the opportunity to compete in local and regional leagues, as well as national tournaments and festivals. When not in use for netball, the facility is increasingly used for tennis, which has seen the sport grow at the club.

The nine court netball centre provided a regional centre of excellence for the south east, with no other similar Netball facility within the region at that time.

Our Sports Surfaces

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

TILSLEY PARK

The Vale of White Horse District Council chose us to install two new all-weather pitches close to our Head Office.

McArdle Sport Tec completed the replacement of two full size, floodlit, sand-dressed monofilament synthetic pitches at Tilsley Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire’s premier football and athletic centre.

The contract was appointed to us by the The Vale of White Horse District Council; we were particularly keen to be involved in this job as Tilsely Park is local to our offices. Some of our staff members and their partners play on these pitches with their local sporting clubs.

The pitches were constructed in 2013 and for this project we used Lano Hockey Revolution artificial turf carpet. The installation took thirteen weeks and cost approximately £380,000.

Pitch 1 involved uplifting the existing carpet and replacing it with a blue Lano carpet with a red surround, designed for multi-use games and preferred for hockey.

Pitch 2 needed more work which involved removing the old shock pad and replacing it with a new 15mm in-situ shock pad. A tarmac layer was laid on top and the same blue artificial turf was fitted as the top layer. The lines were marked for both hockey and football.

Tilsley Park has been leased to Abingdon School on a long-term basis with effect from September 2014. As part of the joint plan, the School will extend the site’s opening hours, making it easier for clubs and local residents to benefit from the fantastic facilities on offer.

Our Sports Surfaces

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

WEYDON SCHOOL

We worked with a consultant to install a range of sports surfaces at Weydon School.

We succesfully won a tender through a sports consultant MUGA UK. This was for a large sports facility to be constructed at Weydon School in Farnham, Surrey.

The progamme saw the construction split into phases; the first stage began in September 2013 and was the installation of a 97.4m x 61m 3G pitch suitable for both hockey and football, to meet FA / FIH standards.

The next phase began in January 2014 and included the construction of a block of 6 colour-coated tennis courts, to LTA standards, a retaining wall around the tennis courts, and the construction of a 3G rugby pitch to RFU/FA standards, measuring 120 x 75m.

The final phase saw the construction of a long jump facility, to meet IAAF standards, 1 cricket square, to meet ECB standards, and a non-turf cricket wicket.

The entire project was finished in April 2014 and totalled approximately £1.68m.

Our Sports Surfaces

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

THE BLANDFORD SCHOOL

McArdle Sport Tec were selected to install a state-of-the-art all-weather pitch and three netball courts at The Blandford School.

The new pitch was funded in part by grants from the Premier League, the FA Facilities Fund and Dorset County Council. The project also included the refurbishment of three netball courts and the installation of floodlights.

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said “Congratulations to The Blandford School for working with the Dorset County FA to secure this Premier League & The FA Facilities Funding.”

TigerTurf’s Total Turf 40 XQ carpet, made in the UK, was the best solution to provide the school with a quality surface suitable for both football and hockey.

Project Stats:
1 3G pitch (7420 sq. m area)
3 Netball Courts
Perimeter Fencing & Floodlighting

Sally Wilson, Headteacher at The Blandford School commented:

“On behalf of The Blandford School, I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for the work your team has been involved with in respect of our new artificial grass pitch and the refurbishment to our netball courts. The work has been completed on schedule and to a high standard. The support from Richard Thornton and Paul Lockyer throughout the project was exceptional, and we would have no hesitation in recommending your organisation should that be helpful in the future. Please pass on our thanks to the entire project team.”

Despite being a complicated project due to being located within a conversation area and bordering a flood plain, the work was completed ahead of schedule.

Our Sports Surfaces

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

ASTON UNIVERSITY

In the Summer of 2015, we were selected to construct a new all-weather pitch at Aston University in Birmingham.

The University were successful in applying for a funding grant of £247,000 from Sport England to expand the number of community sport programmes the university could deliver with the aim to increase the number of 14-25 year olds regularly participating in sport in the area.

The new all-weather pitch was to replace Aston University’s most widely used pitch which, after 10 years of use, was beginning to look tired and had some drainage problems. The new pitch had to be suitable primarily for hockey and also football, with each sport placing very different demands on the surface.

The university worked with a consultant who specified TigerTurf’s Evo Pro sand-dressed carpet as the perfect solution to bridge this gap, while offering a long-lasting pitch able to cope with a high level of use.

Clive Eals, project manager for the Estates and Capital Development department at Aston University, commented:

“The new pitch looks outstanding. Whereas the old pitch had a longer length and rubber crumb infill which wasn’t ideal for playing hockey, the new surface is made with a sand infill – although you wouldn’t know it as you have to go looking for the sand.

“It’s a beautiful, even surface and it just makes you to want to get out there and play sport, which is what we want for our students and the community.”

“We recognise that we have an important role to play in encouraging students to live healthy, active lifestyles and to continue playing sport during their period of academic study. Our new pitch will help us deliver on that commitment while also enhancing the facilities on offer to the local community at this important sports venue. We will also make the new facilities available to local schools during and after the school day. Looking ahead, the nature of our sporting complex will provide us with the exciting opportunity to host major sporting events, on a regular basis.”

Mike Kirkman, Director of Sport, Aston University

Our Sports Surfaces

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

REDDISH NORTH END FC

McArdle Sport Tec were delighted to be selected to install a new 3G pitch and MUGA at The Mike Doyle Centre.

Stockport-based FA Charter Standard Community Club, Reddish North End, successfully applied to the Football Association and Football Foundation for funding to improve the playing conditions at the club’s home, the Mike Doyle Centre. We submitted a tender through the FA, FF and RFU’s framework to construct the all-weather pitches and we were awarded the project. This involved the installation two 3G pitches: one main pitch and a secondary MUGA.

The main pitch, measuring 79m x 51m, was fitted with TigerTurf UK’s Soccer Real 60 XQ. The secondary pitch, measuring 37m x 18.5m, was fitted with TigerTurf UK’s Football 60 XP Pro surface. We enhanced the new playing surfaces with the addition of perimeter fencing, hard standing areas, floodlights, piped drainage, swing-out freestanding goalposts, mowing strip, access paths, and de-tox areas.

The fifteen-week £560,000 project was successfully completed 11 days ahead of schedule, despite it being the wettest UK winter on record. John Hargreaves, Chairman of Reddish North End FC said, “Everyone at the club is over the moon with our new playing surfaces, which will give each of our teams from under 7s through to under 17s access to some of the best playing surfaces in the region.”

“The standard of work carried out by McArdle and TigerTurf was exceptional from start to finish, even in spite of some particularly challenging weather conditions, and we always had full confidence in the level of expertise and guidance we were offered throughout.”

John Hargreaves, Chairman

Our Sports Surfaces

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