WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 29, 2014) – The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) joined some of the nation’s leading sports officials and medical experts, parents and young athletes for the first White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit. NOCSAE is an independent and nonprofit standard-setting body with the sole mission to enhance athletic safety through scientific research and the creation of performance standards for protective equipment. NOCSAE embraces the opportunity to discuss the very important issue of protecting young athletes from injury and applauds additional support for concussion-related research and awareness efforts launched through today’s summit.
“NOCSAE funded and supported research has led to a greater understanding of sport-related concussions, but more work is necessary to make sports safer for athletes,” said NOCSAE executive director Mike Oliver. “New commitments by the NCAA, the U.S. Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health and Pop Warner are significant developments that we hope will lead to science-based solutions to help protect athletes from concussions.”
In June the NOCSAE board of directors will vote on a revised football helmet standard that will include testing procedures for specific forces directly associated with concussions. NOCSAE’s helmet standards have eliminated skull fractures in football by requiring the advancement of new helmet technology. If approved, this revised standard will be the first to include testing specific to concussion risk.
“Until now, science has not indicated an effective role for helmets in reducing concussion risk,” Oliver said. “While it is unlikely the concussion risk can ever be eliminated from sports, this revised football helmet standard is a start, and we look forward to additional contributions to the scientific body of knowledge that will drive the continued evolution of equipment standards.”
NOCSAE also welcomes additional efforts announced today to drive action on and off the field by student athletes, parents and coaches. According to the CDC Foundation’s Heads Up to Parents program, making sure equipment fits properly, ensuring young athletes are taught proper blocking and tackling techniques and demanding enforcement of rules that prohibit players from leading with their helmets to hit other players are important ways to reduce concussion risk.