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What type of sport facilities does Active Places hold information on?

The Active Places Database currently holds information on 14 facility types, each of which has one or more sub types.  They are listed below.  The Active Places Sport Data Model defines additional facility types and Sport England is actively working to introduce data for these facility types.


Facility Type



Facility Sub-Type



Athletics Tracks

Permanently constructed all weather 400m outdoor running track with a minimum number of 4 lanes. Does not include tracks that are seasonally marked out on grass or short (200m) training tracks that are marked out on Synthetic Turf pitches.



Tracks made from acrylic man made material. Surfaces give greater cushioning for runner and are the most modern form of track.   Synthetic tracks are gradually replacing cinder and grass tracks.  This surface is also called 'Tartan'.




Tracks made from unbound material, such as cinder.  This category includes Redgra (natural aggregate dressing), shale and 'real cinder' tracks. 





Permanent Grass

Tracks that are permanently marked out on grass.   Does not include running tracks which are seasonally marked out during the summer; this tends to be the case which many school tracks.


Health and Fitness Suite

Normally a minimum of 20 stations, although some small health & fitness suites may be included.


Health and Fitness Suite

A room or rooms with cardiovascular and/or resistance stations, and possibly also free weights and stretching areas.


Indoor Bowls

Permanent indoor facility which contains a carpeted bowls green area.  Can be a purpose built bowls centre or dedicated bowls area within a sports facility.   The bowls green area must be specifically constructed for bowls use.  Does not include short matt bowls areas, which are temporarily laid out in multipurpose halls. 


Indoor Bowls



Indoor Tennis Centre

Covered or indoor tennis courts, includes standalone indoor tennis structures, purpose built tennis centres and indoor courts connected to other sports facilities, such as sports clubs.  To only include dedicated indoor tennis courts, and not multi use halls or outdoor MUGA's which are marked out as tennis courts. 



Unframed fabric structure which requires inflating to form its shape.  Commonly referred to as 'Bubbles'. Can be over existing outdoor courts. Most cost effective way to provide indoor court. Most common type of non-traditional indoor court.



Airhall (seasonal)

As above, but only inflated part of the year.



Framed Fabric

Steel frame covered with fabric. Permanent structure which does not require 'inflating'.






Permanent structure which is not fabric. Traditional steel/timber framed and block structure.


Grass Pitches

A grass that is marked out for at least part of the year as a pitch for a particular sport, upon which a match could be played.  Does not include Artificial Grass Pitches (these should be included in AGPs).  Does not include grass pitches of less than 0.4 hectares.


Adult Football

Minimum size 90m x 46m, max 120m x 90m



Junior Football 11v11

Minimum size 70 x 42, max 82 x 56




A grass area that is has a marked out cricket square for at least part of the year and upon which a cricket match can be played.  Minimum size 46 x 46



Senior Rugby League

Minimum size 88m x 55m (recreational) max 122m x 68m (inc goal area)



Junior Rugby League



Senior Rugby Union

71m x 44m min to 144m x 70m max (inc in goal area) (exc run offs)



Junior Rugby Union

60m x 30m min to 70m x 43m max  (inc in goal area) (exc run offs)



Australian Rules Football

135m x 110m min to 185m x 155m max (exc run offs)



American Football

109.73 x 48.77m min (exc run off)




91.4m x 55m (exc run off)




100m x 55m (men), 100m x 50m min to 122 x 60m max (women) (exc run offs)




40m x 60m min (min 30m boundary) to 60m x 100m senior max (min 50m boundary),




21.34m x 21.34m to 27.43m x 27.43m max (diamond) (exc run off & outfield)




16.76m x16.76m to 19.81m x 19.81m max (diamond) (exc run off & outfield)



Gaelic Football

130m x 80m min to 145m x 90m max (exc run offs)




128m x 64m min to 155m x 73 max 9 (exc run offs)




130m x 80m min to 145m x 90m max (exc run offs)




230m x 146m min to 275m x 183m max (exc run offs)



Cycling Polo

120m x 80m min to 150m x 100m max (exc run offs)



Mini Soccer

Minimum 27.45m x 18.3m , max 54.9m x 36.6m



Mini Rugby

70m x 30m min to 70m x 35m max (inc in goal area) (exc run offs)





Junior Football 9v9

64m x 46m min, 82m x 46m max (exc run offs)


Sports Hall

Indoor multi-sports hall where a range of sport and recreational activities are carried out. 2 or more of the sport and recreational activities must be from the list of Activities, one or more of which must be on at least a weekly basis. One hall per site must be at least 18x10m, the size of one badminton court including surrounding safety area. Includes specifically designed sports halls, such as leisure centres and school sports halls, and also additional halls where activities can take place, such as school assembly halls, community buildings and village halls.  Specialist centres, e.g. dance centres, are not included. Includes other structures which may have been developed for other purposes but are now being used as a permanent sports hall (Barn).



