Round Robin Proposal

CST would like to thank all those colleagues who kindly contributed support and comments to the initial proposals.

The scheme as originally outlined, has been amended slightly to take account of your comments.

The intention is to submit this version for discussion at the meeting of ISSS on 29th October 2009 with a view to seeking its urgent implementation.


Suggestions for an international programme




This is a proposal is for an on-going, continuous programme of interlaboratory comparative testing based on the principles set out in ISO 17025, offering complete transparency and independent scrutiny to the highest possible standard.

The objectives are to create a scheme which is of real benefit to participating test laboratories seeking reassurance that their test procedures are reproducible and to those drafting test methods, or proposing to use them in specifications, to provide evidence of the reproducibility and uncertainty of the method. The intention is that the results will build into a database which is freely accessible to any interested party.

The scope and range of the programme will be determined by the demands of the participants and capable of being readily adapted to meet changing circumstances.

This is a working draft for development to which all interested parties are invited to contribute (by e-mail to : ) at any time.



G.1 The scheme will cover the testing of sports surfaces of all types, for which published test methods already exist. The scheme will include both laboratory tests on materials or samples and field tests on actual sports facillities.

G.2 The scheme will be operated and administered by ISSS, primarily for the benefit of its members, but is open to all laboratories, members and non-members, engaged in testing sports surfaces in the laboratory or in the field, in all countries. Manufacturers, Universities, Private and Public testing facilities would all be welcome to join in, provided they meet the entry criteria.

G.2.1 The detailed management of the scheme would be undertaken by the Round-Robin Task Group, (RRTG) comprising a small group of individuals chosen by ISSS.

Membership of the RRTG would be subject to review at the ISSS AGM.

G.2.2 The programme for future rounds of testing, the content of each round, the venues for the field testing and the results from all participating laboratories will be published on the ISSS website, with open access.

G.3 The technical operation of each round of the scheme would be overseen by a representative of an independent National Accreditation Body appointed by ILAC for the purpose.

G4 Statistical analysis of the data generated would be the responsibility of an independent body approved for the purpose by the ISI (International Statistical Institute).

G.5. The scheme will be continuous, on-going, with no end date, but subject to annual review by RRTG and open to amendment in the light of experience as it develops. Initially, the programme will comprise TWO rounds of laboratory testing of samples and TWO rounds of Field Testing. Suggestions for the test methods to be included in each round and the nature of the field tests and their location, will be made by e-ballot of nominations by participants and by Sports Governing Bodies and manufacturers.

G.6. The cost of the scheme would be borne through a contribution from ISSS for the cost of general administration and a charge on each participating laboratory to cover the cost of each testing round. As a basis for discussion, the initial entry cost for a laboratory to participate in a round of laboratory-based testing is suggested to be 500 CHF and for participation in a round of field testing, 1000 CHF.

Note : In order to facilitate the speedy introduction of the scheme, CST is prepared to provide all necessary administration and meet the general operational costs of the scheme, for the first 6 months, on the understanding that in doing so, CST will be acting on behalf of ISSS.


G7. Those laboratories participating in each round would also be responsible for their own costs in undertaking and reporting the tests and, in the case of Field Testing, the cost of attendance.

G8. The tests to be included in each round would be chosen by RRTG from an e-ballot of participants. Manufacturers of sports surfaces and sports governing bodied would be free to participate in this ballot.

G9 There is no obligation on any laboratory to participate in all or any round of the programme. The programme is intended as a service to laboratories, to enable them to reassure themselves and to demonstrate to others who use their services, that the data they generate can be relied upon and to generate data on the uncertainty and reproducibility of the test procedures. The results from every round will be published on the ISSS website.

G.10 A laboratory would only participate in a round of the programme that involved tests of direct relevance to its own current or planned operations.

G.11 In order to reduce the risk of spurious results from contaminating the data produced, laboratories should only participate with test equipment that has been subjected to full calibration to ISO 17025 standard, preferably confirmed by the laboratory's National Accreditation Body.

