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Top questions for FIFA Football Certification

Top questions for FIFA Football Certification: Here are the answers to the most common questions I receive regarding FIFA certification of Footballs.

  1. How much will it cost?

Maybe less than you thought, depending on the certification level you want to achieve. The lowest cost option is FIFA’s International Match Standard (IMS) with its administrative fee of 500CHF plus a lab testing fee that is competitively priced. That is it as far as cost goes for a 2-year certification.

Top questions for FIFA Football Certification

Top questions for FIFA Football Certification

FIFA’s Quality and Quality Pro certifications can be more expensive but equally good value for those targeting top level leagues. FIFA Quality and FIFA Quality Pro incur fees (inclusive of admin and testing) of 3,300CHF to 4,400CHF — this certifies a ball for 4 years. Both Quality and Quality Pro certifications are subject to royalties per ball sold of 0.75CHF and 1.5CHF, with a minimum annual sum of 5,00CHF.

  1. How long does it take?

The application does not take long, but it depends on whether you or your manufacturer hold a valid WFSGI certificate and suitable Product Liability Insurance. At Sports Labs, we aim to have all testing completed and results submitted to FIFA for review within two weeks from the receipt of your samples at our UK laboratory.

  1. I don’t manufacture my own footballs; can I still get them certified?

Yes. You do not need to be a football manufacturer in to become a licensee and certify footballs.

  1. What paperwork do I need?

The paperwork required is the same for all certification levels and it is minimal. You will need to provide the following details:

  • Company Details
  • Contact details
  • Football brand and manufacturer
  • WFSGI Pledge. This is passed directly from WFSGI to FIFA on your behalf.
  • Your Product Liability Insurance certificate showing FIFA as a co-insured party
  • Details of the Football you want to certify

Once the above list is complete, fees are paid and test results are all in check, FIFA will provide a licensee agreement that you need to sign and return. That is it, all of your IMS logos and licence number will be send from FIFA directly to you.

  1. What is the difference between commercial and non-commercial licences?

Not much, is the short answer. But only FIFA’s IMS certifications can be obtained on a non-commercial licence. FIFA Quality and Quality Pro certifications require a commercial licence and will incur royalty fees.

  1. Are FIFA Quality Pro footballs better than FIFA IMS balls?

No, not as a rule. Many manufacturers and resellers choose to certify to IMS rather than Quality or Quality Pro certifications not because the balls are not good enough, but because IMS is sufficient for the target market and it is more cost effective. Many of the IMS balls on the market could easily achieve Quality and Quality Pro status. Of course, there are some that would not.

  1. How long does the certification last?

The certification for all non-commercial licence agreements (most IMS balls) is for 2 years, after which the football model will need to be re-tested. A new fee will be collected and a new agreement signed. A commercial licence agreement works much the but is good for 4 years.

  1. I’m a purchaser and just want to check the quality of the balls I’m buying, can you help?

We are asked this a lot and it should probably be further up on this list. Yes, absolutely. We can conduct stand alone quality testing at any stage, whether it be to check a model that your looking to bulk purchase, assess samples from varying manufacturers or simply as part of your development R&D. We tailor tests and test suites to match your needs, including single tests to more involved research.

  1. I’m having difficulty getting FIFA named as a co-insured party on our Product Liability Insurance, can you help?

Nope, unfortunately it is not our area of expertise. Our advice is to contact a reputable broker. Naturally, we have heard of companies struggling to get FIFA noted as the co-insured party, but with a bit of perseverance, we have never seen it block becoming a FIFA Licensee.

  1. Is there any real benefit to achieving FIFA Certification?

I strongly believe so, the testing conducted at Sports Labs is rigorous and assesses a range of key quality indicators that should give your end buyers confidence in the quality and performance of a product. Put your marketing team to work and display your FIFA IMS, Quality or Quality Pro achievement on your website, tradeshows, and social media. This is a proof of quality stamp, not just an association to FIFA.

You will find more articles like this in our Field Notes directory

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Kubota is top of the class

Kubota is top of the class: Taking grasscutting in-house has allowed site manager Ed Crawford to have better control of the mowing cycle at Horncastle Primary School, and a Kubota Z122R is just the machine for the job.

The Lincolnshire school accommodates 580 pupils from nursery-age to year six, and the four-acre site includes grass playing fields and lawns, from small areas around car parks to a one acre field.

