Sports Equipment, Playing Surfaces & Facilities | Standards Michigan

Sports Equipment, Playing Surfaces & Facilities

K-12 Schools, colleges and universities provide one of the largest markets for athletic equipment and related facilities. Their front line staff and facility managers are also the least involved in leading practice discovery and promulgation activity to make these assets safer, simpler, lower-cost and longer-lasting.


Sports Equipment, Playing Surfaces & Facilities

March 13, 2020
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“The National Game” (1889) / Arthur Streeton



Sport is the bloom and glow of a perfect health.



Athletic programs, facilities and equipment support one of the most visible and emotionally engaging enterprises in the education industry.  In many cases, athletic programs are central to the brand identity of the state and host community.  Last, but not least, physical activity keeps our young people healthy in body and mind.

ASTM International is one of the first names among the 250-odd ANSI accredited consensus document developers whose due processes discover and promulgate the standard of care for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of the facilities that support these enterprises.   There are many ASTM standards that set the standard of care in these enterprises and the accessories to these enterprises.  To identify a few:

ASTM 1487-17 Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use

ASTM F1774  Standard Specification for Climbing and Mountaineering Carabiners

ASTM F2060-00(2011) Standard Guide for Maintaining Cool Season Turfgrasses on Athletic Fields

ASTM F1703-13 Standard Guide for Skating and Ice Hockey Playing Facilities

ASTM F1953-10 Standard Guide for Construction and Maintenance of Grass Tennis Courts

ASTM F1081-09(2015) Standard Specification for Competition Wrestling Mats

ASTM F2950-14 Standard Safety and Performance Specification for Soccer Goals

ASTM F2461-16e1 Standard Practice for Manufacture, Construction, Operation, and Maintenance of Aquatic Play Equipment

Many of these documents set the standard of care for specification, construction, operating and maintenance and have the practical effect of enforceable public safety law.  When the General Requirements of an athletic facility construction project indicates: “Conform to all applicable standards” then, in the case of an athletic facility, the ASTM consensus document is likely the document that defines leading practice in most dimensions of athletic facility enterprise operation.

At the international level, we follow standards action of International Organization for Standardization ISO/TC 83 Sports and other recreational facilities and equipment for which Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. is the global Secretariat and ASTM International is the US Technical Advisory Group.

University of Maine

The ASTM standards development process depends heavily on face-to-face meetings — typically two times per year – in different parts of the United States.   The benefit of this arrangement lies in the quality of discussion among subject matter experts that results produced from face-to-face discussion.  The price to pay for this quality, however, lies in the cost of attendance for the user-interest in the education industry.   Relatively few subject matter experts directly employed by a school district, college or university who are charged with lowering #TotalCostofOwnership can attend the meetings.   Many of the subject matter experts who are in attendance at the ASTM meetings from the education industry tend to be faculty who are retained by manufacturers, insurance, testing laboratories, conformity and compliance interests.  (See our discussion of Incumbent Interests)

That much said, ASTM welcomes subject matter experts on its technical committees (Click here)  We encourage participation by end users from the education industry — many of them in the middle of athletic facility management organization charts.  ASTM Committee F08 on Sports Equipment, Playing Surfaces and Facilities meets twice a year; after which we usually find public review redlines developed during those meetings to hit our radar.  The link to the schedule of face-to-face meetings appears below:

F08 Meetings

Note that the parent F08 committee for sports equipment will meet again in May in Boston.   Within the ASTM International standards development program, which depends heavily on face-to-face meetings, we should expect release of a draft revisions to F08 standards shortly thereafter.

We are required to review draft ASTM consensus products with some care — owing to copyright restrictions — so we do it interactively online.  See our CALENDAR for our next breakout teleconference on Athletic & Recreation standards.

Issue: [Various]

Category: Athletics, Facility Asset Management, Public Safety. Risk Management

Contact: Mike Anthony, Jack Janveja, George Reiher, Richard Robben




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