Ancilliary Services

Integral to many sports development projects are ancillary facilities required to ensure the maximum benefit is obtained from the installation. Sports Ground Design can advise Clients on the best options and include specifications for the requirements. The following are some of the works that may be required.


Irrigation is generally required for cricket squares and golf greens and is used on winter games pitches at higher levels, as well as on other facilities where good grass growth is essential. In addition, water based, synthetic grass hockey pitches require efficient irrigation systems, that can water the pitch during the half-time interval. Manual and automatic systems need to be considered, to decide the most cost-effective solution for each site.

Soil Heating

Under soil heating is used for most stadium pitches and may be based on water pipes, or perforated hot air pipes buried in the pitch. Installation and running costs are high, but can be justified where strict adherence to scheduled games is essential.

Playing Equipment

Correct choice of playing equipment to suit the type of surface and level of play can ensure compatibility with the users’ requirements.


Appropriate fencing to individual facilities or the site as a whole, may be required. The fence may be to secure the site, to protect an individual court or pitch, act as a ball stop, or provide a spectator barrier. Correct design to meet the requirements, provide a visually pleasing appearance and allow suitable access to the facility is required. Colours and finishes need to be considered, as well as the obvious requirements of height and robustness. Fences should be detailed to ensure they are free of projections that may harm users and secure against wind loadings.


Ball Stop Netting

Netting may be required to divide synthetic pitches for small sided games, or it may be needed to prevent ball loss, where higher fences would be inappropriate, or too expensive.

Cricket and Athletics Cages

For cricket practice nets and throwing cages, suitable installations are required, with due consideration at design stage, to whether they should be removable or permanent. In all cases the size and extent of the cages needs to reflect the safety requirements of the site.



When facilities are to be floodlit, there are invariably objections from local residents, concerned about light pollution and extended hours of use of facilities. The design of floodlighting systems and obtaining Planning Approval requires specialist attention from Consultants when designing new facilities.

Amenity Lighting

Allowing players to enter and leave facilities safely during winter evenings must be considered for floodlit installations. Amenity lights will be subject to Planning requirements, supplementary to those for the floodlighting.

Spectator Facilities

Where significant numbers of spectators are likely to attend events, suitable facilities need to be designed into the scheme at an early stage. Suitable crowd control measures with spectator rails or fencing, may be required, and protection from balls on adjacent pitches provided. Provision for temporary or permanent seating may also be required.


Score Boards

Often forgotten in the early stages, provision of an electronic scoreboard may require the construction of a concrete foundation and will require an electrical supply.

Electrical Service

There are a variety of ancillary facilities that may require the installation of electrical outlets around a facility. These may include public address systems, timing equipment or bowling/ball serving machines.

Access Paths

It is essential to minimise contamination of synthetic sports surfaces by players and spectators entering a facility, having walked across grass, and possibly muddy, areas. Hard surfaced paths, in some cases with appropriate fencing, must be provided. Where large numbers of users and spectators are using a natural grass facility, hard accesses may also be advisable.

Car Parking: The design of projects with new and upgraded facilities, that are subject to Planning Approval, will invariably need to include details of existing parking, shown its adequacy, or show new car parking that will be constructed.

Maintenance Equipment: Budgeting for the on-going upkeep of new and upgraded facilities is essential to the long-term success of any installation. Requirements for additional maintenance equipment to suit the facilities should take into account the surface supplier’s recommendations. This is particularly important for synthetic surfaces, where correct maintenance is required to maintain the validity of warranties.



Sports Ground Design Office Address:
Sandhill Cottage, Husthwaite, York, YO61 4PQ | Tel: 01347 868536