Kubota is top of the class

Kubota is top of the class

“We have used a contractor in the past, but last year decided to do the pedestrian mowing ourselves. It then made sense to have a ride-on for larger areas, as we were paying £2500 a year just for grass cutting.”

A discussion with local Kubota dealer Irelands Farm Machinery, which opened its groundcare division last October, suggested that a Z122R zero turn would be the ideal solution.

Powered by a 19hp petrol engine, the mower packs a punch with a 1.07m (42in) cutting deck to tackle larger areas with ease, but features a clever zero turn steering system. This uses a pair of levers for precise control of forward and reverse and steering, allowing it to manoeuvre in its own length for effortless work in tight or tricky areas such as around flowerbeds or street furniture.

“It’s very manoeuvrable,” comments Mr Crawford, who is the main driver, “But can really move on and cover the ground on a longer run. The levers took a little getting used to but I was soon up and running; it’s very easy to operate.”

He notes that the twin blade rotary deck produces a high quality cut, and says: “The grass has always been cut with a cylinder mower, but I actually think the rotary is doing a better job. We’ve also got the flexibility to mow when the grass needs it, rather than on a contractor’s fixed schedule, and at a time and in conditions that suit us.”

Cut height will mainly be kept fairly consistent, but he praises the ease of adjustment allowing a taller sward to be left in spring and autumn.

“The Kubota has a good, comfortable operator platform and there’s a clear view over the deck,” Mr Crawford notes. “The deck lifts up and there’s a hose slot for easy cleaning out, and on our use so far, fuel consumption looks low,” he says.

Irelands Farm Machinery will offer servicing as needed, but Mr Crawford expects the Z122R to have low running costs.

“It’s a really well-built machine, much more robust than others that we looked at, so I think it will stand up well to the work and will last. We’re very pleased with our choice.”

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STIHL chainsaw wins top award

STIHL chainsaw wins top award: The STIHL MS 400 C-M, the world’s first chainsaw with magnesium piston technology, has been recognised by the International Magnesium Association (IMA) with the prestigious Award of Excellence 2020.

The IMA’s Awards of Excellence is an annual award ceremony that brings together companies who demonstrate outstanding magnesium products and innovative manufacturing technologies. The component and the production process specially developed for the magnesium piston technology utilised in the MS 400 C-M was the winner of the Commercial (non-automotive) Cast Product or Process category.

STIHL chainsaw wins top award

STIHL chainsaw wins top award

Paul Hicks at STIHL GB, said: “At STIHL, we have more than 60 years’ experience working with magnesium and fabricating it and we constantly strive to set new benchmarks in machinery development and production.

“Although we use magnesium in many products, the desire to continue to enhance machinery performance led us to using magnesium piston technology in a chainsaw for the first time. Thanks in no small part to this and the consistent lightweight design, we have succeeded in reducing the weight of the piston and increasing the rpm in the STIHL MS 400 C-M, providing more power and torque to the pro user.”

The IMA Award of Excellence win quickly follows the MS 400 C-M receiving the top prize at the Euroguss 2020 industry trade fair in the “magnesium components” category.

The MS 400 C-M chainsaw has been designed with forestry and arb professionals in mind, offering the highest maximum speed (14,000 rpm) in the 60cm3 class. The lightweight and durable piston weighs just 70g, helping contribute to the machine’s excellent power-to-weight ratio of 1.5 kg per kilowatt, making it ideal for use when working in a forest, particularly over prolonged periods.

For more information on STIHL’s extensive range of forestry saws please visit www.stihl.co.uk.

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Further accolade for Turf Matters in top awards

Further accolade for Turf Matters in top awards: Turf Matters proved that last year’s triumph in the International Turf and Ornamental Communicators Awards was no fluke by winning big again in the delayed 2020 Awards.

Turf Matters Designer, Tim Moat, won two categories for Best Cover (May-June 2019) and Best Single Page Design, while Editor, Scott MacCallum, also took two Firsts – a first equal in the same category of Best Writing, for Stadium of the Future (NovDecember 2019) and What a Rush! (Sept-Oct 2019).

Further accolade for Turf Matters in top awards

Further accolade for Turf Matters in top awards

In addition, for the second year in a row, Scott was awarded the Gardner Award for the Best Overall International Entry for his Stadium of the Future, article which focussed on the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium and the great work Darren Baldwin and his team carry out.

