Players’ Rights To Medical Care and Treatment
Section 11Field Surface Safety & Performance Committee
In furtherance of NFL and the NFLPA’s ongoing efforts and express intention to enhance the safety and performance of NFL field surfaces and playing areas, and thereby advance the safety and protect the health of NFL players, the Parties have agreed;
To establish a joint committee to provide advice and guidance regarding the safety, performance, and testing practices of NFL game-day and practice field surfaces and thereby improve and protect the safety and health of NFL players. The Field Surface Safety & Performance Committee shall perform research and advise the Parties regarding (i) injury prevention, (ii) improved field surface testing methods, (iii) the adoption of tools and techniques to evaluate and improve field surface performance/playability (e.g., metrics to gauge minimum softness; quantitative cover ratings; measuring head impact criteria), (iv) establish and implement safety and performance testing metrics for NFL game-day and practice field surfaces, and (v) undertake such other duties as the Parties may assign.
The Field Surface Safety & Performance Committee shall consist of (i) two (2) subject matter experts, one selected by each Party, (ii) the NFLPA Medical Director and the NFL Chief Medical Officer, and (iii) one (1) representative from each Party. The Committee shall meet in person or by conference call at least two (2) times per year.
The Field Surface Safety & Performance Committee shall review the Mandatory Practices for the Maintenance of Natural and Synthetic Surfaces for NFL Games (the “Mandatory Practices”) and the Mandatory Field Wall Padding and Non-Slip Surfaces Policy and agree upon improvements, as necessary. Every stadium in which an NFL game is to be played must be in compliance with the Committee’s revised Mandatory Practices prior to the beginning each NFL season. The Committee will regularly review its mandatory and recommended practices and agree upon updates and improvements as necessary.
The NFL Stadium Playing Area Inspection Program will test NFL playing and practice surfaces to ensure that they are in compliance with the Mandatory Practices (and the mandatory practices and metrics set forth by the Field Surface Safety & Performance Committee pursuant to this Section) and to ensure that every NFL Stadium is in compliance with the Mandatory Field Wall Padding and Non-Slip Surfaces Policy. To the extent any playing area is found to be out of compliance, that stadium field manager must initiate remedial measures in coordination with the NFL Football Operations Department. For field surfaces that are found to be out of compliance, the NFL will update the NFLPA’s designee(s) regularly about the remedial measures, including the scheduling of additional testing. In furtherance of the foregoing, any field surface where flooring or staging is to be used on the field for an extended period of time prior to and within one (1) day of an NFL game (e.g., concerts, Hall of Fame ceremony), the stadium field manager (or other NFL designee) shall provide at least three (3) days’ advance notice to NFL Football Operations. The NFL will notify the NFLPA designee(s) of the same and the NFL’s Playing Area Inspector and NFLPA’s field testing consultant shall have an opportunity to confirm compliance with the Mandatory Practices after such flooring or staging has been removed. In the event any playing surface is found to be out of compliance on game day, that stadium field manager shall initiate remedial measures as appropriate in coordination with the NFL Football Operations Department and the NFL will immediately notify the NFLPA’s designee(s) and take all reasonable measures to remedy. Should a player or the NFLPA allege that an NFL Stadium is not in compliance with the Mandatory Practices, as applicable, or any other metrics or standards set by the Field Surface Safety & Performance Committee pursuant to this Section, the NFLPA shall have the right to commence a Non-Injury Grievance pursuant to Article 43 of this Agreement.
The NFLPA’s designated field surface consultant will be granted equal access to all NFL playing fields and field test results. For the avoidance of doubt, this access includes non-traditional venues (e.g., London, Mexico City, Hall of Fame Game). The NFLPA’s field surface consultant will coordinate site visits with the NFL’s Playing Area Inspector.
Any research conducted by the Joint Field Surface Safety & Performance Committee shall be conducted in conjunction with the Joint Engineering and Equipment Safety Committee and funded by the Joint Contribution Amount, as set forth in the following Section.