Guideline to Sessions
Hans J. Kolitzus, IST/USSL
I am sure you
realized from the invitations that today's meeting of the ISSS will
follow a different for-mat than earlier meetings. In previous meetings,
you have been confronted with presentations from various experts
without much time for common discussion. In this meeting we are
reversing that and giving special emphasis to discussion. And we
do not just want to discuss, we want to achieve results which may
help to improve test procedures and testing programs. Thus, in order
to fully capture all of the thoughts and ideas, the discussions
will be digitally recorded and then a synopsis created and posted
on the website, however, the full recording will be available to
all delegates here.
Our focus of
today - Synthetic Turf - is both a new and yet old subject. Given
the general knowledge base represented by those of you present today,
it is not necessary to use our time to review again the test methods
that we are already familiar with. Rather we will move ahead to
discuss the known problems and views and - if possible- to develop
new solutions through creative brain-storming.
we should first acknowledge that the ISSS as a professional society,
was founded to altruistically employ the genuine competence of its'
members to scientifically explore and analyze the structure and
dependencies of test procedures. We can seen this in paragraphs
2 and 3 of the ISSS Statutes. Although not being authorized to set
'final decisions', the ISSS seeks to operate as a 'Sci-entific Center
of Competence' which prepares and offers technical proposals to
normative corporations such as CEN, ASTM, UEFA, FIFA, FIH and others
for their review and adoption.
It must further
be stated that it is not the role or intention of the ISSS to interfere
in the legislative com-petence or dictate to the groups listed or
other like groups. Each group is competent in its area of jurisdiction
and respect for this competence must be a two-way street. At the
last AGM, in Cologne, the competence of the ISSS was publicly recognized
for the technical assistance provided in the crea-tion of test procedures
for one groups standardization process. While the expertise of the
ISSS was used for the development of the test procedures, the setting
of the requirements for the test results was left to the regulatory
body. This is an example of the symbiotic relationship that the
ISSS was founded to achieve.
To aid in this
successful effort, we must involve the industry as their experts
have at least as much competence as the test labs. We have therefore
invited such industry experts to participate in this meeting. Among
those are several delegates who have attended the ISSS meetings
for many years and can be addressed as 'loyal ISSS supporters'.
We appreciate and thank them for this support since without this
type of cooperation, the work of the ISSS would not be possible.
Now, on to the
task at hand
1985, we began to see individual corporations developing Technical
Rules (guide-lines, standards) to gain technical control of their
specific sports products. The end goal was to achieve optimal and
consistent conditions for the playing surfaces. This development
was on a case by case basis usually with the support of a single
lab but without reference or obligation to existing standards. While
these testing programs are beneficial, they have never, to the best
of my knowledge, been subjected to neutral scrutiny nor have the
corporations communicated with each other effec-tively. Therefore,
this meeting is a unique opportunity for the ISSS to take care of
this gap. Thus, a critical target for this meeting is set forth
review of tests and practices related to synthetic turf.
are several testing programs often employed within the same company.
These are stipulated by the intended sports usage. This creates
cost in both time and money for the manufac-turer and often results
in confusion for the end purchaser since the same test can have
different names with results that are not quantitatively comparable.
This brings us to a second target for this meeting:
of like test methods with proposals for elimination of unnecessary
variables, with other words for harmonization of the test methods.
In doing this,
we must strive to avoid the appearance that we are criticizing these
testing programs. We recognize the difficulty in establishing an
initial program for overall product regulation and im-provement,
and acknowledge that typically errors may occur during this process
and /or requirements may need to be tempered. We are fortunate to
be able to base modern laboratory testing on 40 years of such experiences.
So, now after
collecting experiences over many years we take on the task of scrutinizing
the testing programs. The delegates are requested to use this opportunity
to point out non-pertinent details of test procedures and to provide
proposals for improvements toward achieving factual correctness
and practicality. We ask that this be on a truly scientific level
and therefore the body to whom the test 'be-longs' should not be
given weight or consideration. We are not seeking to create proper
testing pro-grams, but to analyze the validity of the test procedures.
In this era of ISO 17025, the labs especially are asked to focus
on the elements of accuracy and validity of the various test procedure.
This can no longer be ignored and it will require the shared experiences
of the labs to find and explore these is-sues.
of a test method is dependant on its ability to provide meaningful
data relative to both the product and property in a reliable, accurate
and practical way. In the field of sports surfaces, we ought to
distinguish two types of validity: technical validity and functional
validity. Technical validity is based on metrologically sound or
at least safe tests, while functionally validity addresses the degree
to which the test and its results represent the intended sports
functionality, in other words, the practical rele-vance of the test.
is not our task to discuss the requirements referring to the test
procedures this will some-times be inevitable. Namely in cases when
a discrepancy becomes obvious between the accuracy of the test and
We have set
a challenging goal for this meeting. To facilitate these discussions
we are providing moderators tasked with keeping the discussions
on target and drawing in all views including the view of those who
may feel restrained by language. The moderators are knowledgeable
men but were purposely not selected for technical expertise in the
issues of this meeting so that their personal views would not bias
the discussions. Thus, the moderator has a different task than a
chairman of a com-mittee. Technical Reporters will provide the technical
aspects and most important details of the appro-priate test procedure
in a 10 minute summary to introduce the elements for discussion.
In the course
of the meeting we will hear contrary views. This should not be viewed
as unwanted. However, we have a limited amount of time and it is
not the goal of this meeting to come to a full and complete resolution
on all conflicting ideas. We hope to expeditiously resolve those
that we can and identify others that will need additional exploration
and discussion. Please do not feel slighted if a view you have contributed
falls into the category of one requiring further exploration. It
is the time constraint and not the value of the view that must guide
the moderators, and we will certainly need topics for further meetings.
As a reminder, we will be recording the discussions so that no contribu-tions
are lost due to time constraints.
as it might be to address all alternative test procedures the frame
of this meeting re-quires limitation to those test procedures which
have wide geographical spread and use and which have found decisive
recognition in the practical international testing market. Nevertheless,
alternative test procedures will be presented in the session of
Juan Dura and John Willems at the end of our meeting.
So now, I conclude
with my hope that we will achieve success in this meeting and leave
here feeling that our time and efforts have been well utilized.