NOCSAE Gathers Athletic Safety Experts to Decide on Third-Party Verification Requirement

SEATTLE, June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) summer board meeting begins today in Seattle, WA. During this meeting NOCSAE will consider whether certification of conformance of athletic equipment should be made by an independent and American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited third-party certifying body under the International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission requirements (ISO/IEC 17065).

"This requirement will provide an objective and independent evaluation of equipment conformance to our standards," said Mike Oliver, NOCSAE executive director. "NOCSAE standards require quality assurance compliance that goes beyond industry and governmental standards, and we believe requiring third-party certification will help ensure that these high levels are objectively maintained. We have long worked to increase sports equipment safety and this change will provide additional assurance to the consumer that NOCSAE standards are met."

At the meeting chaired by Dr. Robert Cantu, a leading sports concussion specialist, NOCSAE vice president and chair of the NOCSAE Scientific Advisory Committee, the NOCSAE board will review key updates on concussion protection measures. The board will hear about the Scientific Advisory Committee's progress in developing recommendations towards a youth football helmet standard and preliminary review of several new concussion research grant applications. Also, potential standards modifications and revisions, including equipment standards for youth football and women's lacrosse, will be considered.

The NOCSAE Scientific Advisory Committee advises the NOCSAE board on current science relating to concussion protection and prevention, and provides input to the board to inform standards. The committee is composed of independent experts in the areas of neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, biomechanics, and epidemiology, and focuses on directing scientific research to understand the relationship between athlete concussions and helmet standards.

The NOCSAE Board also will be reviewing 23 preliminary grant applications for evaluation and funding, most of which address concussions in sports. This review and selection process identifies grant applications which the Board believes will most effectively address the issues and science, and which will likely advance the knowledge necessary to inform the NOCSAE standards.

"The topic of athlete concussions is a prominent national issue that needs a long-term solution," said Dr. Cantu. "Our Scientific Advisory Committee is dedicated to understanding the complex factors leading to and following a concussion so that improvements can be made in protection, prevention, and treatment. NOCSAE's grant research funding program is highly focused on advancing scientific knowledge related to athlete concussions. We strive for continued innovation in sports medicine, so athletes of all ages are confident that their equipment is certified to standards based on in-depth, expert research."

Formed in 1969, NOCSAE is a leading force in the effort to improve athletic equipment and reduce injuries by setting performance standards for equipment and funding research necessary to advance the science of sports. NOCSAE develops performance and test standards for football helmets and facemasks, baseball and softball batters' and catchers' helmets, baseballs and softballs, ice hockey helmets, soccer shin guards, lacrosse helmets and facemasks, and polo helmets.

NOCSAE is the leading nongovernmental source for concussion-specific research funding in sports medicine and science. Since 1995, NOCSAE has devoted more than $7 million toward research by the foremost experts in sports medicine and science to develop and advance athlete safety.

About NOCSAE

NOCSAE, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, is an independent and nonprofit standard-setting body with the sole mission to enhance athletic safety through scientific research and the creation of performance standards for protective equipment. Formed in 1969, NOCSAE is a leading force in the effort to improve athletic equipment and, as a result, reduce injuries. NOCSAE efforts include the development of performance and test standards for football helmets, gloves and facemasks, baseball and softball batters' and catchers' helmets, baseballs and softballs, ice hockey helmets, soccer shin guards, lacrosse helmets and facemasks and polo helmets. NOCSAE is comprised of a board of directors representing stakeholders from a number of groups – including consumer and end users, equipment manufacturers and reconditioners, athletic trainers, coaches, equipment managers, and academic and sports medicine associations. These diverse interests have joined forces in an attempt to arrive at a common goal of reducing sports-related injuries. NOCSAE is a nonprofit, charitable organization supported by individuals and organizations with an interest in athletics. For more information, please visit www.nocsae.org.

SOURCE National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE)



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