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articles used in physical training and sports, manufactured in conformity with standards approved by international or national (in the case of national sports) sports federations and registered with international or state organizations governing standards, for example, Gosstandart (State Standard Administration of the USSR). Sports equipment is divided into the following principal groups: clothing (uniforms), footwear, apparatus, and equipment for sports structures and facilities and for officiating.
There are approximately 200 types of sports clothing and more than 60 types of footwear designed for competition and training; all meet the requirements of health, safety, and aesthetics. More than 40 types of sports suits and jackets are manufactured, more than 20 types of blouses and shirts, and more than 40 types of pants, shorts, and trunks. In some types of sports, for example hockey, alpine skiing, scuba diving, automobile and motorcycle racing, and fencing, protective and safety gear, such as helmets, masks, goggles, and gloves (including boxing gloves), vests, and weight lifter’s belts, are considered part of the required clothing.
Footwear for various sports differs in design, materials used, and weight. Some sports shoes have special features, such as spikes, reinforcements, shock-absorbing inserts, and coverings. More than 40 types of leather footwear and approximately 20 rubber-fabric types are manufactured. They include 25 types of high-cut shoes and 12 types of low-cut shoes.
Sports apparatus include the basic articles used in various sports: balls, rackets, sticks and bats for games; sports weapons (rifles, pistols, shotguns, bows, epées, foils, and sabers); javelins, discuses, shot, hammers, and vaulting poles for field events; bars and weights for weightlifting; gymnastic horizontal bars, parallel bars, rings, and beams, and hoops, ribbons, jump ropes, and balls for acrobatics; trampolines; skates (speed, hockey, figure, and roller skates); and skis (cross-country, jumping, alpine, and water skis). Sports vehicles make up a special subgroup: boats (shells, kayaks, canoes, yachts, and scooters); iceboats; sleds; track, road, and tandem bicycles; road, motocross, speedway, and record-attempt motorcycles; sports and record-attempt automobiles and karts; and gliders and sports planes. Various types of exercisers, springboards, whirlpool baths, centrifuges, and complex training devices are also included in the category of sports apparatus.
Equipment for sports structures and facilities and for officiating includes various types of goals, nets, screens, posts, and other devices for sports arenas; boxing rings; gymnastic and wrestling mats; and platforms. In the broad sense, the category also includes equipment needed for officiating, scoring, and biomedical purposes and special devices for use in sports facilities and structures (various types of equipment for photographing finishes, electric scoreboard units, electrocardiographs, gas analyzers, bicycle ergometers, mikroastrups, and gas clocks), ice-sweeping machines, equipment to prepare ski runs, and chair lifts and ski tows.
As of 1975, approximately 700 enterprises of various ministries and departments in the USSR produce sports equipment; more than 100 of these are specialized enterprises. The largest are the Moscow Sport Combine, the Voroshilovgrad, Kirov and Leningrad plants, the Baku Sporting Goods Factory, the Tallinn and Mukachevo ski factories, and the Riga Dzintars plant for the production of sports boats. Each year Soviet industry manufactures more than 2,500 models of sports equipment in more than 400 categories, worth a total of 2.0 billion rubles. Experimental enterprises of the Central Board of the Sports Industry of the Sports Committee of the USSR and the All-Union Technological Planning and Experimental Design Institute for Sporting and Tourist Goods (founded in Moscow in 1966) work on the development of new types and models of sports equipment and the introduction of new equipment into production. In 1975, Soviet sports equipment was exported to 17 countries. Soviet alpine skis, fencing gear, equipment for school gymnasiums, gymnastics equipment, hockey stocks, and weightlifting equipment have been awarded medals at international exhibitions of sports equipment.
The largest foreign firms manufacturing sports equipment are Adidas and Berg in the Federal Republic of Germany (footwear and boxing equipment), Fischer, Kneissl, and Kästle in Austria (alpine and other skiing equipment), Dunlop and Shlazenger in Great Britain (tennis equipment), Artex in Hungary (balls), Col-nago in Italy (bicycles), CCM in Canada (hockey equipment), Port-a-Pit/Cata-Pole, AMF-Pacer, and Head in the USA (vaulting poles and javelins for track and field and tennis rackets), Prieur and Reflex in France (electronic fencing equipment and water skis), Jarvinen, Koho, and Karhu in Finland (alpine skis and hockey sticks), Botas and Gala in Czechoslovakia (footwear and balls), and Mitsuru and Mikasa in Japan (judo uniforms and volleyballs).
In 1975 the USSR imported sports equipment from 21 countries.
V. V. SUMOCHKIN