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What is a MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area)?

The definition of a MUGA states that it is an abbreviation of ‘Multi-Use Games Area’: an area used for playing different sports, usually with a fence around it. It can also be less commonly referred to as a MUSA or a ‘multi-use sports area’.

MUGAs are innovative, and can have bespoke design solutions allowing multiple sports to be played in the same area, typically consisting of football goal ends complete with integrated basketball hoops, but, they can also be fully customised to accommodate netball, hockey, tennis, cricket, volleyball, and many other sports in a variety of spaces and settings.

What are the benefits of a Multi-Use Games Area?

  • They can be installed in a short space of time.
  • They are a low maintenance, ‘fit and forget’ product, when installed correctly with high quality materials.
  • They can be refurbished and freshened up after decades of constant use/wear and tear.
  • They are flexible, space-saving solutions which are ideal in areas with limited available space.

Enclosed with fencing MUGAs provide secure, low maintenance, all weather facilities that can last for decades, providing a wealth of activites for the local community or schools. They can usually be customised and installed with gated access, or, chicane entry points.  Curved Back Goals for example also provide additional access points into and out of the court.

MUGA Fencing: what types of fencing are available?

The most suitable type of fencing to use can depend largely on the frequency of use and where the MUGA is to be located. For example, if the MUGA is to have semi-frequent usage or is in a controlled area such as a school then medium duty or 868 mesh fencing could be used. If the MUGA is to get heavy usage or is located in an area where it may be subject to attempted vandalism then a heavy duty MUGA may be better suited. The different types of fencing will determine what style of MUGA can be installed in a particular area.

What different types of MUGA are there?

Medium duty MUGAs

A medium duty MUGA is constructed using 868 mesh fencing, which gets its name after the two horizontal 8mm wires sandwiched between a vertical 6mm wire. This can often be provided with a 1.2m rebound panel at the bottom to help reduce some of the noise caused by balls rebounding off the fencing. The panels often range in sizes from 2m up to 6m.

Heavy duty MUGAs

A heavy duty MUGA is constructed out of heavy-duty fencing and posts.  They typically come hot-dip galvanised and powder coated in any standard RAL colour, which adds far greater protection. They can also feature a weld on every joint rather than every 5 joints which makes them far more robust. An additional top and bottom tube on each panel further adds to its strength as well as reducing the noise associated with balls rebounding off the panels by up to 50%. The panels typically range from 1m up to 4m. One of the most popular style of MUGAs at the moment is an Arched Curved MUGA which provides an aesthetic space, which doesn’t feel too enclosed.

MUGA Surfacing: what are the best options?

The surfacing option you choose will depend largely on the sports you intend to play, and the available budget.

  1. Macadam or Tarmacadam is the most common surfacing as it is suitable for all weathers. It provides a hard, porous surface that is ideal for sports like basketball, netball, football and hockey where a ball can bounce and roll on the flat surface.
  2. Synthetic turf offers a year-round solution, suitable for a number of sports.
  3. ‘2G’ pitches are a shorter and denser surface that is dressed with sand; ideal for sports like hockey.
  4. ‘3G’ pitches are similar to ‘2G’ but they have a longer pile and are often dressed with either sand or a rubber performance infill. These are ideal for sports such as rugby and football, as they can also be installed with a shock-pad under the top surface to absorb falls and allow contact sports to take place.
  5. Polymeric surfacing is a bonded rubber granule surface. It provides a porous surface that allows water to drain away. The surface also offers impact absorption. It can also be used for a variety of sports.

The type of surface used often comes down to factors such as what sports will be played and what condition the ground is in.

If you are thinking of installing a MUGA in your local area, the best thing to do is to find a company that specialises in the design and manufacture of MUGAs and speak to them about any questions or concerns that you have. They should be able to guide you through the process and inform you about the different options available as well as costs, timescales and suitability.

If you have any further questions about MUGAs, and how one could enhance your public space, we would love to speak with you about it.

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