The "Test Match" system (UK Patent No. 2311730 B) is the Mark 4 incarnation of the tried and tested combination of a specialised hard porous aggregate over an angular stone foundation and represents the most sophisticated design of its type.
Pace and bounce on the pitch is determined by the moisture and compaction in the base and changes as the prevailing climate varies during the season, becoming faster and more bouncy as the base hardens. Users can also roll the pitch before use to further manage the playing performance to suit their own requirements.
Within the "Test Match" the selected aggregates, which includes 10mm-dust stone as the foundation, are isolated from the surrounding ground and each other by RBGtex, to prevent mixing and worm infestation. With the largest particle being 10mm coupled with the dust content the stone can be graded to fine tolerances before subsequent layers are laid. AP10 Shockpad protects the surface of the hard porous to reduce the effect of balls landing on the surface. This eliminates the risk of any deterioration in the base construction meaning maintenance is lower and in years to come only the surface needs replacing.Contrary to what others might claim all pitches of this genre, if constructed correctly, will provide similar performance when first constructed. However, without protection beneath the carpet the surface of the hard porous can become pitted and require levelling resulting in a higher maintenance. Without the geotextiles worms can infiltrate the base and disturb the surface, again resulting in the hard porous needing levelling, and in time the two layers of aggregate can become integrated in to a solid mass resulting in a gradual increase in pace and bounce until the pitch can play like concrete. In extreme circumstances the larger base stone can even work its way up through the hard porous to the surface causing irregular bounce. Should either of these occur the only option is to remove the aggregate and construct a new base.
If your looking for the performance this type of base provides the "Test Match" system is the best option as only the Test Match system includes these features to guarantee the base stays in its constructed state. The "Premier" system includes both Premier Pad and AP10 Shockpad laid over a specialised hard porous base. As with the "Test Match" system the hard porous is isolated from the surrounding ground by RBGtex to prevent contamination and erosion.
The addition of the Premier Pad creates additional bounce and eliminates the need for the compacted stone sub-base.
With bounce now being provided by a manufactured product the condition of the base becomes less influential reducing the variable element of the pitch due to climate and compaction. This means that consistent levels of bounce are provided for all age groups throughout the season. The ball is able to grip in the extra layer of the design making the pitch more receptive to spin and seam.
This combination of consistent and true bounce, providing confidence to batsmen, coupled with movement through spin and seam, providing some assistance to the bowlers, makes the pitch an ideal balance between bat and ball.