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SGMA Helps Organize High School And College Rules 'Summit'

Date: 4/24/09

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 24, 2009 – On Wednesday, April 22 in Indianapolis, more than 50 sporting goods industry executives from 30 different sporting goods companies met with the leadership of SGMA, NCAA, and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to discuss rules changes for college and high school sports.  This was the third such meeting in as many years involving SGMA, its membership, the NCAA, and the NFHS.

“When a rules change is made in any sport, it usually impacts the equipment, gear, and apparel used in that sport,” said SGMA President Tom Cove. “By consulting with the companies that manufacture these items, we avoid potential pitfalls by ensuring that a rules change is not implemented before the necessary adjustment can be made at the manufacturing level.”

“This meeting is significant because it allows us to establish a good level of communication with all those companies in team sports,” said Bob Kanaby, executive director of the NFHS.  “This meeting is an important step in fulfilling our overall mission as we create rules that are in the best interests of all athletes in high school sports.  We are pleased with our strong relationship with SGMA and the strong response we are getting from its membership.”
The sports where rules changes were discussed included baseball, basketball, field hockey, football, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, spirit, swimming, track & field, volleyball, and wrestling.

Some of the key topics on the agenda focused on the following:

  1. Football -- Discussion of football glove standard revision
  2. Softball -- Discussion of ASTM standard for dynamic stiffness of softballs
  3. Field Hockey -- Discussion of potential change in standard for eyewear protection

“Relevant information can be gathered during these meetings to foresee changes in the way sports are played and how athletes will play sports in the future,” said Rey Corpuz, director of marketing for McDavid.  “It allows us as a manufacturer to develop our products more in line with the needs of teams and individual athletes overall.”

“An open dialogue between leading manufacturers, NFHS and NCAA is essential to enhance the overall experience for student-athletes through improving the rules governing a sport and its equipment,” Roger Revelle, senior vice president of Tachikara.  “At times, product innovation in manufacturing can initiate a rule change, while a rule change can alter manufacturing. This collaborative effort further demonstrates the importance of the commitment each entity has to the advancement of sports.”    

“The value of this meeting is that it gives me visibility into the different rule changes that directly affect the way we manufacture and label our products,” said Sean Kelly, national sales and brand manager (soccer and volleyball) for Brine.  “It also allows me to provide direct feedback to the NFHS regarding upcoming rules change so that we can explain what implications, if any, the rule change might have on availability due to the seasonality of our selling seasons.”

“It’s extremely beneficial to have the chance to here the thoughts of the NCAA and the NFHS before a rules change is made,” said James Sass, director of marketing for Louisville Slugger.  “In addition, both of those groups are to be commended for asking our thoughts on how a rules change can impact the production process.”
The group also heard presentations from the NFHS on the authenticating mark issue and the injury surveillance system.  Representatives from the NCAA and the National Operating Committee for Standards on Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) also gave updates on activities in their respective organizations.

Companies represented at this meeting included Adams USA, adidas, Augusta Sportswear, Brine, Diamond Sports, Easton-Bell Sports, Full90 Sports, Gill Athletic, Gared, Hillerich & Bradsby, Cascade, Kryton Sports, McDavid, Markwort Sporting Goods, Mattingly Hitting Products, Mizuno USA, Nike, Powers Manufacturing Company, Rawlings Sporting Goods, Reebok, Russell Athletic, Schutt Sports, Shock Docter, Sport Supply Group, STX, Tachikara, TYR Sport, Under Armour, Warrior Sports, and Wilson Sporting Goods,

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry.  SGMA helps lead the sports and fitness industries by fostering participation through research, thought leadership, product promotion, and public policy.  More information about SGMA membership, SGMA's Sports Research Partnership, and SGMA's National Health Through Fitness Day can be found at www.SGMA.com.

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