ASTM International’s sports equipment, playing surfaces, and facilities committee (F08) is developing a suite of proposed standards that will cover new products in the tagging sports realm.
Hydrogel projectile launchers, also known as SAP based launchers, represent the ongoing expansion of airsoft sports. “Airsoft” describes team-based shooting games in which participants eliminate opponents with guns that typically shoot spherical plastic projectiles. SAP based launchers use gel balls as ammunition.
“We are seeking to provide consistency and eliminate confusion regarding the proper use of these products, says ASTM member Audrey Haworth, director of product compliance, Gel Blaster, Inc. “The proposed standards will be used by manufacturers, retailers, family entertainment centers, laboratories, and consumers to ensure safe and appropriate play with the items that fall into this category.”
According to Haworth, several entities will benefit from the proposed standards:
- Manufacturers will use them as a guide for marking and labeling products as well as meeting size and velocity requirements.
- Retailers will use them to establish protocols for testing and proper placement on their floors.
- Laboratories will use them for testing guidance.
- Consumers will be educated on the proper use of SAP based launchers via the instructions and labeling that will be required on all products.
The subcommittee responsible for these proposed standards invites all interested parties to join in their development. Representatives of family entertainment centers and retailers are especially encouraged to join the subcommittee.