PHOENIX, ARIZONA, January 21, 2011 – The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) Winter Board Meeting begins today. During the two-day session, the organization will consider and approve potentially millions of dollars in research grants to advance the science of sports medicine and review work done by the special Multidisciplinary Concussion Task Force Conference. 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.
“Protecting athletes is our life’s work and our mission,” said Mike Oliver, NOCSAE executive director. “As the only organization that brings together key areas of expertise to work together on behalf of athletes, we’ve invested millions of dollars and tapped the knowledge of foremost experts in sports medicine and science to develop and advance the safety of athletic equipment.”
Formed in 1969, 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 and facemasks, baseball and softball batters and catchers helmets, baseballs and softballs, ice hockey helmets, soccer shinguards, lacrosse helmets and facemasks and polo helmets.
NOCSAE is the leading nongovernmental source for research funding in all sports medicine and science related to concussion. Since 2000, NOCSAE has devoted more than $2.5 million toward research by the foremost experts in sports medicine and science to develop and advance athlete safety.
“NOCSAE is invaluable in driving the effort to better understand sports-related concussions. Investments such as NOCSAE’s in sports science and medical research ultimately will determine how and why concussions occur and how best to protect, diagnose and treat athletes,” said Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz, chair of the University of North Carolina’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science and member of the National Football League’s Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee.
In January 2010, NOCSAE convened a panel of the nation’s leading experts in all relevant scientific and medical fields to help identify and direct specific research to advance science and research in the area of concussion. Dr. Robert Cantu, NOCSAE vice president and one of the nation’s top sports concussion specialists, chairs the committee and will report its progress to the full board during the winter meeting.
“NOCSAE is fully committed to its sole purpose of protecting the millions of athletes who choose to play sports. Despite a significant investment in concussion-related research, scientists have not determined what helmet performance threshold can be adopted that will result in increased concussion prevention. I am confident that the Multidisciplinary Expert Task Force convened by NCOSAE will submit focused and goal-specific research proposals intended to provide the answers which can be incorporated into our standards to better protect against concussions,” said Dr. Cantu.
“The solution to better protect athletes extends far beyond standards for the protective equipment they wear. Our research uncovered alarming statistics demonstrating high school athletes are often sent back to play the very day they suffered concussions,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, associate professor of pediatrics at Ohio State University College of Medicine and principal investigator, Center for Injury Research and Policy, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. “NOCSAE is helping the sports community find answers to very serious questions about how to protect the health and safety of athletes.”
Extreme “props” to this group for spearheading the charge for information. If I knew how to write grants I have a ton of ideas in this area. I also believe that Alan Schwarz is in attendance, his write-up is anticipated.