National Football League will prohibit 10 previously legal models of helmets

17 April, 2018, 23:10 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees prepares for the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl Jan. 28 in Orlando Fla. Aaron Doster  USA TODAY Sports

The results of a study released by the NFL and NFL Players Association on Monday found that almost one-third of the helmets tested by an independent laboratory were deemed unfit for use.

"This is the first time we will be prohibiting helmets", Jeff Miller, the NFL's executive vice president of health and safety, said in a conference call with reporters.

The goal of the study was to determine how helmets perform in the area of reduced head impact severity. Previously, players were able to choose any helmet that was certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).

Ten helmet models from Rawlings, Schutt, SG Helmets and Riddell have been targeted for phaseout, six immediately and four by the start of the 2019 season.

The top-rated helmets for player safety in the study were the VICIS Zero 1 models of 2017 and 2018. The other four models can be worn in 2018, but only by players who wore the model in 2017.

According to the release: "The prohibited helmets perform poorly in laboratory testing, have been discontinued by the manufacturer, or were produced by companies no longer manufacturing football helmets".

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The NFL used Biokinetics Inc., which is an independent helmet testing lab in Canada.

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

The NFL and football itself has come under the microscope in recent years for concussions and other head-related injuries caused by the violent nature of the sport. We think that is an important move, and we think that will improve player health and safety.

In notifying the 32 teams Monday, the league has sought to have players stop using 10 helmet varieties.

The NFL reached a $1 billion concussion settlement in 2017; the league is now dealing with alleged "fraudulent schemes by doctors, lawyers and players to illicitly tap the uncapped fund", The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

"The objective of the continuation to rank helmets and the joint decision with the players' association to prohibit is to increase that movement into better performing helmets".

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