Leading squash court manufacture ASB has taken its pioneering glass floor concept successfully into the world’s most popular sport football.
Earlier this month, Nike installed “the coolest football pitch ever” on the roof top of the Bikini Mall in Berlin for the finals of the German Nike Football X Cup and the European Nike Football X Cup.
Furthermore, Nike used the event to demonstrate its brand performance of the two Champions League finalists (FC Barcelona and Juventus Turin) to launch the “Hypervenum X” shoe – a new football trainer for small field competition on performance surfaces.
The arena, custom-built for the three-day event, featured a 150 sq metre sports floor football pitch – equipped with an LED screen over the entire surface. The 10m x 15m pitch (pictured above) was created by sports floor specialists ASB – incorporating the technology of the “ASB GlassFloor”, the state-of-the-art squash court floor recently launched by the German company.
The unique floor featured more than 15 million LEDs – 10,000 per square metre. The ASB GlassFloor glass made it possible to walk on the surface – the non-reflective high-performance glass equipped with a special cushioning layer and applied to the top of the LED surface.
“The result of the cutting-edge technology is breathtaking,” said ASB MD Christof Babinsky. “A pitch for small field soccer that can be used as a screen across the whole of the surface. The ‘screen’ was used to imitate several different surfaces – like sand, grass, concrete, gravel and even outer space. The score was displayed live on the floor and different graphic animations in foul, goal or attempt situations made the fast game even more exciting.”
The Nike event attracted several stars, including German World Cup hero Miroslav Klose and Brazilian’s soccer legend and two-times World Cup winner Ronaldo (Ronaldo Nazário de Lima) – who both tested the pitch and picked three of the players each to compete in a celebrity-studded tournament.
“The event was a massive success,” added Babinsky. “The feedback we received from athletes was fantastic. All players had been fascinated by the glass floor and the grip on the glass. The matt surface made it possible to use the surface as a competition surface even under direct sunlight, because the players cannot get blinded by the reflection.
“We knew it would be cool, but even our expectations were exceeded! “The next step is to design the full LED floor as a modular system that allows even faster installation or de-installation. Install times are a key factor for events of this type. With a modular system we can install a full screen basketball floor that has three times the size of the recent installation in only one day.”
This initiative follows the recent announcement of the installation of the 500th ASB “Movable Wall Court” facility. This squash court development provide maximum flexibility for sports centres, where walls can easily be moved either to extend singles squash courts into doubles courts, or convert a dedicated squash facility into an open arena for multi-sport usage.
The new glass floor development now offers additional benefits – where the floor markings can instantly be adjusted to suit the arena usage, thereby avoiding the current situation where numerous different ‘pitch layouts’ have to co-exist side-by-side. A variety of sports in addition to squash – eg. badminton, basketball, volleyball, handball, tennis or even boxing – could benefit from this new cutting-edge technology.
“It would be great to see Klitschko on a glass floor,” concluded Babinsky. “This technology is made for boxing!”