CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., Oct 30, 2012 —A new ASTM International standard will help to facilitate a safer environment for pole vaulters. ASTM F2949, Specification for Pole Vault Box Collar, was developed by Subcommittee F08.67 on Pole Vault, part of ASTM International Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities.
A pole vault box collar is a protective device that covers the hard unpadded surfaces surrounding a pole vault box and may also cover the top edges and side walls of a pole vault box. The new specification establishes requirements for the dimensions and minimum impact attenuation performance of pole vault box collars.
“As pole vault landing pads evolved over the past 50 years, it became obvious that more protection was necessary both in and around the plant box area,” says Jan Johnson, founding owner of the Pole Vault Safety Certification Board, as well as Sky Jumpers Vertical Sports Club. “We have had 33 catastrophic injuries in the plant box area since 1971 and literally thousands of lesser injuries and near misses.”
According to Johnson, the hard surfaces of the plant box area grew dramatically in 1970 when pole vault rules makers flared the sides and strike plate to accommodate the bending and rotation of fiberglass poles in order to reduce wear and tear on the bottom of the poles. Additionally, the tapering of the current padding around the plant box has resulted in poor protection. Changes such as these have provided the impetus for the development of F2949.
The new specification reduces the potential force impacts by over 80% in the most critical areas surrounding and inside the plant box itself. Additionally it specifies several very important design elements necessary for performance and protection.
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