So we all know that artificial turf is used for a good number of different sports including football, baseball, soccer, field hockey, cricket and lacrosse. All of these sports have developed well with the progress of their sport on the new technology. Recently another sport has made the switch to the artificial surface. The sport in question is known as shinty.

You may be forgiven for never having heard of shinty or know how it’s played. It is a Scottish sport and it is rather similar to hurling, the sport played with sticks in Ireland. Shinty is played with sticks called camans and a ball and is almost exclusively played in the Scottish Highlands. The game has been compared with field hockey due to the shape of the sticks used. The difference is that shinty allows players to play balls in the air and they can also hit the ball with both sides of the stick. There are a few other differences between the two sports but that gives you a general idea of what shinty is all about.

The problem the shinty governing body has been faced with is increasing problems with wet weather that has resulted in waterlogged pitches. No matter how natural the real grass pitches are, they’re not much good if it means that games are unplayable after prolonged wet weather.

The governing body would prefer to keep their sport on the natural grass surface that it has been played on for a couple of thousand years but because the artificial pitches are part of a wider community sports project they will be used. The changeover to the new pitches is still a long way off with testing of different synthetic pitches only just completed.

It sounds as though it is only a matter of time before the phrase ‘shinty turf’ is added to the modern lexicon. For the moment the situation is that the use of Shinty Turf has simply been approved, the next step is to actually build a facility that makes use of it.