USATF Officials comment on NCAA PV Helmet Rule

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USATF Officials comment on NCAA PV Helmet Rule

Unread postby drcurran » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:34 pm

This note came in today's USATF Newsletter to officials.

New NCAA Pole Vault Rule Confusion
There has been some confusion on the new rule passed by the NCAA concerning pole vault helmets. The NCAA is NOT requiring the use of pole vault helmets. What they have done is to introduce restrictions on the kind/type of helmet that can be used IF an athlete chooses to wear one. The NCAA now requires that if a helmet is worn that it is designed to be a pole vault helmet and that it is manufactured to the ASTM Pole Vault Helmet Standards. The helmet shall also bear a marking indicating that it meets those standards.
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Re: USATF Newsletter to officials

Unread postby master » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:53 am

Anyone care to comment on the logic behind that rule? Sounds like the manufacturer of the only (at least that I know of) pole vault helmet that currently meets the pole vault ASTM standards just got a free monopoly in the market. That presents the possibility of an interesting conflict of interest.
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Re: USATF Newsletter to officials

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:00 am

master wrote:Anyone care to comment on the logic behind that rule? Sounds like the manufacturer of the only (at least that I know of) pole vault helmet that currently meets the pole vault ASTM standards just got a free monopoly in the market. That presents the possibility of an interesting conflict of interest.


It's a liability thing. I'm surprised this change hasn't happened sooner.

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Re: USATF Newsletter to officials

Unread postby vaultmd » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:03 pm

John,

Don't overestimate the intelligence of coaches, athletes and parents. I believe the NCAA just wants to make sure that people don't wear motorcycle helmets, bike helmets with front and back wind farings, batting helmets, helmets that don't actually protect the head and stuff like that.

There are a ton of helmets that probably would pass the PV standard if actually tested. There just hasn't been a company willing to put up the money to do so except for one; so I believe they are entitled to some gain from it. I think that if there were tons of money to be made, they would not have been the only ones to date.

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Re: USATF Newsletter to officials

Unread postby master » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:19 pm

rainbowgirl28 wrote:It's a liability thing. I'm surprised this change hasn't happened sooner.


How does this reduce anyone's liability?
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Re: USATF Newsletter to officials

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:27 pm

master wrote:
rainbowgirl28 wrote:It's a liability thing. I'm surprised this change hasn't happened sooner.


How does this reduce anyone's liability?


If someone gets hurt while wearing a non-ASTM standard helmet, it could potentially increase the school's liability in a lawsuit. Or even the state or national association that school falls under, since lawsuits always go after the deepest pockets. A parent of an injured child could say that the school should have known a safer helmet was out there and required their child to wear that one. Or something along those lines. Schools have a duty to make sure their athletes are using safe equipment. The definition for a "safe" helmet has now been set.

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Re: USATF Newsletter to officials

Unread postby master » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:29 pm

rainbowgirl28 wrote:If someone gets hurt while wearing a non-ASTM standard helmet, it could potentially increase the school's liability in a lawsuit. Or even the state or national association that school falls under, since lawsuits always go after the deepest pockets. A parent of an injured child could say that the school should have known a safer helmet was out there and required their child to wear that one. Or something along those lines. Schools have a duty to make sure their athletes are using safe equipment. The definition for a "safe" helmet has now been set.


I don't agree. The vaulter is wearing a helmet by his own choice. A vaulter chooses the spikes he wears (or not), the pole he uses, the way it is taped (or not). Each of those could be the source of an unfortunate accident.

The premise seems to be that only a helmet that meets ASTM standards is safe. That, I think, is not provable.
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Re: USATF Newsletter to officials

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:01 pm

master wrote:I don't agree. The vaulter is wearing a helmet by his own choice. A vaulter chooses the spikes he wears (or not), the pole he uses, the way it is taped (or not). Each of those could be the source of an unfortunate accident.

The premise seems to be that only a helmet that meets ASTM standards is safe. That, I think, is not provable.



Unfortunately, common sense rarely prevails when it comes to sports injury lawsuits.

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Re: USATF Officials comment on PV Helmets

Unread postby drcurran » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:03 pm

Everyone and every organization are doing everything it / they can to avoid being the target for a lawsuit. As someone else said lawsuits go after the “deep pockets”. Even the high school federation with the “verification form”, I think, is to make someone else responsible (like the coach who signs it) should there be an accident. A friend who was in the insurance business said in a lawsuit, you bring litigation against everyone school, coach, trainer, officials, and most important equipment manufacture, because that is where the money is! Sad but true!
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Re: USATF Officials comment on PV Helmets

Unread postby master » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:07 pm

Do you think this rule will also be applied to high schools? How about masters?
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Re: USATF Officials comment on PV Helmets

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:35 pm

master wrote:Do you think this rule will also be applied to high schools?


Yeah, probably. I think one or two states that require helmets already do?

How about masters?


Probably not anytime soon, I don't see anyone caring enough. Masters athletes tend not to get catastrophically injured while pole vaulting, and they would be significantly less likely to sue. I suppose it's possible, the next rule change year is next year, so the soonest you might see such a thing is 2013.

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Re: USATF Officials comment on PV Helmets

Unread postby Tumbleweed » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:58 am

So what does this do with helmets already purchased?
2 years ago, Simpson Racing came out with was described as a new helmet for Pole Vault Safety. Simpson is probably one of the top helmet manufacturers in the world.

http://simpsonraceproducts.com/products/?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_298&products_id=9146&sort=

So now all of a sudden this helmet is no longer legal since it does not have the proper markings? That does not seem right, since ( I agree with above) you choose your own pole and spikes.

The Simpson helmet is $99, so that means the USATF wants me to go out and buy another just to be in compliance!!


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