New Standard for Athletic Eye Protection: ASTM F3164 – Racket Sports

A new standard for eye protectors worn by players of racket sports has been published by the standards development organization ASTM International. ICS is pleased to offer accredited testing to this method, adding to its expansive test capabilities for recreational eyewear. ASTM F3164 “Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Racket Sports (Racquetball, Squash, Tennis)” provides performance requirements for prescription and non-prescription eyewear. The document specifies minimum robustness requirements for frames and lenses (impact resistance), several optical performance criteria and filling instructions for products that are slated to be Rx’d.

The ASTM F3164 standard supersedes ASTM F803, the general specification for athletic protective eyewear, as it related to racket sports.   It is the third standard to be broken out from F803, following the publication of documents specific to Women’s Lacrosse and Field Hockey (ASTM F3077 and ASTM F2713, respectively) over the last two years.  These three standards improve on the the assessment protocol of F803 by changing the impact testing to better vet a protectors’ ability to prevent an ocular injury in consideration of unique elements of play.   The performance requirements for plano lens optics were revised and marking requirements were modified. With the promulgation of ASTM F3164, which addresses specialized performance considerations for tennis, racquetball and squash participants, the ASTM F803 is no longer the appropriate standard for eye protection worn for those sports.

The initiative to create standards that address the specific considerations of sports that carry dissimilar environments of use and risks of injury to the athlete due to different rules, equipment and styles of play has been led by the ASTM subcommittee F08.57. F08.57 is comprised of technical experts from manufacturer product engineers, physicians, league officials and consumer representatives. The group is dedicated to the task of developing and maintaining national standards for sports eyewear. The engineering team at ICS Labs were among the principle contributors to these standards.  The F3164 racket sports eyewear standard is available through ANSI and ASTM.

ICS Laboratories, a recognized leader in evaluating protective eyewear, has finalized adding the ASTM F3164 to its scope of accreditation issued by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation.   Clients interested in receiving reliable test results on their racket sports spectacles and goggles are encouraged to contact our front office to initiate an assessment by our team of specialists.