This paper considers the regulatory reality of sports equipment that is at the center of this brain trauma in sports issue. It reveals that not all regulation concerning athletic head injuries occurs in the public sector. It goes on to explain that in the case of sports helmets, very little is performed by the government and explains how the private sector executes this regulation instead. Protective equipment (helmets, by and large) are regulated, or more precisely, "quasi-regulated" by a structure defined largely by private technical standards. This paper offers an introduction to these standards and explains the key elements and differences between the private regulatory models for helmets. It also evaluates the effectiveness of standards-based regulation of athletic headgear and concludes with recommendations for adjustments to the existing conformity assessment systems and undertakings by the helmet standards community that would serve the end of providing excellent private regulation for equipment that faces the serious challenge of reducing brain injury in sports.
Stephen D. Pfriem,
Standards-Based Regulation of Athletic Protective Headgear - Policy Background, Mechanisms and Evaluation,
29 J.L. & Health
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/jlh/vol29/iss1/6