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Round Robins

Round Robins

World Rugby use Round Robins to check the performance of ATIs and their technicians on a regular basis.


World Rugby use Round Robins to check the performance of ATIs and their technicians on a regular basis.

World Rugby work in tandem with FIFA to host and assess Round Robins but the two accreditation processes are handled separately. The following information is generally applicable to both but confirmation should be sought from FIFA on the precise aspects of their accreditation process.

World Rugby Artificial Pitches Round Robin
World Rugby Game Research and Development Manager Marc Douglas outlines the methods behind sport's most rigorous testing programme for artificial pitches.

World Rugby accredit test instates for two aspects of testing against Regulation 22:

  • Product Testing Round Robins are expected to take place every 2-3 years and will require ATIs to test given products and to submit the results to World Rugby for assessment

  • Surface Testing Round Robins will take place at least annually (except in exceptional circumstances) in a location and on dates decided upon by World Rugby.


ATIs must own their own equipment and have calibration certificates and any other requirements as set out in ISO 17025. Outsourcing of product testing is not permitted except in exceptional circumstances and only by a laboratory that is ISO 17025 accredited for that test and with acknowledged permission from World Rugby and FIFA.

Checks on the status of a laboratory’s ISO 17025 accreditation will be completed at the round robins.

Surface Testing Round Robin

Surface Testing Round Robins are used to assess individual technician’s ability to test to Regulation 22 as well as a laboratory’s ability to undertake the identification tests required during initial testing. Round Robins will last 3 to 4 days (depending on participants and the fields available) in which technicians must complete all the tests.

All existing ATIs must provide one accredited technician to act as a benchmark for that ATI.


All technicians must perform all of the following tests on two artificial turf fields, unless otherwise indicated:

  • Evenness and Visual Inspection – ONE field ONLY

  • Vertical Deformation

  • Shock Absorption

  • Energy Restitution

  • Rotational Resistance

  • Vertical Ball Rebound

  • Impact Attenuation (HIC)

  • Infill Depth

  • Ball Roll - ONE field ONLY


Technicians must complete all of the testing themselves with no assistance from any other person. Technicians can have assistance moving equipment if World Rugby consider it necessary.

ATI’s must provide all technicians with their own full set of equipment for testing. Equipment can be used by more than one technician during the Round Robin but not at the same time.


Technicians must submit all test results in the format provided by World Rugby and results will be analysed using the Grubbs statistical method. Further information on this analysis can be found <here>. For evenness and visual inspection testing, a technician must identify a minimum specified number of defects identified by the benchmark results. In this instance, World Rugby will identify an individual tester to complete the benchmarking task. Failure to submit results as required will mean that the technician fails that test.

To successfully complete a Round Robin, technicians must pass all tests.

Technician Accreditation

Accreditation is received once the technician has been confirmed as passing the Round Robin and their ATI has successfully completed the identification element of the process.

Accreditation commences on the day after the Round Robin was completed. Once a technician becomes accredited this accreditation will cease to be valid under any of the following circumstances:

  • The accreditation is not renewed within 5 years from accreditation.

  • The technician’s affiliated test institute is no longer considered an ATI.

  • The technician fails to successfully complete a Round Robin – in this instance the technician will be given one year to successfully complete a Round Robin, if this is not done then accreditation ceases.

  • A technician becomes affiliated to another ATI.

Technicians are permitted to reaccredit themselves at any time during the 5 year period, however subsequent reaccreditation must be completed within 5 years from the most recent successfully completed Round Robin.

Reaccrediting technicians who are completing the last possible Round Robin prior to their accreditation expiring will be considered as applicant technicians. Applicant technicians who do not complete the Round Robin successfully will not be considered accredited from the date that that Round Robin ends and will need to complete another Round Robin before they can become accredited.

Benchmark technicians who:

  • successfully complete a Round Robin will automatically have their accreditation renewed for five years.

  • Do not successfully complete the Round Robin will need to reaccredit within one year of being a benchmark.

Identification Testing

In addition to the individual technician testing, ATIs must also undertake an identification Round Robin in the lab, 

For this, each ATI will receive samples of:

  • One long pile stitched carpet
  • One short pile stitched carpet
  • 2 performance infills
  • 2 stabilising infills
  • 3 shock pads

 The following identification tests will be undertaken on the indicated samples and an analysis using all existing ATI's submissions as benchmark results will be completed:

Combined Round Robins

In years where both a product and surface round robin are being undertaken, only product round robin samples will be circulated as follows:

All ATIs will do the identification tests required to complete the Surface Round Robin and those performing the Product Round Robin will do the additional tests required.

Laboratory Accreditation

  • Surface Laboratory Accreditation is achieved when the laboratory has an accredited technician and has successfully completed the ID section of a surface round robin.
  • Product Laboratory Accreditation is achieved when the laboratory is a Surface Laboratory Accredited and has been assessed as competent under a product round robin.