Another sporting first for Sheffield

Using new ball and pitch technology Sheffield will be the first to use 3G artificial football pitches for cricket. A Cricket fun day was held on April 2014 at the U-Mix Centre in Lowfield Park to try out a new social format of cricket that could be played on artificial turf, which is usually the sole domain of football .  This could herald the start of a game that would appeal to kids and adults alike, and probably lives somewhere between Kwik cricket and Indoor cricket.  Anyone wanting to take part in developing an exciting new cricket format can contact U-Mix on 0114 2589601.

The world leading development is an initiative by Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield City Council as part of the ProFit FieldLab project, which is being developed at Lowfield Park.

Alan Williams from Sheffield City Council explains:

“We have been working for years to develop a way of using the newer 3G artificial football pitches for cricket but have previously failed to make it work. We are really excited about the development as we know lots of people want to play cricket and struggle to find somewhere to play. We believe that Sheffield is leading the world of cricket in this development.

The FieldLab resources will allow us to evaluate different types of ball and surface and identify which works best.  The idea of the cricket fun day is to get the local community to be co-creators of this innovation – which is one of the guiding principles of the fieldlab”

Image of an outdoor batting cage designed for a challenging urban environment

Mount Pleasant Park, Sheffield – the first attempt at establishing and sustaining cricket in an urban environment

The FieldLab is an initiative of the ProFit project, which is part-funded by the European Union, under the Interreg IVB North West Europe programme.  Lowfield is one of four sport and play innovation fieldlabs being developed across Europe – with the others in Delft, Eindhoven, and Kortrijk . The FieldLab for sport innovation is a research and development location in a real-life setting where citizens (children, adults, elderly) engage in sports and play activities. Businesses can install new product prototypes or production models in the FieldLab where the end-users can use and test them as part of regular sports activity. Sheffield Hallam will use the field-lab to collect data on the end-user interaction with the products. The FieldLabs concept is to  be dynamic, in the sense that the space will be refreshed at times by innovative products and services to be used and tested.

For further information contact: Alan Williams, Sheffield City Council

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