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History of line marking

Regular marking of sports pitch lines has been in existence since the late 19th century with the formation of the Football Association and the Rugby Football Union. Each sport's governing body began to develop their own rules and regulations, which led to each sport having their own particular pitch markings. Also, at around the same time, the All England Croquet Club decided to offer lawn tennis as an added attraction. Markings were used earlier in cricket following the foundation of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the creation of a Code of Laws requiring the wickets to be pitched 22 yards apart.

Most, if not all, of these sports were played on grass surfaces and required some form of line marking. Some of the earliest marking materials used were wood shavings and dust. Eventually, this progressed to chalk and limestone materials that could be crushed into simple dry marking compounds and easily spread. Being white, the chalk and limestone materials reflected the light, thus enhancing the visibility of the lines. A further development saw these materials being mixed with water which acted as a carrier enabling more efficient use of the materials. At this time a simple transfer wheel marker was designed and developed to apply this liquid mix of chalk/ limestone and water.

Early marking materials did not have the ability to last long, being easily washed out during rain. To overcome this problem some groundstaff resorted to adding weed killers or substituting white line marking materials with creosote. The use of these materials generally killed off the grass, and between the 1960's and 1980s' was an accepted practice.

Law now bans the use of lime and creosote.

During the 1960's and early 1970's a wide range of marking machines became available, better designed with enhanced engineering techniques giving an improved wheel performance. Pressurised jet systems were being developed allowing the marking out of two lines at once and giving an alternative method of application.


Contact: Ray Delaney today for a quote.

Phone: 087 7622047      

Email: ray@qualitypitchmarking.net

Non-Permanent materials

  1. 1Powders. Chalk based products mainly for use on grass surfaces. The powder can be used on its own using a gravity fed dry marker or be mixed with water or emulsion products to produce a liquid and used in transfer wheel markers or some spray markers.

  2. 2All Weather Surface Compounds. Special dry compounds for use on redgra, black ash and similar surfaces. Used in gravity fed dry markers.

  3. 3Liquids. Water based paints and emulsions can be used on all grass and artificial surfaces (not redgra/black ash). Can be supplied in a ready to use form or concentrated. Used in transfer wheel or spray markers.

Permanent Materials

  1. 1Paint. For use on playgrounds, car parks, sports halls and areas that need frequent washing. Applied by brush or a pump system sponge roller.

  2. 2Aerosols. For use on grass or all hard surfaces. Can be applied by hand, with a handgun applicator or a purpose built wheeled applicator.

  3. 3Tapes. Plastic for use on grass or gravel/Redgra type surfaces. Fixed with nails or tacks.

  4. 4Redrock Pitch Line. A new concept involving the stitching of UV treated polypropylene material into the surface of the pitch using a specialist machine. Produces a permanent line that, according to the manufacturer, is guaranteed for ten years.

High Quality Pitch Marking:

Need your Pitch remarked or set out from scratch

or a durable bi-monthly service?

Contact: Ray Delaney today for a quote.

Phone: 087 7622047    OR    Email: ray@qualitypitchmarking.net