Helmet Safety: NFL Prohibited Helmets

by Craig Santucci @NYGiantsRush

Concussions and Helmet Safety

Head trauma has become a very serious topic in today’s sports world.  From youth soccer and lacrosse to college football to the NFL.   I’ve had a half-dozen concussions from high school and college football.  Each one leaving a different type of permanent imprint on my health.

When I played ball there were only two types of helmets.   Riddell and Bike.   One was super lightweight with foam pad inserts and one was heavy with foam pads inserts and an air cradle for your head.  The AIR cradle was pumped up through the top of the helmet with a hand pump and could be adjusted in tightness.

Today there over 34 different models and over 6 manufacturers.   Interestingly enough the NFL has prohibited players from wearing 10 models.  Below is a list of the banned helmets at the NFL level.

Prohibited Helmets:

  • SG Varsity
  • Rawlings Quantum
  • Schutt Vengeance Z10 (204100)
  • Rawlings Impulse
  • Rawlings Tachyon
  • Schutt Air XP Pro (789102)
  • Ridell VSR-4 (R41133)
  • SG 2.0
  • Rawlings Impulse
  • Schutt Air XP (789002)

These helmets went through a series of helmet laboratory tests to accurately asses safety and performance.   From this list of ten, six were prohibited immediately, the other four can be worn by players using them last season (2017); however, would most likely be upgraded by the equipment manager to something similar with better modifications.  New players cannot be issued these helmets.

This is a major stride forward for the NFL and the safety of their players.  This is also a great guideline for youth and high school programs evaluating what equipment to get behind when outfitting their players.   It’s a shame it took this long to realize the devastating effects of head trauma.

Alex Smith, Quarterback of the Washington Redskins loved the technology so much in the Vicis helmet that he invested in the company.

 

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