Eredivisie clubs get the chance to work with new, unique measuring equipment used for improving and creating uniformity of natural grass pitches. Among other things, the HiPSter analyses the hardness, ball bounce, ball roll and grip of the pitches, allowing clubs to focus on the quality of their grass pitches. The collaboration between the Eredivisie CV and Holland Innovative makes the Netherlands the first country in the world to support professional clubs with data-driven grass management in this way.
All Eredivisie clubs with natural grass pitches have recently received the HiPSter measuring kit. With the HiPSter, field managers (the staff at clubs who are responsible for pitch preservation and maintenance) can measure the pitch on eight quality aspects at any time of the day. This data is automatically loaded into a dashboard, giving field managers insights into pitch quality via trend analysis and predictive standards, and allowing them to better adjust grass management accordingly. With this new form of data-driven grass management, Dutch football aims to be a pioneer in global football.
In addition to self-monitoring the quality of the grass pitches, the Eredivisie pitches are independently inspected three times a season. Clubs must meet a predetermined standard, so that matches in the Eredivisie can be played on quality natural grass. Clubs that pass at least two of the three inspections will receive a financial contribution to this end. In addition to the measurement kit and independent field inspections, players' experiences will also be added to the dashboard in the future. This allows clubs to see the quality of their grass from multiple perspectives.
These developments flow from the Change Agenda. Since 2018, agreements have been made between the Eredivisie CV and eredivisie clubs to further improve the quality of the Eredivisie and Dutch football. Encouraging play on high-quality natural grass pitches has led to more and more eredivisie clubs switching from artificial to natural grass. Providing the measuring kits marks the next step in the level of Dutch football.