ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Basketball Standards Score Big Points

New York, Mar 25, 2003

March Madness is in full swing, and as one of the great sporting events of the year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament is watched by hundreds of thousands of fans. While the elements of the game may seem simple, there are specific rules, regulations and standards that keep players and equipment safe and able to perform at top levels. The National Basketball Association (NBA) sets many of the rules and regulations that govern the sport’s play and officiating, but the voluntary standards community also has had a role in producing documents that affect this beloved sport.

ANSI member and accredited standards developer ASTM International (ASTM) has produced several standards and test methods related to basketball and its related equipment. ASTM F2117-01 Standard Test Method for Vertical Rebound Characteristics of Sports Surface/Ball Systems; Acoustical Measurement covers the quantitative measurement and normalization of the vertical rebound produced during impacts between athletic balls and athletic surfaces.

When a 280-pound center lands on the court after a slam-dunk, the athletic shoes take a beating as well. ASTM F1976-99 Standard Test Method for Cushioning Properties of Athletic Shoes Using an Impact Test is intended for use on the heel and/or forefoot regions of whole, intact athletic shoe cushioning systems. An athletic shoe cushioning system is defined as all of the layers of material between the wearer's foot and the ground surface. This may include any of the following components: outsole or other abrasion resistant layer, a midsole or other compliant cushioning layer, an insole, insole board, or other material layer overlying the midsole, parts of the upper and heel counter reinforcement which extend beneath the foot, and an insock or other cushioning layer inside the shoe.

Similarly, ASTM F355-01, Standard Test Method for Shock-Absorbing Properties of Playing Surface Systems and Materials, also covers the measurement of certain shock-absorbing characteristics, the impact force-time relationships, and the rebound properties of playing surface systems. This test method is applicable to natural and artificial playing surface systems and to components thereof. Typical playing surfaces are playgrounds as well as wrestling mats, football fields, and soccer fields.

Those of us inspired by the prowess of today’s college players may head out to the local playground or park to shoot some hoops. ASTM F1882-98 Standard Specification for Residential Basketball Systems covers the manufacture, assembly, recommended maintenance and use of complete residential basketball systems.

From the final four to the neighborhood courts, standards have a role in every game.

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