CHAPEL HILL, N.C., June 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) meets today to consider hundreds of thousands of dollars in research grants specifically related to concussion – based on recommendations from the organization's new Scientific Advisory Committee, made up of the nation's leaders in sports science. NOCSAE also will discuss and consider development of a new youth football helmet standard, a new women's lacrosse helmet/head protection standard, a new defensive position head/face protection standard for baseball and softball, as well as potential modifications to existing standards.
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 and facemasks, baseball and softball batters and catchers helmets, baseballs and softballs, ice hockey helmets, soccer shinguards, lacrosse helmets and facemasks and polo helmets.
"NOCSAE brings together key areas of expertise to work together to better protect athletes from concussions and other injuries. We have invested millions of dollars and tapped the knowledge of foremost experts in sports medicine and science to develop and advance the safety of athletic equipment," said Mike Oliver, NOCSAE executive director. "As we consider development of a youth football helmet standard, NOCSAE again utilizes the expertise of the foremost experts in the field of sport science. We must make sure any change does not unintentionally increase risk of different injury."
NOCSAE's football helmet standard applies to all football helmets and does not currently make a distinction between youth and adult helmets. Youth football helmets manufactured and sold must pass the same NOCSAE standard that all football helmets must pass. During its 2011 winter meeting, the NOCSAE board directed additional evaluation and analysis into potential changes that may be beneficial for a youth football helmet, including the possibility of limiting helmet mass. In deciding whether to create a youth football helmet standard and how such a standard might differ from the current standard, NOCSAE will utilize the scientific experience of the members of the Scientific Advisory Committee.
NOCSAE's technical director conducted a comprehensive analysis of all youth helmet standards in sports with an existing NOCSAE standard. The analysis compared the football helmet standard it applies to all helmets to the standard for youth bicycle helmets required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and youth motor sport helmets required by SNELL. According to data and information, the only difference between youth and adult helmet requirements for all available published standards where there is both a youth and an adult standard is a difference between the maximum allowable mass (weight) of the helmet and the extent of coverage the helmet provides. During its summer session NOCSAE will continue discussion of development of a youth football helmet standard that could include potentially limited helmet mass.
NOCSAE is a primary source for research funding in all sports medicine and science related areas and is the leading nongovernmental funding source for sports concussion related research. Since 1995 NOCSAE has dedicated more than $4 million in concussion-related research involving some of the nation's leading academic and research institutions.
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 and facemasks, baseball and softball batters and catchers helmets, baseballs and softballs, ice hockey helmets, soccer shinguards, lacrosse helmets and facemasks and polo helmets. NOCSAE is comprised of representatives from a number of groups which have an interest in athletic equipment – including manufacturers, reconditioners, athletic trainers, coaches, equipment managers, sports medicine and consumer organizations. 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.