G.12 It is noted that a new standard : ISO/IEC FDIS 17043 "Conformity assessment -- General requirements for proficiency testing" is currently under development. It is theis currently under development. It is the intention that the ISSS scheme should follow the requirements of this standard wherever possible.



L.1 Manufacturers and associate members of ISSS would be asked to make samples

available for inter-laboratory testing. Any costs involved would be met by ISSS from

the levy on participating laboratories.

L.2 Where possible, samples would be split and identical sub-samples sent to each

participant for testing within an agreed timetable. In some cases, multiple samples

will need to be prepared and in this case, whatever pre-checks may be required to

ensure their consistency would be determined by the ILAC-appointed surveillance

officer. Any costs incurred in this would be covered by the scheme.

L.3 Participating laboratories would be required to meet all costs of testing and reporting

and the onward transportation of samples where this is necessary.

L.4 Results obtained by individual laboratories would be subject to independent scrutiny,

as directed by the ILAC surveillance officer.

L.5 Results would be submitted to the surveillance officer and published as soon as

possible on a website link established by ISSS specifically for the purpose.

L.6 Laboratories producing results for any given test that are judged to be within the

determined precision of the test, will be awarded a certificate to that effect.

L.7 Where a laboratory generates results in any particular test that are deemed to be

outside the acceptable range, the ILAC surveillance officer will recommend what

corrective actions should be undertaken.

L.8 A detailed list of all the tests conducted in the programme as it develops and the

laboratories whose results have been independently certified, will be published on the

ISSS website.

Note : Suggestions received for, the first round of laboratory testing are :

Vertical Ball Rebound (EN 12235) on :

Short-pile synthetic turf (hockey ball and football)

Sealed wood for sports hall (basket ball and fusball)

Force Reduction (EN 14808) on :

Athletics track (3 types)

Short-pile synthetic turf for hockey

Vertical Deformation (EN 14809) on :

Athletics track (3 types)

Short-pile synthetic turf for hockey

hort-pile synthetic turf for hockey



F.1 It is envisaged that a wide range of facilities would be included, synthetic turf pitches for

hockey, soccer and rugby, athletics tracks, sports hall floors and multi-use games areas.

F.2 Each round of field testing should be designed to be completed in one full working day

F.3 The locations for the field testing will be chosen by RRTG from suggestions submitted

by participants. Any costs involved (e.g. in the hire of a facility for the day) would be met by

ISSS and from the levy on participants.

F.4 & F9 (combined) The intention would be to have at least two rounds of testing during

any one year, at different locations, possibly covering different test programmes, chosen to

make attendance as easy as possible for participants from different countries. The locations

for the field testing will be chosen by RRTG from suggestions submitted by participants.

Note :At least one venue in each year should be outside Europe.


F.5 The results of all the tests and an initial statistical assessment of the results will be

made available immediately, at the time of testing. This will be done in the usual manner of

round-robin testing, - i.e. all results declared with laboratories coded for confidentiality, but

with each laboratory being advised of its own identification code.

F.6 It is hoped that there would be ample opportunity for any laboratory shown to be

generating results outside the determined precision for any given test to undertake

adjustments or modifications to their equipment or procedure, during the course of the


Note : There should be an optional second day, after the field testing, for labs to

make adjustments and re-test, to discuss procedures and equipment design with

other participants and for general discussions


F.7 Laboratories producing results for any given test that are judged to be within the

determined precision of the test, will be awarded a certificate to that effect.

Note :The primary purpose is to create a public-access directory of laboratories with

proven capabilities


F.8 Where a laboratory generates results in any particular test that are deemed to be

outside the acceptable range, the ILAC surveillance officer will determine what corrective

actions are required.

F.9 Not needed (combined with F4)

Links :

ISSS : International Association of Sports Surface Sciences

ILAC : International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation

ISI : International Statistical Institute

ISSS - International Association for Sports Surface Sciences
8264 Eschenz / Switzerland, Baelisteigstr. 2