US Lacrosse representatives have reached an agreement with the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) to delay implementation of the new standard for women's lacrosse eyewear until January 1, 2017. Until that date, both the current standard for women's eyewear, ASTM F803, and the new standard passed in 2014, F3077, will be legal for all levels of play governed by US Lacrosse rules.
"We want consumers to understand that there is no significant change to eyewear products between these two performance standards," said Melissa Coyne, director of games administration at US Lacrosse. "The primary difference in the two standards is the testing protocol that equipment manufacturers will now be utilizing."
ASTM bylaws require a review of its standards every five years. During the review of F803, which is a general eyewear standard used for multiple sports, a request was made to develop an eyewear standard specific for women's lacrosse. That standard became F3077. While some manufacturers have released products that meet F3077, others have not. For the 2015 and 2016 seasons, women's eyewear products meeting either standard will be legal for play.
US Lacrosse rules have mandated the required use of protective eyewear in women's lacrosse since 2005, and all women's eyewear products have been required to meet the performance standards defined by ASTM F803. Markings on the outside of the product packaging confirm that the eyewear complies with the ASTM standard.
"The standard is designed to provide the best possible eye protection for women's lacrosse players," Coyne said. "The new standard is an updated version that includes better and more consistent test methodology, but does not drastically change anything structural."
US Lacrosse maintains that protective equipment is just one essential element in producing a safe playing experience. Having certified coaches with sport-specific education, utilizing trained and certified officials, and mandating the use of age-appropriate rules are all critical safety components as well.