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ASB moves into football after 500 moveable squash walls

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Aerial view of the ASB glass pitch
Aerial view of the ASB glass football pitch and arena in Berlin

Boxing could be next after success of glass football arena

By PETER SCHMIDL – Squash Mad Correspondent

Leading squash court manufacture ASB has taken its pioneering glass floor concept successfully into the world’s most popular sport football.

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.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/FNIi8de5vgc” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

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“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 glassfloor 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!”

ASB instals 500th moveable side wall
Pioneering squash court manufacturer ASB is celebrating the installation of its 500th Movable Wall Court.

The new facility is under construction at the Harvey Hadden Sports Centre in Nottingham, England.

German company ASB unveiled its movable wall court concept in 1980 to provide maximum flexibility for sports centres. Walls can easily be moved either to extend singles squash courts into doubles courts – or to convert a dedicated squash facility into an open arena for multi-sport usage.

The concept was used to maximum effect at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Scotland, where the six singles courts at the Scotstoun Sports Campus in Glasgow were transformed into four doubles courts at the touch of a button.

The new ASB facility in Nottingham will feature the ASB “GameCourt”, ie. three ASB System 100 courts, equipped with two movable side walls.

The courts have been installed by ASB’S UK and Ireland partners CourtCare. “In the six months we’ve been working together, we have secured 21 new courts already, which has proven that a good product, installed with a highly-skilled team, is the perfect combination,” said CourtCare Managing Director Richard Ingle.

“ASB have been the world leaders for many years, and their presence is only going to get stronger as CourtCare is the major player in the UK market, and offers unparalleled support for its products.”

ASB movable court walls are now sited in 37 countries on six continents.

“Our main goal is to provide the maximum technical features to our courts to give the best possibilities to our customers to create different spaces for other activities out of their squash courts,” said ASB Squash CEO Jiri Grulich. “Moveable walls provide absolute flexibility for all court owners – and will become even more invaluable in the event of an increasing worldwide interest in doubles squash.”

ASB founder and innovator Horst Babinsky added: “We are in permanent interchange of ideas with federations, media, promoters, and squash fans, alike to do our best in promoting squash.”

The latest ASB moveable walls are installed at Harvey Hadden Sports Centre in Nottingham
The latest ASB moveable walls are installed at Harvey Hadden Sports Centre in Nottingham

ASB BACKGROUND
ASB SquashCourt is a leader in its market and has to date supplied more than 7,000 squash courts to satisfied customers in 70 countries all over the world. ASB SquashCourts have also worked very closely with the World Squash Federation (WSF), the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) to deliver show glass courts for the most prestigious events all over the world.

Further event highlights information: asbsquash.com/highlights/

Harvey Hadden Sports Complex is the event venue for the CPISRA 2015 World Games. Nottingham City Council is investing £13.5 million to develop and transform Harvey Hadden into Nottingham’s largest state-of-the-art leisure facility – part of an ambitious transformation programme to modernise City leisure centre facilities to meet the needs of local communities.

The Harvey Hadden Leisure Centre will reopen in 2015, refurbished and modernised, with the following new and improved facilities:

• 50 metre swimming pool with adjustable pool floor that splits into two 25 metre pools enabling more public swimming access especially during the day
• Two multi-use activity studios for fitness movement and dance
• Large fitness room/gym
• New male and female dry changing rooms
• New pool changing village with baby, disabled, and group/school changing areas
• Pool viewing and spectator seating
• Health suite – sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi
• Refurbished sports hall, including ASB squash courts
• Vending area and cafeteria facilities
• Improved access and facilities for disabled people, including a ‘Changing Places’ toilet

 

Pictures courtesy of ASB 

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