Letter to the Editor
Herb Markwort Comments on Mayfield/NOCSAE Suit

The following is a letter TeamInsightExtra received from Herb Markwort, president of Markwort Sporting Goods, following an article in the October 3 issue. Markwort has been embroiled in a similar discussion with NOCSAE surrounding the certification of its C-Flap baseball helmet protective.

“Nice article about Mayfield Athletics and their lawsuit.

“I came across interesting information from the National Bureau of Standards which points out that they have three tests to determine the minimum acceptable percentage for a standard to have validity.  The average of these three tests is 66 & 2/3 percent.

“NOCSAE obviously doesn't operate with any concern to a minimum acceptable percentage.  NOCSAE has two standards on the books with no acceptability (field hockey helmets and baseball/softball fielder's helmets with faceguards) and as I've previously pointed out in their biggest royalty standard for batting helmets they only have 12 percent of the players wearing a NOCSAE SEI Certified helmet. The catcher’s helmet standard is even worse, with only six percent of youth catchers complying by wearing certified helmets.  Both of these percentages are a long way from 66.66 percent!

“Do you think it might be time to have NOCSAE adopt this minimum? And maybe the sporting goods industry should shoot a little higher than just the minimum when it comes to safety standards. How about going for 75 percent?

“Look at the new NOCSAE baseball standard about to be implemented. [SFIA] had 100 percent of the baseball makers lined up and opposed to this standard. Any kind of minimum acceptable percentage would have kept that standard from coming to life. The 15 percent tariff on baseballs just hit us last month and come January the retail price of baseballs will have to be $2.00 to $3.00 per dozen higher to cover the makers having to pay NOCSAE it's $0.50 per dozen royalty. Pretty poor timing. Just when baseball is showing small signs of growth here comes a double whammy.

“Should we ask NOCSAE to postpone their royalty collections until another year? Sort of like how some IPO's get cancelled at the last minute.

“Let me know if you would like further backup information on these points and maybe find out what others think about all of this.”

Herb Markwort
Markwort Sporting Goods