Nowlan Park has retained its crown as the best GAA inter-county pitch in the country following the announcement of the National Pitch Awards for 2019.
The home of Kilkenny GAA received top marks in the National Pitch Awards, having also scooped the top award 12 months ago, with Semple Stadium in Thurles being awarded the inaugural prize in 2017.
Páirc Tailteann in Meath was the runner up venue with Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon, McGovern Park in Ruislip, O’Donnell Park in Letterkenny and Pearse Stadium in Galway also receiving a highly commended status.
The adjudication was carried out by Dr Stephen Barker of the Sports Research Institute and Stuart Wilson, Pitch Manager at Croke Park and the NGDC in Abbotstown.
The process involved scoring and feedback from referees during the Allianz Leagues in spring and took into consideration a Pitch Quality Assessment based on performance standards, construction, management program, environmental conditions and usage levels.
There then followed a site visit where tests were conducted including general quality/presentation, ground cover, annual meadow-grass control, broad-leafed weed content, pitch markings, condition of the high wear area including the goal area and the 13 m line, hardness, traction (stability), moisture content and the uniformity of these three parameters, maximum root length, and the depth of the root mass.