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Standards Help Keep Super Bowl in the Game


New York, Feb 01, 2013

This Sunday the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers will go head to head in Super Bowl XLVII. The much-anticipated game, which serves as the annual championship for the National Football League (NFL), draws tens of thousands of spectators and millions upon millions of television viewers every year. With the assistance of voluntary consensus standards, this year’s game is sure to score a touchdown with fans worldwide.

The venue for this year’s Super Bowl is the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, a domed stadium where the two teams will play on artificial turf. A standard developed by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) audited designator ASTM International, ASTM F1551-09, Standard Test Methods for Comprehensive Characterization of Synthetic Turf Playing Surfaces and Materials, sets down a recommended list of appropriate test methods for the performance properties of synthetic turf systems for athletic use, among other contents. The standard includes test procedures that are suitable for installed sports fields, such as the one contained in the Superdome, as well as for laboratory use.

At maximum capacity, the Superdome can hold more than 70,000 fans. Because the venue is covered, fans in attendance and watching the game at home will depend on electrical lighting systems to make their view of the field possible. A relevant standard, IESNA RP-6-01, Sports and Recreational Area Lighting, includes design criteria for the effective development of new lighting systems for sports stadiums, among other locations, as well as for the evaluation of previously installed lighting in these sorts of venues. The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, was responsible for the development of this standard.

Similarly, sound systems in the Superdome will make it possible for viewers in the stadium and people watching the game on television and on their computers to understand calls made by referees and other essential game-related announcements. A standard from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), IEC 60268-16 Ed. 4.0 b:2011, Sound system equipment - Part 16: Objective rating of speech intelligibility by speech transmission index, lists objective methods for rating the intelligibility of speech transmitted with or without sound systems. This international standard was developed by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 100, Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment. The U.S. holds the chairmanship of this committee, with David Felland of North Texas Public Broadcasting serving as chair. The U.S. National Committee (USNC)-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to IEC TC 100 is the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), an ANSI accredited standards developer (ASD) and organizational member.

Though many fans will brave heavy traffic and congested parking lots to attend the Super Bowl in person, New Orleans’ famed streetcar system provides another way for attendees to get to the game. The city’s Loyola-Union Passenger Terminal (UPT) streetcar line, which opened just days before the Super Bowl, stops within blocks of the Superdome, as do the St. Charles and Canal streetcars, giving out-of-town fans an easy way to get from their hotels to the stadium and back again. ISO 14837-1:2005, Mechanical vibration - Ground-borne noise and vibration arising from rail systems - Part 1: General guidance, outlines factors to be considered regarding noise and vibration caused by rail systems and suggests methods of predicting the effects of such operation on sensitive equipment and human occupants of nearby buildings. The standard allows noise issues to be taken into account during the design and construction of new rail lines like the Loyola-UPT streetcar. ISO 14837-1:2005 was developed by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) TC 108, Mechanical vibration, shock and condition monitoring. As the U.S. member body to ISO, ANSI holds leadership of this committee and has delegated secretariat responsibilities to the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer. The U.S. also holds the chairmanship of this committee, with Dr. Bruce Douglas of Resonance Technologies serving as chair. ASA is also ANSI-accredited U.S. TAG administrator to ISO TC 108.

No matter whether you’re watching the Super Bowl from a seat on the Superdome’s top row, or in the comfort of your living room, standards help make it possible to enjoy the game you’ve spent the whole year waiting for.

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