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Trampoline Courts

Sky Zone Franchise Group.

The popularity of trampoline courts has grown rapidly. While there were initially just a handful of such facilities on the west coast of the United States in 2007, there are now approximately 160 trampoline courts throughout the world. Due to deep interest from a wide variety of stakeholders, a new standard for trampoline parks has recently been approved by ASTM International.

The new standard, F2970, Practice for Design, Manufacture, Installation, Operation, Maintenance, Inspection and Major Modification of Trampoline Courts, was developed by Subcommittee F24.60 on Special Rides/Attractions, part of ASTM International Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices.

“Everyone wins from the publication of F2970,” says Philip Slaggert, president, Slaggert Risk Management, and chair of the F24.60 task group that developed the standard. “The consumer wins from having uniform safety rules and expectations. Manufacturers win from uniform construction and quality assurance protocols. The insurance industry will now have a uniform base line and established best practices, as found in the standard. Regulatory agencies will not have to reinvent the wheel when drafting new regulations for this fast-growing industry segment.”

According to Slaggert, here are specific ways in which the various stakeholder groups will either use or benefit from F2970:

  • Regulators/Policymakers: The standard provides guidance in setting policy and regulations that will aid in the permitting process for trampoline courts. F2970 provides clear guidance to building officials when permitting and inspecting trampoline courts from a compliance perspective.
  • Designers/Engineers/Manufacturers: F2970 provides aid in the design phase, as well as establishes clear guidelines for manufacturers’ responsibilities.
  • Owners/Operators: F2970 provides guidance on planning, operation, signage and patron education.
  • General Public: The standard establishes clear guidelines for trampoline court foam pits, frame padding, accessibility, patron education and conduct guidelines.

“The new standard was developed by a dedicated group of stakeholders including manufacturers, owner/operators, risk managers, regulators and consumer advocates,” says Slaggert. “Every aspect of F2970 was developed with the end user in mind.”

“The new standard helps our industry raise the bar relative to risk management and look for ways to improve park operators and design,” said Jeff Platt, chairman, International Association of Trampoline Parks. “It’s expected that by this time next year, facilities should be in compliance with the new standard.”

F2970 delineates requirements regarding design, manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance, inspection and major modification of commercial or institutional trampoline courts used for recreational purposes. The practice is intended to be used by architects, designers, engineers, construction contractors, manufacturers, inspectors, owners and operators of such courts.

The new standard provides detailed information on the design of trampoline courts, covering such topics as device analysis, drawings and records, regulatory body review and patron containment. The design section of the standard also covers specific information on subjects such as impact surfaces, beds, patron containment, dismount problems, barriers and foam pits..

Applicable certifications and performance criteria for trampoline courts are listed. Sections on manufacturer, owner/operator and patron responsibilities are also included in F2970.

All interested parties are invited to join in the ongoing standards developing activities of F24.

To purchase ASTM standards, visit www.astm.org and search by the standard designation, or contact ASTM Sales (phone: 877-909-ASTM; sales@astm.org.

CONTACT Technical Information: Philip Slaggert, Slaggert Risk Management • Hobe Sound, Fla. • Phone: 561-758-3266 | ASTM Staff: Leonard Morrissey • Phone: 610-832-9719 | Upcoming Meeting: Oct. 24-26 • Scottsdale, Ariz.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.