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Standards for Indoor and Outdoor Sports Facilities Under Way

In March, a 13-year-old died two days after a hockey puck struck her head at an NHL game in Ohio. The puck flew over a glass partition and hit the girl about 15 rows above the ice. Even though fan fatalities related to game play are rare in the U.S., (except for auto racing), the occurrence amplifies the need to establish higher standards for sports-facility design.

ASTM Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities urges architects, engineers, regulators, and others involved in the design and operation of sports facilities to participate in standards development with ASTM International.

Chairman Gary M. Montebell, director of Ice Operations, Liqui-Chill, Oakmont, Pa., is organizing task groups to develop standards for indoor and outdoor sports facilities. “The scope of ASTM Sports Facilities Subcommittee F08.66 is to develop standards pertaining to facilities including the use, safety, and maintenance of such facilities,” Montebell said. “The standards may be general or specific to a sport. Issues such as building design, or materials used in ice-rink facilities, roller/inline rinks, skateboard parks, ball-field classifications and appurtenances, as well as facility padding, are being discussed.”

Stressing the need for standards, Montebell said, “In February at a Big Ten men’s track-and-field indoor championship, a 19-year old male died after attempting to pole vault.” According to Montebell, the committee will collaborate with an ASTM pole-vaulting task force to evaluate pole-vault landing areas in sports facilities.

Contact Gary Montebell at Liqui-Chill, Oakmont, Pa. (phone: 412/828-4476). Committee F08 meets Nov. 6-9 in Miami Beach. For meeting or membership details, contact James Olshefsky, manager, ASTM Technical Committees (phone: 610/832-9714). //

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