“Tim and I are absolutely delighted. We always strive to bring our readers the best possible magazine and we feel that by winning awards our work is rubber stamped,” said Scott.

“Having independent industry experts assess our work is a useful exercise whether we win Awards or not. That said, it is much more gratifying to win!” he added.

Turf Matters was joined in the winners’ enclosure by Greenkeeper International Editor, Karl Hansell, and Designer Libbie Waddleton, who also picked up several awards.

Turf Matters’ winning entries can be viewed at turfmatters.co.uk – magazine

IKON XD zero-turn is top of the class

IKON XD zero-turn is top of the class: Zero-turn mowing is the fastest way to cut your grass. Speed and manoeuvrability have made zero-turns the increasingly popular alternative in the UK to the conventional ride-on lawnmower.

The ability to turn on its axis eliminates the need for three-point-turns and cuts mowing time by half. What’s more, you’re doing this without the conventional steering system. Zero-turns are driven and steered by the rear wheels via an independent transmission. Two levers are all you need to drive, brake and steer.

IKON XD zero-turn is top of the class

IKON XD zero-turn is top of the class

The latest Ariens IKON XD zero-turn makes it a comfortable and easy ride with a newly designed seat and intuitive controls for precision performance. That’s not all when you’re considering a zero-turn, you need to know you are choosing a machine that is built to last. The IKON XD wholly fits the bill with engineering excellence that puts it top of its class. Sporting new decals and side panels for a sharper look, this is a zero-turn built so much tougher and more durable it will surpass your expectations. That’s because the IKON XD comes with a wide range of commercial features, but at an affordable price for homeowners and semi-professionals. It’s constructed with a fully fabricated, heavy-duty tubular steel frame to provide enhanced strength and stability while travelling over different terrain.

The power comes from a premium Kawasaki 726cc engine for reliability and driving a commercial quality cutter deck. This deck is fully fabricated from 10-gauge steel for the durability of professional-grade equipment. There are 13 cutting heights which can be effortlessly adjusted by turning a dial on the control panel. Built for comfort, with its new high-back seat, armrests and vibration-reducing floor mat, the IKON XD comes with a three-year or 300 hours warranty. Models available: IKON XD 42 with a 107cm (42″) cutter deck or the IKON XD 52 with a 132cm (52″) deck.

For more information contact your local dealer or visit the website ariens-uk.com

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Electric performance in a top handle chainsaw

Electric performance in a top handle chainsaw: Feast your eyes on the new DCS-2500T the first battery-powered top handle chainsaw from ECHO.

Here is an electric saw to meet the needs of the arborist and tree care professionals who use top handle chainsaws daily for pruning and arboriculture. Don’t let the light weight (dry weight 1.6kg) deceive you, this machine packs professional power with exceptional acceleration. In fact, the 50V Lithium-ion battery generates power and cutting performance equivalent to ECHO’s best-selling CS-2511TES petrol chainsaw; and it does it with low vibration and without the noise and emissions, making it perfect for use in noise-sensitive areas. Well balanced and ergonomically designed for manoeuvrability and precision, the DCS-2500T is the latest addition to ECHO’s 50V battery series and is part of their X Series of ‘best in class’ products. The superior, dependable tools are specifically designed for professionals who rely on their tools day in and day out. Often leading in terms of power and performance, X Series products are tested in the most extreme conditions, says the manufacturer, to ensure flawless operation.

Electric performance in a top handle chainsaw

Electric performance in a top handle chainsaw

The DCS-2500T is certainly packed full of beneficial user-friendly features to complement its power and near noiseless operation. Users will find the patented Quick Draw harness ring a real boon for hooking and unhooking the chainsaw in one movement. There’s a drop prevention lanyard hook for off ground safety and this is a truly easy to operate machine with an anti-slip handle grip and patented thumb rest adding to operator comfort. There’s a side-access chain tensioner to allow quick chain adjustments. The driving force, the brushless motor, will ensure long-lasting maintenance-free operation, while the casing has an IPX4 rating for water resistance so the chainsaw is showerproof for protection against the elements. The all-important oil adjustment is situated on the top of the saw so it’s easily adjusted, while filling is equally simple with the flip lever cap opening. Last but not least is the internal air filter which prevents dust from entering the main board and motor.

Qualified top handle arborists and tree surgeons looking for ultimate power with quiet, low vibration and emissions-free professional-grade performance will find ECHO’s DCS-2500T just the ticket for everyday use. Available from about mid-2020.  You can find out more from your local authorised ECHO dealer.

