||Soccer Helmet Standards Under Discussion
Over 22 persons discussed the possible development of standards
for soccer helmets when an ASTM task group met during the May
meetings of Committee F08 on Sports Equipment. Soccer is now considered a contact sport
with a high injury rate to the head, said Calvin Williams of
Kangaroo Soccer Headgear, Texas, the chairman of a new ASTM task
group on soccer helmets. Requests for information on soccer head
injuries and headgear available come in daily from soccer clubs
Williams said the ASTM task group may develop a specification
for manufacturers, or a test method of equipment performance and
durability for helmets that aid in the prevention of head injury
from contact with players, balls, goalposts, or other objects.
Additional participation is welcomed to the task group that includes
a head sports medicine physician, a test lab supervisor working
in sports design and manufacturing, a professor, an attorney,
two research and design specialists, a corporate manufacturer,
and a general interest party.
According to the U.S. Youth Soccer Association, helmets are not
included in the Laws of the Game under Players Equipment.
However, helmets may be worn with the referees approval and are
required by some amateur teams, Williams said. The first school
to mandate protective headgear for soccer players is in Milwaukee,
Wis., he added. Games with the use of protective head gear have
been played over the past two years in Marietta, Calif., Kingwood
and Houston, Texas, and other cities across the U.S.A.
Williams, a helmet manufacturer who became a crusader after working
with young people in sports, has been informing soccer groups
and the public about head injuries shown in medical studies and
Investigations of these injuries is inconclusive but ongoing by
the U.S. Soccer Federations Sports Medicine Committee. Our purpose
is to review the available data, discuss the implications found
in the scientific literature, and to consider potential avenues
for further investigations, they said in their research summary
that references 35 studies including neuropsychologic tests conducted
on retired soccer players by A.T. Tysvaer and E.A. Lochen and
reported in the American Journal of Sports Medicine examining
possible long-term damage to the brain.
All readers should understand that soccer is a unique sport,
particularly in the purposeful use of the head in advancing and
controlling the ball, the Committee reported. Unfortunately,
the ball is not the only thing that can impact the headother
players, the ground, goalposts and other non-game related items
(e.g. benches or other objects on the sideline)head injuries
can result from contact with any of these things.
For further technical information, contact Calvin Williams, Soccer Headgear by Calvron, Suite #113, 1100 Nasa R.D. 1, Nassau
Bay, TX 77058 (281/335-3358; 281/335-1767) Committee F08 next
meets Nov. 14-17 in Orlando, Fla. For meeting or membership details,
contact manager Jim Olshefsky, ASTM (610/832-9714). //
Copyright 2000, ASTM