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Participation Invited to Standardize Soccer Shin Guard Product Marking

A Soccer Shin Guard Task Group has formed within Subcommittee F08.55 on Body Padding in Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities to develop standards that evaluate the level of protection of shin-guards.

“There has been a tremendous increase in the number of children and young adults that are now participating in youth soccer organizations,” said Subcommittee Chair Raymond Shute, technology manager, OleTex, Inc., South Holland, Ill.

“It is possible that some shin guards on the market may actually increase the risk of injury by allowing a person to believe they are protected (and therefore take more chances) while in fact, the shin guard is not effective in offering protection to the user.”

According to Shute, no standard measure of protection exists for soccer shin guards. Working to change that are manufacturers, designers, material suppliers, and biomechanical engineers on the task group who are members of ASTM Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities. “We hope to develop testing methodology and standards that will allow consumers to rank the various shin guards based on the degree of safety that they offer to the user,” Shute said.

“The body padding committee recently developed a standard for protection of riders in equestrian sports and this task group hopes to develop similar standards for soccer shin guards.”

Additional manufacturers and suppliers, members of soccer youth organizations and the U.S. Soccer Federation, consumers, and other users of the products are encouraged to participate in this activity by contacting Shute, or Task Group Co-Chair Peter Macon, Macon and Associates, Louisville, Ky.

“We understand that professional players’ organizations may not adopt any standards that we develop, however, one of our main goals is to offer parents and youth organizations the information to help make informed decisions about protective sports padding,” he concluded.

Contact Ray Shute, OleTex, Inc., 16800 S. Canal St., South Holland, IL 60473 (708/596-9500, ext. 550; fax: 708/596-9524); or Peter Macon, Macon and Associates, 8805 Cranborne Ct., Louisville, KY 40241 (502/426-3744; fax: 502/426-1485). Committee F08 meets May 9-12, 2001, in Phoenix, Ariz. For meeting or membership details, contact Staff Manager Jim Olshefsky, ASTM (610/ 832-9714). //

Copyright 2000, ASTM