International Association for Sports Surface Sciences (ISSS)
In 1985, a meeting of European test laboratory representatives agreed to found an organisation through which such independent laboratories could cooperate. The aim of such liaison was to avoid duplication in the development of test methodology, to ensure reproducibility of test results, and to offer sports governing bodies and other regulatory authorities a formal route through which to cooperate with test houses.
CST was one of those founder members and Vic Watson has been the Secretary of the ISSS and a member of its Executive Board, since its formation. We have assisted in its growth, to the current position of having approximately 40 members in 12 countries around the world.
Cooperation with other bodies
It has always been CST policy that cooperation with other organisations in this specialised field is of profound importance. For this reason, we are always willing to participate freely in cooperative exercises, and we have consistently operated an ‘open-door' policy to individuals and organisations working with synthetic surfaces.
UK Sports Councils
We liaise regularly with the Regions of Sport England. We assisted the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland Sports Councils with projects involving synthetic surfaces, as well as what is now Sport England. We contributed substantial sections to the Sports Council publications ‘Arenas' (published in 1989) and ‘Artificial Turf Pitches for Hockey' (published in 1990), together with sections to the ‘Handbook of Sports and Recreation Building Design' (published in 1993).
Our input on Standards Development
For more than 35 years, our staff have contributed to the work of BSI by sitting on various Technical Committees and Working Parties. This includes holding the Chairmanship of two Technical Committees and Convenorships of several ISO Working Groups. The responsibility of these posts, particularly those within ISO, has led us on several occasions, to become directly involved in the organisation of Round-Robin test programmes. These have been aimed primarily at establishing accuracy and reproducibility of new test methods, which has now become an essential requirement of any new ISO Standard.
In the specific field of sports and games surfaces, we have sat on Technical Committee TCM/57 ‘Surfaces for Sports Areas', since its formation and are also members of Technical Committee GME/26 ‘Playground Equipment', dealing with Impact Absorbing Surfaces. We have representation on Working Groups 5, 6, 7 and 8 of CEN/TC 217 and on WG 1 of CEN/TC 136 dealing with Playground Surfaces.
Our staff prepared the draft of BS 7188 ‘Methods of Test for Impact Absorbing Playground Surfaces', under the External Consultants scheme.
We have developed a particularly close working relationship with the Technischer Überwachungs-Verein (TÜV) in Vienna and with the Instituut voor Wegtransportmiddelen (TNO) in Delft, with whom we participated in a detailed round-robin exercise to determine the reproducibility of the new CEN test method for playground surfacing materials.
As part of our responsibilities as an accredited FIH Laboratory, frequent round-robin testing exercises are conducted, in conjunction with the other five laboratories around the world, to ensure that reproducibility of the procedures is being maintained. Similar round robin testing is undertaken under our IAAF and ITF accreditation schemes.