This morning the IFF announced another update of the Material Regulations with a controversial regulation added: from 1 July 2020 the brand of the grip has to match the one of the stick. We contacted the IFF with your most burning questions and we were answered by Secretary General John Liljelund.
The first question is perhaps the most obvious: what are the reasons for these regulations?
The reason the IFF has changed the rule in its Material Regulation is that it was proposed by manufacturers to the IFF Material Board, which is a co-operation body between the major Floorball material manufacturers and the IFF. The main reason behind the proposal is to secure the business for the manufacturers and also put some requirements for the grips of what chemicals are included in the product. The manufacturers are obliged to approve the stick for safety and to fill the requirements, in accordance and they felt that the grip should be a part of the whole process.
Could you explain how the process of this update came about?
The IFF runs the changes of the Material Regulation in a two year cycle. All the companies within the Material Approval system were asked in beginning of this year to provide ideas and propose changes to the IFF Material Regulation. So this proposal came in this process, then IFF and the Swedish State testing Institute RISE made the proposal for the new Material Regulation, which the Material Board and the IFF CB then approved. This is how all changes in the material are made.
On social media some of our readers ask out loud if the stick manufacturers had a say/were partially behind these regulations as they potentially benefit from the regulations. Do you think this question is justified and what would you say in response to this?
Of course they are behind the proposal and were in favor of it. During the years the manufacturers have proposed a lot of things how to change the Floorball materials and the Material Board is there to act as a filter. You have to consider that they live out of the sales they can generate and all parties can start producing sticks if they think it is a good business.
Would this regulation mean that grips from third-parties, such as the popular KH-grip and grips from Assist/Tenaci, would be forbidden completely?
If any third party brand does not have a approved Floorball stick with the same name as the grip, then yes, they would not be approved after this specific rule takes full effect, which is on the 1st of July 2021, after one years transfer time as the new Material Regulation 2020 takes effect 1st of July 2021. But they are free to also approve floorball sticks or cooperate with an already approved stick brand which can have a stick certified with the name of the grip, in principle. So there are surely ways the third party grip manufacturers can work in the future.
What about tennis overgrips or grips from other sports? Will they be disallowed?
Yes, all these grips would be disallowed, as they are not part of the stick.