You can also visit www.echo-tools.co.uk or call 01844 278800 for more information.

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Top marks for new line markers

Top marks for new line markers: Rigby Taylor has added two innovative machines to its highly successful Glider, iGO Advance and iGO Mini spray line marking range.

The new iGO Prime and iGO Midi machines feature a number of advanced features including an innovative circulatory paint system for dispensing the company’s award-winning Impact paints.

Top marks for new line markers

This innovative system primes the paint and at the same time mixes or recirculates it back into the drum/container. This means it is re-dispersing the product, which in turn thins the paint and produces an easier spraying experience, as the flow is improved. The system continually recirculates the paint for improved flow and facilitates easier machine cleaning.

Impact paint formulations are available in a choice of formulations for use on a wide range of surfaces – natural, hybrid and synthetic grass as well as hard surfaces including tarmacadams and concrete.

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EGO saws to the top at SALTEX

EGO saws to the top at SALTEX: EGO, the cordless specialists, revealed new additions to its 2020 range at SALTEX last week.

New products were revealed on its stand, giving landscapers, facilities managers and groundscare professionals the first sneak peek at what it has to offer going into 2020. The brand displayed its new 42cm self-propelled mower, 45cm chainsaw, featuring a world’s first auto-tensioning chain, and taking trimming to the next level, the new Rotocut attachment.

EGO saws to the top at SALTEX

Also joining the range in 2020 is the new 10Ah battery, providing even longer run-times and a bristle brush/paddle brush attachment head to be used with the industry-leading Multi-Tool.
A chainsaw demonstration which featured in a covered demo area at the front of EGO’s stand, attracted passers-by as a member of the EGO team demonstrated how easy and powerful the new 45cm chainsaw is to use, boasting its auto-tensioning chain with an impressive 20m/s chain speed lightweight frame and quiet brushless motor.

Answering a strong demand in the market, EGO’s new Rotocut attachment cuts through grass, weeds and moss on concrete, pathways and verges with ease. Featuring two counter-rotating blades instead of line, it maximises run-time and most importantly, prevents debris from being thrown at high speed, making it ideal for use in built up areas.

Bringing the very latest in battery technology to the turf, the EGO Power Plus range of self-propelled mowers are simpler, cleaner, quieter and more comfortable to use. New to the 2020 range the 42cm self-propelled mower, which makes easy work of those smaller grass areas. Fitted with an independent, variable speed self-propel motor it allows the user to take the effort out of pushing. This expansion of the EGO mower range enables customers to choose a mower specific to their gardening needs.

EGO’s state-of-the-art product range offers groundscare volunteers and professionals a solution to issues many of them face every day, such as the importance of using environmental and user-friendly equipment, whilst providing a high-quality result.

Steve Roskell, Marketing Director EMEA at EGO, commented on how the event went: “Well what a show! We were pleased to share a preview of our 2020 range on our stand this year. Interest in EGO continues to grow significantly, firmly establishing us as the cordless specialists. It’s encouraging to see so many dealers and users embrace our 56Volt battery technology and move away from the more traditional petrol-powered products and brands. This trend will only intensify as health and environmental issues are put front and centre.”.

Visit egopowerplus.co.uk for more information.

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ECHO’s new chainsaw top of the class

ECHO’s new chainsaw top of the class: ECHO has developed a rear handle version of its highly successful CS-2511TES top handle chainsaw. The result, the CS-2511WES, is ‘an exceptional chainsaw which will suit professionals across all sectors,’ say ECHO. There’s even a version designed specifically for carvers.

The CS-2511WES is part of ECHO’s X Series range. ECHO says: “these ‘best in class’ products are industry-leading in terms of performance and features. They are designed for professionals who rely on their tools day-in day-out. This is where the chainsaw excels.” Weighing just 2.6kg (dry weight) and producing 1.10kW of power, it has the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. This makes it both highly manoeuvrable and usable for long periods without fatigue. It is ideal for trimming, pruning, small logging and wood carving.

