S&C Slatter are experts in the design, construction and maintenance of multi-use games areas (MUGAs).
With over 30 years’ experience in sports construction, we have built over 200 artificial turf, 3G and polymeric multi-use games areas for clients including Reading Blue Coat, Emanuel School and East Berkshire College.
Multi-use games areas are perfect ways to convert small spaces into dedicated, high quality, durable sporting areas.
If you're looking for advice on how to optimise small areas of space for sport, we're happy to offer a free initial consultation.
1. Design and planning
Although often relatively small, multi-use games areas still require planning permission, design, the creation of technical drawings and specifications ready for construction.
2. Environmental considerations
This can include management of water run-off and drainage, mitigating the impact of the MUGA and considering overspill from any floodlighting.
3. Health and safety
Creating a safe and thoroughly planned construction site that employs best practice and meets all legislative requirements.
Properly prepared foundations are crucial to the construction, performance and safety of any multi-use games area.
Appropriate drainage systems ensure that whatever the weather, the MUGA won’t become waterlogged.
6. Sub-base and base
Carefully chosen materials support the chosen MUGA surface and drainage of the pitch.
If artificial turf is chosen as the MUGA surface, a shockpad may installed to support the turf system.
8. 8. Multi-use games area surface
This is the part of the MUGA that you actually see. This can be a polymeric surface, macadam or artificial grass turf system.
9. Ancillary equipment
This includes appropriate fencing, floodlighting and sports equipment – as well any project specific requirements in support of the MUGA, such as access pathways and spectator seating.
More detailed information on the common stages of construction can be found on our Artificial Turf Pitches page.
Artificial turf multi-use games areas
Artificial turf MUGAs are constructed using technologically advanced synthetic fibres, which resemble grass. These fibres, combined with infill, replicate the bounce and performance of natural grass pitches while protecting the artificial grass fibres.
Artificial turf surfaces are usually chosen when ‘pitch’ style sports will be predominantly played such as football, hockey, and lacrosse - though are also suitable for tennis, volleyball and netball.
2G sand-dressed or sand-filled pitches are most suitable for MUGAs where hockey is the predominant sport, and also support football, lacrosse, tennis and netball. 3G MUGAs are less common, as the longer pile length (height of the synthetic grass) is more suited to small-sided football or rugby, and not suitable for netball or tennis.
Macadam multi-use games areas
Porous macadam is commonly used on multi-use games areas with colour coating to enhance the playing environment and support slip resistance. Suitable particularly when ‘court’ style sports will predominantly be played, such as tennis and netball. Recreational hockey and football can also be played on this surface.
Polymeric multi-use games areas
Polymeric MUGAs are also more suited to ‘court’ based sports, particularly basketball, alongside tennis and netball. With a degree of inherent shock absorption, polymeric surfaces can also support recreational football and hockey training.
A multi-use games area generally has a lifespan of around 10 years, though this will depend on the chosen surface, how well the pitch has been constructed, the weekly hours of use and how well the pitch has been maintained.
Maintenance of any MUGA is required to retain optimum surface performance, ensure player safety and maximise its lifespan.
For artificial grass MUGAs, while the synthetic grass may not need watering or cutting, regular maintenance is still required to protect the fibres and infill levels on the pitch.
Maintenance can include brushing, decompaction and infill management, as well as chemical treatment to prevent moss and algae growth.
For non-artificial surfaces, power washing and new coatings are key elements of regular maintenance.
Find out more about the types of maintenance multi-use games areas require.