NOCSAE requests extensive data from football helmet manufacturers

OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS, January 24, 2011 – The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) recently required football helmet manufacturers to submit all certification test data, quality control and sample selection documentation for all football helmets manufactured or sold within the past 10 years. All football helmet manufacturers have complied with the request. 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 made this request as part of our ongoing effort to evaluate all aspects of the football helmet standard and evaluate potential changes to the standards relating to lower level impacts,” said Mike Oliver, NOCSAE executive director. “We are the only organization that brings together key areas of expertise to work together on behalf of athletes. Through our process, physicians, academic researchers, coaches, athletic trainers and manufacturers come together to establish standards that are designed to provide the maximum amount of protection to the athlete. In addition to our request for data, we have invested more than $2.5 million in concussion specific research grants and created a special committee of the nation’s leading experts from all relevant scientific and medical fields to help identify and direct specific research that will advance science and research in the area of concussion.”

NOCSAE is currently evaluating the information and has retained a third-party, independent auditor who is also analyzing the data. Manufacturer licensees are required to collect and maintain the requested data – as it supports the certification of equipment, including helmets, to the NOCSAE standard.

“Any change to football helmet standards must be based on science – not someone’s best guess. To change the standard to address concussions without needed scientific data would be irresponsible and could jeopardize the safety of athletes,” said Dr. Robert Cantu, NOCSAE Vice President and chair of Multidisciplinary Concussion Task Force. “NOCSAE has been a leader in supporting and funding concussion research necessary to answer those questions. Part of this effort is analyzing every piece of available data regarding football helmets – which may help shape potential changes to our standard to better protect the athlete on the field of play.”

NOCSAE, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, is an independent and nonprofit standards development body with the mission to enhance athletic safety through scientific research and the creation of performance standards for athletic equipment. Formed in 1970, NOCSAE is a leading force in the effort to improve athletic equipment and, as a result, reduce injuries. NOCSAE efforts include the development of performance and test standards for football helmets, gloves and facemasks, baseball and softball batter’s and catcher’s helmets, baseballs and softballs, ice hockey helmets, soccer shin guards, lacrosse helmets and facemasks, and polo helmets. NOCSAE is comprised of a board of directors representing stakeholders from a number of groups – including consumer and end users, equipment manufacturers and reconditioners, athletic trainers, coaches, equipment managers, and academic and sports medicine associations. These diverse interests have joined forces in an attempt to arrive at a common goal of reducing sports-related injuries. NOCSAE is a nonprofit, charitable organization supported by individuals and organizations with an interest in athletics. For more information, please visit