National Football League to prohibit 10 helmet models due to player safety

Paola Ditto
Aprile 17, 2018

The NFL and NLFPA on Monday announced they are prohibiting 10 models of helmets worn by players in 2017 based on the results of an annual laboratory study of helmet performance.

In previous seasons, NFL players could choose any helmet as long as the helmet passed current National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) certification standards.

The NFL banned helmet models including Tom Brady's Riddell VSR-4 helmet. The banned models are manufactured by Rawlings, Riddell, Schutt, and SG. Ten different helmets have been banned for use, starting in 2018.

"The goal of the study, as in prior years, was to determine which helmets best reduced head impact severity under laboratory conditions simulating concussion-causing impacts sustained by NFL players during games", the statement by the league and union said.

Six helmets were immediately prohibited, while four of them were still allowed only for players that used them in the 2017 season and are prohibited for new players. 'We've seen a number of new helmets enter the market from both new innovators, as well as new helmet models from incumbent companies, which means that there are a number of helmets for players to move to.

"Over the last few years, we've seen some dynamic changes in the helmet industry", Miller said.

"And we've begun to see that over the last couple of years, players [are] moving from helmets that rank in the poorly performing areas to those that are ranging closer to the top-performing helmets". "It's an important step for player safety".

Thirty-four helmets were tested for the 2018 rankings.

It comes after a season in which players suffered 281 concussions - the highest on record.

The tests were developed by biomechanical engineering experts to provide more information for players making helmet choices, although factors such as fit, comfort and durability were also given as considerations in helmet selection.

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