Multi Use Games Areas

The term MUGA can refer to virtually any sport or games surface from a single court or play area to a full size synthetic sports pitch. Generally speaking, the term is used to describe courts or pitches where the surface can adequately cater for a variety of sports and activities, rather than being a specialised surface designed to maximise the play characteristics of a single sport.

It is also usually used to describe synthetic surfaces with a high durability factor, so that the pitch or court could be used intensively and cater for various sports played simultaneously.

Our Services | MUGA's

As one of the UK's largest and longest established sports surface contractors, Blakedown have constructed every possible type of MUGA and sports surface. Our clients are provided with a dedicated project team throughout every job, and a level of expertise ready to meet any requirement.

We offer a complete in-house design and build service for MUGA construction, from concept to completion, and our services include earthworks, excavation, geotechnics, drainage system and shockpad installation; installation of any choice of synthetic surface, fencing, floodlighting, and landscaping.

Red acrylic MUGA at Grace Academy in the West Midlands

Surface Suitability

Planning a synthetic sports facility for a combination of sports will involve compromise, and trying to accomodate too many sports on one surface will diminish quality.

The following table is designed to offer a rough guide for surface to sport suitability. For a more in-depth consultation, please feel free to call or email us.

Football

Sand-filled
Sand-dressed
Water-based
Tarmac
Acrylic-coated Tarmac
Polymeric
3G 40mm pile
3G 50mm pile
3G 60-65mm pile

Rugby

Sand-filled
Sand-dressed
Water-based
Tarmac
Acrylic-coated Tarmac
Polymeric
3G 40mm pile
3G 50mm pile
3G 60-65mm pile

Hockey

Sand-filled
Sand-dressed
Water-based
Tarmac
Acrylic-coated Tarmac
Polymeric
3G 40mm pile
3G 50mm pile
3G 60-65mm pile

Tennis

Sand-filled
Sand-dressed
Water-based
Tarmac
Acrylic-coated Tarmac
Polymeric
3G 40mm pile
3G 50mm pile
3G 60-65mm pile

Netball

Sand-filled
Sand-dressed
Water-based
Tarmac
Acrylic-coated Tarmac
Polymeric
3G 40mm pile
3G 50mm pile
3G 60-65mm pile

Basketball

Sand-filled
Sand-dressed
Water-based
Tarmac
Acrylic-coated Tarmac
Polymeric
3G 40mm pile
3G 50mm pile
3G 60-65mm pile

Case Study | John Spendluffe College

Blakedown Sport & Play were awarded the contract to design and construct a MUGA suitable for tennis, netball, basketball, mini-football, mini-hockey, and general break-time play at John Spendluffe Technology College in Lincolnshire. The brief demanded a facility that was robust, high quality, and represented outstanding value-for-money.

  • Client: John Spendluffe College
  • Contract Type: JCT Minor Works
  • Contract Value: £132,000
  • Build Time: 8 weeks

After careful discussion, and submission of CAD drawings to help everyone involved in the project visualise the proposed facility, a specification was finalised and construction began. The selected surface was Edel’s Supersoft sand-dressed sports turf, allowing good ball bounce for tennis and basketball, quick ball roll for hockey, and suitable play characteristics for all the other sports required.

Choice of MUGA surface

Blakedown's 3G 7-a-side football MUGA at Severndale Academy

3G Artificial Turf

Games areas with a 3G artificial turf playing surface are best suited to 5-a-side and 7-a-side football (The Hut Active Centre). Longer pile heights are also suitable for rugby training (Fylde RFC), shorter pile heights are suitable for hockey (Holy Trinity School), and 3G is also good for volleyball (Loughborough University).

Sand-dressed MUGA for hockey and tennis at Five Islands School on the Isles of Scilly

Sand-dressed

Sand-dressed systems differ from traditional ‘astroturf’ surfaces because they require much less sand – play takes place on the actual artificial turf, the sand layer simply offers support. Sand-dressed systems have superior play characteristics and ball bounce for sports like tennis (Five Islands School) and netball (Eagle House School), and are also suitable for football and ideal for hockey.

Blakedown's sand-filled MUGA in Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset

Sand-filled

Sand-filled (astroturf) systems are very durable and suitable for a variety of sports at recreational level including hockey and football (Cambridge Regional College), tennis and cricket, (Oldershaw Academy), and athletics (Fairfield School).

Our tarmac multi-use games area at Langley Grammar School used for tennis, netball and basketball

Tarmac

Tarmac is a robust and economical sports surface that requires little mainteance compared to grass or other synthetic surfaces. A tarmac games area (sometimes referred to as a Type 2 MUGA) is ideal for tennis and netball (Norbury Manor College), basketball and mini-football (Cowlairs MUGA).

Sky blue acrylic basketball court at Parc y Werin in Swansea

Acrylic

A tarmac surface can be sprayed with an acrylic coat (sometimes referred to as a Type 1 MUGA) which increases the grip of the surface and protects the upper-layer of the tarmac. An acrylic MUGA is ideal for netball (Thomas Lord Audley), basketball (Ravenscourt Park), tennis (University of York), and football and volleyball (Wolverhampton University).

Our polymeric multi-use tennis court at The William Allitt School in Derbyshire

Polymeric

A polymeric MUGA is suitable for netball, basketball, and tennis (Uxbridge College), football and hockey (Gladesmore School), athletics and sprint training (Stoke Newington), badminton, volleyball, and as a general recreation area. The surface is available in a variety of colours, lines for any sport can be painted on, and the surface offers natural shock absorption.

A Type 1 MUGA for tennis, basketball, and mini-football at the Mosslands School in Merseyside

A Type 1 MUGA refers to an open textured macadam sports surface with an acrylic top-coat. The acrylic coat is an anti-slip performance layer that protects the upper layer (wearing course) of the macadam from erosion. This type of MUGA is designed for tennis and/or basketball as the primary sport but is also suitable for netball, mini-football, and badminton.

A Type 2 tarmac MUGA for netball, tennis, mini-football, and basketball at the Surbiton High School in Surrey

A Type 2 MUGA refers to an open textured macadam sport surface where the tarmac alone serves as the playing surface. This type of MUGA is designed for netball as the primary sport but is also suitable for basketball, tennis, mini-football, and badminton.

A Type 3 polymeric MUGA for netball, also with lines for tennis, and basketball

A Type 3 MUGA refers to a polymeric surface where the primary sport is netball. Sports lines for the primary designated sport are usually laid out in white or yellow, with other colours used for additional sports. A Type 3 games area can also accommodate basketball, tennis, mini-football, badminton and, as a compromise option, recreational or practice hockey.

A Type 4 polymeric MUGA designed for football, also with lines for netball and tennis, at the John Lyon School in Harrow

A Type 4 MUGA refers to a polymeric surface designed for football or mini-football. This surface is an alternative to 3G artificial turf in cases where additional sports must be incorporated, such as netball, tennis, or basketball.

A Type 5 astroturf MUGA for football, basketball, netball, and tennis at Middlesex University

Types 5a and 5b MUGA refer to sand-filled and sand-dressed surfaces respectively. A sand-filled system is the traditional ‘astroturf’ surface; sand-dressed is a denser turf, requiring less sand, and offering better ball bounce. Type 5 MUGA's are suitable for hockey, tennis, football, basketball, netball, badminton, and as recreation areas.

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