April 13, 2016 – Silver Spring, MD – More than 90 sporting goods executives and governing body officials met to address equipment and playing rules changes and interpretations under consideration for the coming year, at the 10th Annual SFIA/NFHS/NCCA Rules conference in Indianapolis, Ind.
Key issues discussed during the meetings were sublimation/customization of uniforms, new product certification protocols, potential time frames for implementing rules changes and licensing programs such as the NFHS Authenticating Mark Program (AMP).
“The great thing about the Rules Meeting is that it keeps an open dialogue between the manufacturers of equipment and the governing bodies of the rules committees,” said President and CEO SFIA Tom Cove. “As an example, if a rule comes up that could significantly impact the inventory of schools and equipment manufacturers, this meeting provides a platform for the two sides to work to a possible solution.”
The NFHS and NCAA provided detailed information about sports injury rates and potential areas of focus going forward.
Bob Colgate, Director of Sports and Sports Medicine, NFHS, presented findings that show injury rates on the high school level remained steady. On the matter of athlete injuries as a whole he reiterated the importance of ‘return to play’ and not getting back into the game or practice until the athlete is symptom free, indicated by growing “time off the field” per injury.
Discussion around chest protection was a hot topic. NOCSAE Executive Director Mike Oliver led an engaged conversation of chest protector equipment standards for preventing commotio cordis. “Any sport with likelihood of the athlete being struck with a projectile has the risk of commotio cordis,” Oliver stated. “The design of products to protect against commtio cordis has to cover the cardiac silhouette, and not just be symmetrical. Right now everything is on the table” he iterated.
Dan Calandro, Director of Playing Rules and Officiating, NCAA, noted that of the total NCAA participation, 40% of that membership is Division III athletics, “The public always hears about Divisions One and Two, but division Three accounts for huge participation numbers, wrestling with that traditional view is what we do on a daily basis.” A new NCCA Championship in Women’s Beach Volleyball will introduced this spring.
In his plenary presentation Cove highlighted the soon-to-be released 2016 SFIA State of the Industry Report (SOTI). He made the observation that participation is up for the first time in many years in multiple team sports, adding that it’s too early to tell if this is a trend, but he remains cautiously optimistic.
Companies/organizations in attendance included, adidas, Augusta Sportswear, Baden Sports, Boombah, BSN Sports, Champro Sports, Chesapeake Testing, Combat Sports Inc., Diamond Kinetics, Diamond Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Easton, GARED, Gill Athletics, Guardian Innovations, Halo Sports & Safety Inc., ICS Laboratories Inc., Markwort Sporting Goods, Marucci Sports, Molten USA, National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), Nations Best Sports, Nike, Performance Lacrosse Group, Performance Sports Group, Pop Warner Little Scholars, Rawlings Sporting Goods, Riddell Inc., Russell Athletics, Safety Equipment Institute (SEI), Saranac, Schutt Sports, Spalding, True Temper Sports, Under Armour, United Sports Brands, US Lacrosse, VICIS Inc., Warrior Sports, Wilson Sporting Goods Company and Xentith LLC.Molten USA Inc., , Wilson Sporting Goods Company, Under Armour, Rawlings, Russell, Sportswear, and Warrior Sports.
The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.