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  • Basketball Post Socket And Cover Plate Print

    You can download a PDF drawing for this park element from the bottom of the page, or refer to general information below. ​
    The importance of sports fields and hard courts

    Providing sports fields and hard courts is an essential component for encouraging positive attitudes to physical activity, social interaction and a healthy lifestyle. The design of these spaces should be appropriate, providing all the facilities and surfacing requirements for the different activities that will be played on the site. Enabling people to remain physically active throughout their lives contributes to greater sense of wellbeing and better health outcomes. These spaces are valuable hubs for communities, and an inclusive means of providing for healthy exercise, creative play and community gathering. These spaces are in high demand, and good drainage, lighting, accessibility and facilities are key to ensuring maximum use.


    Designing sports fields and hard courts
    Ensure good site conditions and context by:
    • considering the topography of a park. The larger and flatter the playing field, the more flexible it will be. Construction costs will also be lower if earthworks are limited
    • considering the drainage characteristics of the park. Streams and natural water systems may be incorporated into the overall drainage system for sport fields. Constructed ponds may also provide opportunities for storm water detention and irrigation. Quality drainage design for courts and fields is essential to support recreation activities year round. Impacts of poor drainage can result in unusable fields and significant maintenance costs to repair damaged fields or court surfacing
    • considering issues such as noise, access and parking in relation to any sensitive neighboring properties
    • ensuring that light spill does not cause a hazard or inconvenience to neighboring properties
    • carefully considering landfill sites prior to design, to understand drainage requirements and potential impacts on the construction of sand or artificial field.


    Meet the community's needs by:
    • working closely with Regional Sports Organisations (RSO), sports clubs and the community to identify the required range of active uses
    • identifying trends or growth in particular uses in order to meet the long term needs of sports clubs and organizations. Refer specifically to code facility plans
    • mapping out surrounding facilities, to ensure there is a balance of facilities within any local area
    • ensuring that conflicts arising from the simultaneous use of adjacent pitches are avoided with good field and pitch layout
    • ensuring that sports fields and hard courts are appropriately sized and are large enough to accommodate play (e.g. avoid half courts- instead build full courts so pick-up games can occur and teams can play there)


    Achieve good layout of fields and pitches by:
    • deciding on the siting of playing fields at an early stage in the planning of a sports park. There are a number of factors that should be considered, including site access, topography, gradients, orientation and soil type
    • ensuring the sports fields are fit for purpose. Field dimensions, sports turf design, turf species, drainage and lighting plans should be appropriate for the types of activities to be played on the site
    • considering the appropriateness of siting sports fields on or near heritage or cultural features
    • considering the provision of sports fields in the area. Identify what sport fields are most in demand by referring to the council's Sports Field Demand Study
    • considering the implications of playing fields on other associated requirements e.g. car parking, paths, toilets and changing facilities
    • considering layout in relation to clubrooms. Aim to site clubrooms close to the main playing field but also on the edge of the reserve to allow maximum flexibility of use
    • considering the need for emergency and maintenance vehicle
    • allowing for pitches to move laterally or be re-orientated to reduce wear. The greatest flexibility can be achieved by having a large, flat, well-drained site
    • considering the alignment of pitches and courts in relation to the sun, to minimize glare
    • designing to ensure abundant areas of shade around the edges of sports fields for both spectators and players. Shade is best provided by deciduous trees
    • locating pitches away from boundary fences, to stop balls straying on to roads, footpaths, railway lines or residential properties. Careful planning of the site can minimize risks, but in some cases it might be necessary to install suitable fencing or other barriers such as earth mounds
    • ensuring paths that can accommodate spectators and pedestrians are located around fields for circulation. All access routes should be designed with the requirements of disabled users in mind
    • completing field layout design in close coordination with the path layout for the park, to ensure path layout does not compromise field size or field orientation
    • limiting hard surfaces on paths within cricket field boundaries, as these can cause safety issues
    • ensuring tree planting plans take the larger cricket boundary areas into account when new trees are proposed
    • including adequate run-off margins around the playing areas, especially between adjacent pitches. Where pitches are located next to roads or buildings, larger clearances may be required
    • considering how the run-up area required for cricket practice nets will encroach on field areas. These areas are subject to a high level of wear, which can result in dangerous holes in the outfield over time. These areas should also be aligned away from the west as the majority of adult practices will be from 5pm until 7pm


    Include the right facilities by:
    • ensuring park users have access to public toilets, and making sure these  facilities are open and accessible during training and periods of high use
    • Integrating changing facilities with showers where possible locating drinking fountains at all sports grounds
    • ensuring that supportive amenities, such as comfortable seating, drinking fountains, storage facilities, walking paths and shade for spectators are incorporated around sports fields and hard courts, to encourage use by wider family groups
    • providing a range of seating options and locations, particularly providing seating under trees
    • providing practice or teaching areas as well as formal pitch facilities, to help to reduce wear on playing surfaces
    • considering a cohesive colour palette for all assets required for sports fields e.g. light poles, bins, fences, dugouts and drinking fountains
    • ensuring all artificial fields are fenced with fencing that is low, for less visual impact. Taller sections of fence may be required behind goal posts
    • locating informal gathering and play spaces nearby
    • incorporating interpretative signage or elements to acknowledge the park's heritage. Many Auckland parks are named after people whose legacy should be shared and celebrated


    Ensure good maintenance and management by:
    • routine maintenance of artificial grass facilities as well as periodic rejuvenation and refurbishment works, to prolong life expectancy
    • ensuring footpaths are provided from changing facilities to sand carpet and artificial pitches, to reduce surface contamination from dirty footwear
    • Installing fencing to keep surfaces clean by preventing dog fouling and the accumulation of windblown debris

    using a recommended line marking technique ensuring sports equipment, fencing or s​pecific surfacing components can be serviced by New Zealand based contractors


    Technical standards
    • PSR – Design Standards for Natural Turf Sports Fields
    • PSR – Design Standards for Sports Field Drainage – Drawings
    • PSR – Design Standards for Artificial Turf
    • PSR – Design Standards for Lighting​

    Other resources: