Posted: May 15, 2013 7:15 PM by Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation, announced on Wednesday the introduction of the Rawlings Performance RatingTM system, a first-of-its-kind batting helmet classification system designed to educate consumers on selecting and purchasing the best option of protective headwear based on expected pitch velocities covering all levels of baseball competition.
As part of the RPR rollout, Rawlings also launched a new line of batting helmets tailored specifically for players facing advanced pitchers throwing at higher pitch velocities. The Rawlings S90TM, Rawlings S80TM and Rawlings S70TM feature increased velocity protection against 90, 80, and 70 miles-per-hour pitch speeds, respectively, exceeding industry standard of 68 miles-per-hour pitch speed set by the National Operating Committee for Standards on Athletic Equipment® (NOCSAE®).
The new RPR batting helmets join the recently adopted Rawlings S100® Pro CompTM as the new standard throughout Major League Baseball® and the original Rawlings S100, the exclusive batting helmet of Minor League Baseball®. Rawlings is the Official Batting Helmet of Major League Baseball.
"We continually strive to deliver best-in-class products to the baseball community," said Robert Parish, president and chief executive officer for Rawlings. "We protect the best players at the highest level of baseball and we take the same perspective and engineering expertise to create this new, first-of-its-kind rating system and high-performance batting helmets for all levels of baseball."
According to a recent survey Rawlings conducted of players, parents and coaches across the U.S., 78.3% of respondents thought the minimum protection threshold for batting helmets was above 70 miles-per-hour and 40.6% believed it was at least 100 miles-per-hour. The RPR system focuses on educating consumers in four specific areas: understanding the current standards and minimum protection threshold for batting helmets; distinguishing competition levels by each player or age segment; knowing the expected pitch speeds common at each competitive level; and selecting the most appropriate batting helmet for a particular skill level or personal preference.
"Many individuals do not understand the current standard for batting helmets in the market today, as established by NOCSAE," said Art Chou, senior vice president of product for Rawlings. "We're confident the Rawlings Performance Rating system will enable consumers to make informed decisions about the protective equipment they need based on the level of baseball they play in terms of pitch speed."
The Rawlings' "Know Your SpeedTM" campaign will engage and educate individuals about this system and its new batting helmets. Rawlings' professional advisory staff, collegiate coaches and amateur organization partners will use #KnowYourSpeed to increase awareness amongst players, parents and coaches and to provide a better understanding of the protective needs for all competitive levels in baseball. Baseball advocates can join the conversation @RawlingsSports via Twitter.