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Football Helmets: Which Ones Are Most Likely To Prevent Head Injuries?

Courtesy of Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences:

National Impact Database

Adult Football Helmet Ratings – May 2011

A total of 10 adult football helmet models were evaluated using the STAR evaluation system for May 2011 release.  All 10 are publicly available at the time of publication.  Helmets with lower STAR values provide a reduction in concussion risk compared to helmets with higher STAR values.  Based on this, the best overall rating of ‘5 Stars’ has the lowest STAR value.  Group rankings are differentiated by statistical significance.

If you’re in the market to buy a loved one a football helmet, or just curious, go and have a look. It doesn’t take long, there are only 10 helmets on the list. Go to the list.

I got to this from ESPN’s Page 2:

For years, football players, coaches and the parents of young players have been in the dark about which of the many helmets on the market may reduce the risk of concussions. The NFL does not mandate helmet types, while many NFL teams refuse even to reveal which helmets their players wear. The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, which certifies sports equipment, has been AWOL on the issue of helmets and concussions. There’s been no place for the player seeking helmet safety information to turn.

Now all that has changed. Researchers at Virginia Tech have produced the first brand-by-brand, model-by-model ranking for the likely concussion resistance of helmets. A star-rating system modeled on crash safety rankings for automobiles, the rankings clearly identify the best and worst helmets.

It’s a long, good article. It lays out the problems with helmets, concussions, athletes, etc. And it highlights some actual science for helmets.

Progress! Here’s hoping it helps.

*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*


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