Main multi-sports hall(s) within site.  Minimum size is marked out as 3 Badminton courts and above. Dimensions Min width 18m, max width 70m, Min Length 27m Max length 90m


Activity Hall

This is a multi-sports hall (below 3 badminton courts) where activities take place that does not qualify as a main hall and is not a purpose built studio.  It can include Community/Village halls. It should be between the following dimensions: min width 9m, max width 18m, min length 17m, max length 26m. It may or may not be marked out.






Marked out with Minimum size of 4 badminton courts or 1 basketball court, or 1 netball court or 1 volleyball court. These are buildings which did not start out life as a dedicated sports hall but are now used for that purpose. Typically the dimensions of the building are much greater than the courts they contain. May include courts marked out in the middle of a indoor velodrome or indoor running track.


Swimming Pool

Enclosed area of water, specifically maintained for all forms of water based sport & recreation.  Includes general swimming, teaching, training, diving, club use and school use.  Includes indoor and outdoor pools, freeform leisure pools, and specific diving tanks. Where an area of a pool is normally cordoned off as a purpose-built off-shoot of the main rectangular tank, e.g. diving section off a main pool, it is treated as a separate pool.



Indoor only.  Principle pool(s) within site.  Minimum length is 15m.  Pool must be traditional rectangular tank.  Where a main pool has had flumes/slides fitted, provided the pool is rectangular in shape, it should be classified as a 'Main/General' pool.


Leisure Pool

Indoor only.  A pool which has a freeform, curved shape on the majority of its sides.  These pools are primarily designed for informal recreational swimming and may include flumes, slides, beach areas, water jets, wave machines.   Some leisure pools may have been designed to allow lane swimming within a specific area of the pool. These pools should be classified as 'leisure' where the majority of its sides are freeform.  If lanes are present, these should be counted, and the length recorded.



Indoor only.  Either less than 15m in length, or a secondary pool within site. Smaller and generally shallower than Main pool, and traditionally rectangular in shape.  May have stepped/shallow area for infant use.  Record number of lanes if present.



Indoor only.  Pool specifically designed for diving.  Pools are usually square and deeper than main pools.



Public open-air pool. Includes ponds which have roped off section e.g. Hampstead. May be seasonal and only opened for six months of year. When shut status should be marked as Temporarily closed.


Artificial Grass Pitch

Synthetic alternative to grass, providing an all-weather surface for pitch sports, in particular, hockey and football. Pitches must be a minimum of 75m x 45m and be floodlit.  Does not include other non-turf surfaces, such as tarmac, concrete, Redgra (natural aggregate dressing).  Where there are two pitches within one site, of the same sub type but different measurements, these should be entered as separate facilities.


Sand Filled

20-25mm tufted carpet covered filled with graded sand laid over a rubber shock pad and engineering base. Most common surface for STP's, used in particular for hockey & football, but can be used by other activities, such as American Football, Lacrosse, and training for Rugby and Athletics.


Water Based

Similar pile to sand based, very dense synthetic sports surfaces that are irrigated with water. Combined with some form of underlay/shock-pad, sometimes integral. The carpets or the pad are typically designed to hold up the water flow at a specific rate.  This is the preferred surface for Hockey and is used for first class games.


Rubber crumb pile (3G)

50mm - 65mm long pile carpet filled with rubber crumb/sand. Generically named 'Third Generation' pitches. Used predominantly for football, but can be used for other sports such as rugby.     





Sand Dressed

This has sand base rather than sand infilling. A sand dressed pitch has a heavier amount of fibres which are more exposed, giving it a greener appearance. This is the preferred surface for club hockey



All golf courses with a minimum number of 9 holes, and driving ranges



A standard par course, with a minimum of 9 holes.


Par 3

Shorter length of holes than the standard course, where no hole is over Par 3.





Driving Range

Includes covered and uncovered driving bays. Range must have a minimum of 10 driving bays. Ranges based on hire of balls by the bucket, and user does not retrieve balls.  Does not include practise areas within golf courses.


Ice Rinks

All permanent ice rinks.  Does not include temporary ice rinks such as the one at Somerset House.


Ice Rinks



Ski Slopes

A slope for skiing; natural slopes may be seasonal.  Does not include cross-country skiing tracks.


Outdoor Artificial

Permanent outdoor artificial slope


Outdoor Natural

Seasonal outdoor ski slope; must be equipped with a tow.






Indoor ski slope;  snowdome



A purpose built studio where classes are held for a range of activities such as yoga, aerobics, spinning, martial arts etc.  Normally it has a sprung floor and/or mirrors. It must be at a site that also has another Active Places facility. 





Squash Courts

Purpose build court(s) designed for playing squash.  A Squash court is a rectangular box with four vertical walls of varying height, being the Front Wall, Side Walls and Back Wall.  It has a level floor and a clear height above the court area.  Minimum dimensions are 9.74m x 6.39m.  The clear height above finished floor level (i.e. the height to the underside of the lowest obstruction) over the whole of the court must be not less than 5.64m.



The court has a glass or transparent back wall






Definition to follow


Tennis Courts

Marked out for tennis only, these should be one full size court with safety margins and be fenced. May be floodlit.


Tennis Courts

Marked out surface with minimum of 34.75m x 16.75m