Protective Devices, Regulations, and the Law

 Explain the function of a voluntary standards organization and
describe how such an organization might affect sport
 Explain the significance of the National Operating Committee
on Standards for Athletic Equipment seal on protective
headgear and discuss ways in which that seal would serve to
protect the wearer.
 Identify the factors considered in determining legal liability for
an injury that occurred after alteration of protective equipment.
 Discuss areas in which product liability might play a role in
 Protective equipment is designed to limit injury due to
common occurrences in sport
 Tape and pads can also be used by ATC’s
 Care must be taken to understand rules and regulations
 Do not modify equipment
 Keep protective equipment functioning
 Liability for altered or faulty equipment
Standards for Equipment Design
and Reconditioning
 Some sports (football, rugby, soccer, lacrosse) use special
equipment that is considered part of players uniform
 Athletes must wear to participate
 Athletes may choose additional protective equipment
 Governed by various standards
 Manufactured equipment easily fabricated and modified
 Can fabricate in athletic training room also
Standards for Equipment Design
and Reconditioning
 To ensure quality of equipment, governing bodies have been
established to set necessary standards
 Additionally equipment must be reconditioned and inspected if it is
to be sued more than 1 season
 International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
 Worldwide voluntary standards committee
 Develops international standards fro specific products
 American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
 Voluntary standards development organization
 Connection to ISO standards network
 Screens product design, evaluates it, and eventually presents the
developed standard to ISO
 Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC)
 Governmental regulatory agency that deals with safety of all
 Protect public from unreasonable risks of injury and death
Regulating Agencies
 American Society for Testing and Materials
 Number of subcommittee’s that focus on
testing materials and products used
throughout industry, recreation and leisure
 Write standards for materials, products
systems and services
Regulating Agencies
 National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic
Equipment (NOCSAE)
 In U.S athletic equipment standards issued by NOCSAE
 After establishment in 1969 began testing football helmets
 Determine safety of the model relative to concussion criteria
in a severe football impact simulation
 Established testing standards.
 Gold standard for testing most sports helmets
 Each sport has its own set of NOCSAE standards
 NOCSAE symbol indicates the product design meets
NOCSAE standards
 Also sets standards fro reconditioning and reevaluation
 Other Regulatory Agencies
Reconditioning and Maintenance
of Athletic Headgear
 NOCSAE most widely recognized certification
 Yearly inspection of all equipment should be performed
 Some equipment supervisors inspect their own
equipment and send only certain products to
 National Athletic Equipment Recondition Association
 Inspects helmets for defects and deficiencies
 Loss of integrity means automatic rejection
Reconditioning and Maintenance
of Athletic Headgear
 Throughout season ATC or Equipment supervisor should
inspect helmets
 Defect and proper fit
 Proper Fit guidelines
 Snug and not rotate
 Upper edge of shell should be 2 finger widths
from athletes eye brows
 Back of helmet covers occipital bone
 Facemask 3 fingers from nose
 Ear hole lines up with ear canal
Agencies for Development of
Sport Safety Rules
 Rules and Regulations for the Use of
Protective Equipment
 Differentiate between equipment that is required
or recommended and equipment that is
forbidden for particular sport
 Regulations governing younger players more
 Guidelines for equipment use and regulations
published each year in NCAA sports Medicine
Agencies for Development of
Sport Safety Rules
 NCAA-Required and -Recommended Protective Equipment
 If player is not wearing proper equipment they are removed
from competition
 Headgear
 Protect cranium or scalp
 Baseball , softball, football, ice hockey, lacrosse
 Wrestling and water polo require protection over ears
 Face, Throat, and Mouth Protection
 Sports with risk of laceration of the face
 Prevent fingers or other objects from coming close to the
 Collision sports with a potential for concussion or oral trauma
will use mouth guards
Protection of the Chest and
 Thick open celled material in combination
with hard plastic outer shell
 Distribute local-impact shock onto larger
surface area.
 Shoulder pads or chest protection
Protection of the Lower Extremities
 Joints of lower extremity often in contact with
ground or with other players
 Superficial location of bony prominences makes
protective padding valuable
 Baseball catchers, hockey goalkeepers,
football and soccer players at increased risk
Agencies for Development of
Sport Safety Rules
 Illegal or Restricted Equipment
 To limit unintentional injury to other player some
equipment has been made illegal
 See Table 5.6
 Fabricating Custom Protective Equipment
 Training personnel fabricate custom protective
equipment in A.T. room
 Evaluate legal liability
 Should not be fabricated if could cause an injury
or worsen existing condition
 Adhere to rules and guidelines for the sport
Legal Concerns About Equipment
Use in Sport
 Tort: involve an individual seeking to blame someone
other than themselves for an injury or resulting
 Must show one of following reasons for issuing the
legal action
 Intentional harm to the person
 Intentional harm to the tangible property
 Negligence
 Strict liability
 Nuisance
 Harm to tangible personal interests
 Harm to tangible property interests
Legal Concerns About Equipment
Use in Sport
 Responsible person failed to take action that another person
of equal abilities and training would have taken in the same
 If AT fails to meet standard of care AT could be held
 Could be held liable If the following are shown
Ignorance of the Law
Ignoring the Law
Failure to Act
Failure to Warn
Liability Negligence
 Attempt to shift focus of responsibility onto someone else
 Injured party might name any number of athletic
department employees
Determination of Liability
 When indivisual chooses to play a sport knowledge of
potential risk must be well undertsood
 Assumption of risk
 Injured individual may shift blame to person who issued
equipment, those who provided medical care, and those
who performed coached on techniques
 Courts must decide if their was negligence and who will be
held liable
Product and Manufacturer
 Facility or Playing Surface Problems
 Sporting Equipment
 Improper Care or Modification of Manufactured
 Manufacturer’s Liability
 Protecting Oneself From Legal Misfortune

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