House Republican Leader Themis Klarides and State Rep. Nicole Klarides-Ditria joined the President and CEO of Force3 Pro Gear Jason Klein to pitch a new law, Senate Bill 434, to the General Law Committee that will help protect athletes and give consumers more information about the protective equipment they are purchasing. Jason Klein of Force3 Pro Gear located in Derby said, “As a Connecticut company creating this breakthrough technology, we have a great story to tell, but unfortunately the non-profit organization that currently sets the safety standards for equipment used in little leagues and high school athletics, prohibits our company from sharing with the public our outstanding safety data.”
According to Klein’s testimony, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (also known as “NOCSAE”) was formed in 1969 to commission research directed toward injury reduction. Little league and high school athletics, through their respective rules, require protective equipment used in baseball and softball to meet standards set by NOCSAE. The NOCSAE helmet standard uses a pass/fail threshold to determine whether or not a helmet meets the standard performance criteria. The NOCSAE pass/fail threshold is 1200 Severity Index units or SI. A helmet must test below 1200 SI in all 16 designated and random impact locations, including impacts at a helmet in ambient, high and low temperatures.
Klein added, “We are prohibited from sharing our severity index results with the public. In fact, there’s been no place for an athlete or parent seeking helmet safety information to turn and no way for them to compare results with other helmets currently on the market.”
House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said, “Concussions are a serious issue and providing athletes at every level with the best protective equipment should be everyone’s top priority. I am shocked that these standards are not readily available to the consumers already. We are asking lawmakers to step up to the plate and pass this bill to make athletes safer and consumers more knowledgeable about the equipment they are purchasing.”
State Rep. Nicole Klarides-Ditria explained, “As a parent of a student-athlete, an Atheltic Trainer, and a lawmaker, I think this bill is a home run and will help prevent concussions from occurring. We want to give parents and athletes all the information available about the safety of the protective equipment they are purchasing. Consumers should know that a certain helmet they are buying is not as safe as another helmet brand.”
The bill now awaits action by the General Law Committee before it can be voted on by the full General Assembly. To learn more about Force3 Pro visit, www.force3progear.com.