The first total-play cricket MUGA was first developed for Birkdale School, Sheffield.
Like most schools but especially in Yorkshire the desire to provide the children quality cricket facilities was high but the school had limited space. In addition the main school buildings are in different location from the playing fields. A day-to-day logistical challenge transporting pupil to multiple sites. Therefore, the school had the find a solution to maximise the available space on the Castle Dyke Playing Fields site not just for cricket but other activities.
For the majority of schools, cricket is played for one term, approximately twelve weeks.
Meaning that cricket nets are simply not used for the majority of the year.
The solution had to provide high quality cricketing surfaces but with the ability for other sports/activities to take place. Simply a dual purpose facility to maximise available space, maintain usage levels BUT without compromising the performance for cricketers. Existing multi-use playing surfaces along with roll down carpets do not provide a safe and consistent surface. They do not meet the performance requirements set by the ECB or Sport England.
The need to innovate was there, and so a new fresh design approach was required.
Other cricketing facilities had been built which enabled the netting to be pulled back to make the area more open but none that had allowed other sports to be played.
The design concept was clear an ECB Approved Design playing surface with simply practical innovations to make it versatile for other sports. The design process therefore, meant we needed to think about how the playing surface (base), netting system and fencing design would work together.
Playing Surface –
Had to be ECB Approved
The playing area had to be as one, no change in surface or traction levels
Netting System –
It needed to be Safe!
The system had to prevent balls from leaving the facility
Did not impact on the cricketer’s comfort – environment
Be able to be removed for other sports
Be simply and practical for the on-site ground staff to maintain/modify safely
Fencing Design –
To prevent balls from leaving the area
Provide a safe and secure site
Include design features for other sports i.e. goal recesses, kick boards etc
Flooding Lighting –
Include the correct levels of lighting
ECB Approved playing surface
Versatile – cricket, football, hockey, tennis & more…
Maximising Available Space
Cost-effective – financial outlay spread across different sports
Flexible – can be used for two sports simultaneously
Productive – increased revenue from hire to external clubs/groups
Installed by an ECB Code of Practice Non-Turf Pitch installer
total-play cricket MUGAs are in used at many independent schools across the country.
A bespoke solution with built-in performance
As with all total-play installations, each Cricket MUGA is designed with the client’s exact needs in mind. The facility can be built to pretty much any size depending on the available space, and the site will be carefully surveyed to ensure that groundworks allow for site levelling work, the optimum depth of base construction for the site and any drainage installation.
Our surfaces have been designed by cricketers, for cricketers to offer a balanced game between bat and ball and encourage turn, while performing to the correct pace and bounce to promote every aspect of the modern game. In effect, they replicates a good level league pitch while providing a safe, consistent surface on which to practice. These attributes lend the surface equally to low-level practice of other sports as well as being suitable for general play.
When it comes to things like perimeter fencing, everything from height to colour can be tailored to the client’s needs – so full height or waist height fencing could be in a natural steel finish or powder-coated to match school colours. Finishing touches like line markings, integrated goal mouths, basketball and netball hoops and flood lights are all possible additions.