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The Vision Council Announces Publication of ASTM F3164-19

It replaces the previous requirements for racket sports eye protection.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Vision Council announces the publication by ASTM of a new eye protection standard, ASTM F3164-19 Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Racket Sports (Racquetball, Squash, Tennis). This new standard replaces the previous requirements for racket sports eye protection contained within ASTM F803 Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Selected Sports.

ASTM F3164-19 Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Racket Sports (Racquetball, Squash, Tennis) provides performance requirements for both plano and prescription eye protection devices. The standard dictates frame and lens minimum robustness requirements (impact resistance), optics requirements and downstream Rx filling requirements for optical laboratories and opticians/dispensers prior to delivering racket sports eyewear to the customer. The standard applies to all plano and prescription sports eyewear worn for “racquetball, squash and/or tennis.”

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The new standard supersedes ASTM F803-01 – Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Selected Sports as is appropriate for racket sports. This represents five years of work by a team of industry experts led by ASTM F08.57 Chairman Dale Pfriem of Protective Equipment Consulting Services, Vice Chair Jim Archibald of STX Lacrosse, and principle contributing members Michael C. Vitale of The Vision Council, Karl Citek of American Optometric Association and David Petit of ICS Laboratories.

This is the third standard to be excised from the general F803 document to address more specific requirements for a specialized category of products – the others being ASTM F3077-17 Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Women’s Lacrosse and ASTM F2713-18 Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Field Hockey. The F803 moniker has been exploited resulting in misleading and overbroad compliance claims. It is crucial that eyecare professionals including clinicians, opticians, optical laboratories and dispensers be aware that ASTM F803 eye protectors are no longer appropriate for these sports. To further prevent misuse of these standards, eyecare professionals should ask for documentation substantiating compliance of protective eyewear to the applicable sport standard and its issue revision date.

The aforementioned standards that were separated from ASTM F803 include modifications that aim to assure the standards keep pace with the latest advancements in these specific sport areas. These include important modifications to several portions of the previous F803 standard, including:

  • Revised plano lens optical requirements and references to the current ANSI Z80.1-2015 Prescription Ophthalmic Lenses – Recommendations (Rx) protectors
  • Changes and modifications to impact test protocols reflecting better ocular injury protection
  • Modifications to marking guidelines
  • A copy of the standard publications is available through the ANSI Web Store.

ASTM committee F08.57 is a long-established group of protective eyewear experts comprised of manufacturers, eyecare practitioners and game and rule regulating authorities tasked with the development of national standards that apply to sports and recreational protective eyewear. ASTM is accredited by ANSI to develop national standards in this area.

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Questions can be directed to Michael C. Vitale, The Vision Council’s Senior Technical Director and Lens Division Liaison, at mvitale@thevisioncouncil.org.

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