ECHO’s new chainsaw top of the class

“Every ECHO product is designed around the needs of the end-user,” say ECHO, “the CS-2511WES is no exception.” It features a palm rest for precise control, a tool-less air filter cover to allow easy access to the air filter, even when wearing gloves, and tool-less access to fuel and oil tanks. There’s a side access chain tensioner for easy chain adjustment and an anti-icing system to prevent the carburettor from freezing in colder months. Easy Start, ECHO’s patented system, ensures effortless starting, while the oiler adjustment on the top of the chainsaw gives the operator control of the oil flow for optimum operation.

Designed and manufactured in Japan, the CS-2511WES is powered by a 25.0cc professional-grade, Stage 2 low emissions compliant ECHO engine. It comes with a 0.050” gauge, 30cm (12”) cutting bar. For carvers, the CS-2511WESC has a 0.043” gauge, 25cm (10”) carving bar and chain. Both chainsaws come with a two-year professional or five-year domestic warranty.

You can find out more from your local authorised ECHO dealer. You can also visit www.echo-tools.co.uk or call 01844 278800 for more information.

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Sherriff taking Bovey Castle back to the top

Sherriff taking Bovey Castle back to the top: Scott Duff, head greenkeeper at Bovey Castle in Devon, is using a range of Sherriff Amenity products to help the club get back into the Top 100 Golf Courses.

Designed in 1926 by J F Abercromby, one of the finest British golf course designers of the last century, Bovey Castle’s 18 hole championship golf course is challenging and surrounded by the natural beauty of the Dartmoor.

Sherriff taking Bovey Castle back to the top

Scott, who has been at Bovey Castle for four years, started his turf career in football at Torquay United FC before switching to greenkeeping. He admits that it was somewhat of a challenging transition but claims that he has no regrets.

“When I was in football groundsmanship, I had always wanted to try greenkeeping but to be honest I was always worried that I would be out of my depth,” he said. “I went from looking after just one surface which had a fairly consistent maintenance regime to suddenly looking after a multitude of different areas – each with their own requirements. It was the biggest challenge in my career but also the best because I can confidently say that I love my job.”

Scott excelled in his new role and was rewarded two years ago when he was promoted to the position of head greenkeeper. Now, alongside Sean Bennett – course manager, the two of them have a very clear goal.

“We are a championship course which used to be in the top 100 but not anymore unfortunately. Quite simply our goal is to get back in there. I think with Sean’s knowledge of managing a course, his drive and his passion, along with the improvements he wants to make, I think it is very realistic.

“We are not a million miles away but we still have a lot of work to do and with people like David Chammings from Sherriff Amenity on-board then this will only boost our chances. David has really changed the way we approach our feed programmes and also some of the work we do out on the course because he draws up management plans which concentrate on what we should be doing throughout certain periods of the year.”

After consultation, David recommended a tank mixture consisting of iNTrench fertiliser 15.0.9 and GoGreen Energy bio-stimulant for the greens – two products which perfectly complement one another.

iNTrench is a controlled uptake nitrogen fertiliser designed specifically for the needs of professional sports turf. It gives up to ten weeks of improved blade colour and a higher quality turf with 66% the nitrogen rate of leading competitors. Its tank-mix partner, GoGreen Energy, is a concentrated bio-stimulant, formulated to assist plant health and relieve stress symptoms.

“Every course is different and you have to work out what is best for your site,” said Scott. “With iNTrench and GoGreen, we find that if we go at half rate (20 l/ha) every two weeks, then the greens seem to hold the nutrients a lot better. By applying it like this we notice healthier greens and also better longevity out of the products. This tank-mix has worked really well for us and there has been a big improvement in the greens.

“In fact, we also use this mix with the addition of seaweed on our tees if they need some instant colour-up.”

Scott also reported excellent results from Sherriff Amenity’s Aqua-Zorb 45 – a unique wetting agent, which helped him through a somewhat difficult summer last year.

“Last year, Aqua-Zorb was a real saviour for us. I would say that at least 90% of courses in the UK would say that the disease period for golf was horrendous last year and a good wetting agent could have saved money on fungicides and relieved the drought stress.

“We had such intense heat last year and Aqua-Zorb still worked incredibly well considering we were frequently seeing temperatures of 30°C plus.

“I feel we have been going through a massive transition period and this year we will see even more improvements to the course. The Sherriff Amenity products have played a big role in the success over the past couple of years and I can’t fault the service from David whatsoever.”

For further information, please contact Sherriff Amenity on 01638 721 888 or visit www.sherriffamenity.com

For more news and insightful views, you can follow Sherriff Amenity on Twitter @SherriffAmenity

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