Freshly mown vs moans and groans
Given the choice, players would opt for natural grass pitches over artificial turf, saying it is less dangerous. And the statistics would appear to back them up, with fake grass shown to produce almost a third more injuries.
"I like natural grass more. We are more prone to ankle injuries on artificial ones," said 28-year-old rugby player Chris Brightwell, who is in town for this week's HKFC Tens.
Brightwell, who has been playing rugby and training on natural grass since he was five, is a member of the UK-based Penguins team and was training on artificial turf in Happy Valley on Monday.
He said fake grass caused friction which slowed players down. "My feet also get hotter and it means I need more energy to get through the game," he said.
Secondary school teacher Ryan Yau, who teaches football at the pitches in the Happy Valley racecourse twice a week, said he would see heatwaves rising from the artificial turf in summer.
Dr John Wong Ping-san, president of the city's Physical Fitness Association, said a 2010 American study found that artificial turf produced 27 per cent more injuries than natural grass pitches did. The study examined 465 competitions at 24 universities in the United States.
"Still, there's no conclusion that the artificial turf is more dangerous. It depends on the quality of the turf as well," he said.
A Leisure and Cultural Services Department spokeswoman said that among the 30 artificial turf pitches in the city, 19 were regarded as high quality as they benefitted from some of the latest technical advances.
She added that the installation of artificial turf was recommended by Fifa, the international football association.
Baptist University's head of the Physical Education Department, Chung Pak-kwong, said artificial turf was suitable only for beginners and junior players.
"It is easier for professional teams to get injured on artificial turf as they play harder," he said.
"They can get burns because of the heat and friction of the grass. It also takes them longer to recover because their wounds are often complicated with infection caused by chemicals in the fake grass."
He noted that Fifa has received sponsorship from artificial turf companies.
The department said that according to their records, no players were injured on artificial turf pitches last year.