Mowing patterns at UTAS Stadium

Published on 01 March 2024

pixabay grass.jpg

Ahead of tomorrow's Hawks vs Bulldogs match at UTAS Stadium, we thought we'd share some interesting behind-the-scenes work involved in preparing the ground.


We've all seen professional sporting events broadcast on television and you've no doubt noticed the alternating patterns mown into the grass.


Launceston's UTAS Stadium is no different, with a range of patterns having been mowed into the surface for various sporting events over the years.


The effect is achieved thanks to the cylinder mowers used at the stadium; a lawn roller just behind the blades of the mower bends the turf down in one direction.


By deploying the roller in alternating directions, different patterns can be made on the playing surface.


While the effect is only visual — it has no impact on the surface itself and is only implemented for aesthetic reasons — these alternating patterns can be helpful for AFL umpires to quickly determine distances when making decisions on the field.


For this weekend's match, UTAS Stadium Operations Coordinator John Kedey developed this initial design on a whiteboard:



He then passed it over to City of Launceston Senior Engineering Surveyor Steven Harvey, who plotted John's design in spatial software, like this:

AFL 2024 Design.PNG

Steven then used an instrument known as a 'total station' to precisely determine his position on the field, which allows him to outline the mowing pattern using approximately 100 small flags.


John is able to use these flags, as well as other markers on the boundary of the stadium to mow the pattern — a job which takes approximately three hours.


This is the end result:

UTAS Stadium mowing.JPG



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