NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 12, 2014 — US Lacrosse representatives who hope to put the final touches on the women’s lacrosse headgear performance standard will be among the attendees at this week’s semi-annual ASTM International meeting in New Orleans. The standard recently completed phase one of the balloting process and is being edited for the required second balloting phase, expected to begin in January.
ASTM protocol requires that each proposed standard passes through two 30-day balloting periods. The first ballot for the women’s headgear performance standard, which closed on October 30, was open only to members of the headgear and helmets subcommittee. The second ballot will be open to a larger portion of the ASTM membership.
Members of the women’s lacrosse headgear task group meet Thursday in New Orleans to make editorial modifications to the standard based on feedback from ballot one voters. ASTM’s protocol requires that all objections, or negative votes, be addressed prior to the launch of the second ballot.
“We’ll spend our time at this meeting addressing and resolving any of the negatives that were submitted,” said Ann Carpenetti, vice president of lacrosse operations at US Lacrosse and co-chair of ASTM Subcommittee F08.53’s women’s lacrosse headgear task group. “The standard has to go back to ballot in order to be approved. That’s the process.”
If no negative votes are submitted during the second balloting phase, the headgear standard could be published by early February. Any negatives submitted during phase two, however, will also need to be resolved, which could delay the approval of the standard a bit longer.
“We will continue to pursue the passage of this standard, but US Lacrosse is also committed to the promotion of a holistic approach to game safety,” Carpenetti said.
US Lacrosse maintains that protective equipment is just one essential element in producing a safe playing experience. Having certified coaches with sport-specific education, utilizing trained and certified officials, and mandating the use of age-appropriate rules are all critical safety components as well.
Current women’s lacrosse game rules allow for use of “soft” headgear, and a number of such products have emerged on the marketplace. None of the products currently available are endorsed by US Lacrosse.