For more than 30 years, from as early as 1981, at the urging of the Junior Committee which encouraged and then later required the wearing of protective eyewear during accredited (sanctioned) play, the priority of ensuring the safety of the participants has been part of US Squash policies.
The Association later adopted the American Society for Testing and Materials standard (ASTM-F803) in the 1990’s. The ASTM-F803 specification covers eye protectors designed for use by players of racket sports, women’s lacrosse, field hockey, basketball, baseball, and soccer that minimize or significantly reduce injury to the eye and adnexa due to impact and penetration by racket-sport rackets and balls, women’s lacrosse and field hockey sticks and balls, baseballs, soccer balls, hands, elbows, and fingers.
ASTM International is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards which boasts 12, 000 standards used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence. Other countries have their own standards for protective eyewear for squash including Australia (AS 4066), Canada (CSA P400), Great Britain (BS7930.1), New Zealand (NZS 4066). A World Squash Federation committee is working on a single global standard for all eyewear.
Other standards groups also exist, including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). As many have pointed out, some models produced by popular brands including Oakley and Rudy Project are not currently tested to the ASTM standard. While these models have submitted to and met other standards, unfortunately they are not specific to squash, and therefore are not currently and have never been accepted. We are encouraging any manufacturer interested in marketing their products to the squash community to submit their eyewear for ASTM testing.
Many manufacturers, in and out of squash, including Black Knight, Ektelon, Dunlop, Harrow, Head, Oliver, Prince, and Wilson, have determined the sales market to be large enough to submit their products to testing in order to demonstrate they meet the ASTM standard. It is worth noting that US Squash has a sales and marketing agreement with Dunlop Sports, designating Dunlop as the official eyewear of US Squash in order to increase awareness of and compliance with the longstanding protective eyewear policy. However selecting protective eyewear that meets or exceeds the ASTM-F803 standard is the responsibility of individual players, and several dozen models are broadly available for sale nationally.
The standard accepted by US Squash has not changed, however our enforcement of a long-standing policy has been stepped up to combat the increasing number of new players to the game, and the ongoing commitment the Association has in ensuring the safety of all players.
The takeaway from all this? Don’t Lose Sight – wear protective eyewear.