Alternate helmets and concussions...

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    Colonels_Wear_Blue's Avatar
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    Alternate helmets and concussions...

    The NFL adopted a rule in August 2013 that prohibited any teams from using any alternate helmets that would create a situation where players are forced to wear a helmet other than the helmet that they were formally fitted with at the beginning of the season. They are to permitted to paint helmets, change decals, and change facemasks, but none of the changes can "affect the integrity of the helmet" the player was fitted with at the start of the season.

    The rule was created in the interest of minimizing any risk for a player to have an improperly fitted helmet, or for a player to potentially feel the need to alter they physical approach on the field due to using different helmets. This rule was all a concussion/CTE precaution.
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    With that said, I've noticed that there are several high school teams in Kentucky that have alternate football helmets. Off the top of my head, Prestonsburg has three different helmets they use during the season, McCracken County has two or three different helmets, Paintsville has announced that they will have a alternate "white out" helmet for the 2018 season, and I think? (could be wrong) Frederick Douglass had an alternate helmet last season.

    With the medical science that we have in this day and age about the dangers of concussions - particularly to brains under the age of 20 - is it a dangerous move for high schools to have their football players competing in numerous different helmets each season? ...or at the very least, is it an unnecessary risk?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonels_Wear_Blue View Post
    The NFL adopted a rule in August 2013 that prohibited any teams from using any alternate helmets that would create a situation where players are forced to wear a helmet other than the helmet that they were formally fitted with at the beginning of the season. They are to permitted to paint helmets, change decals, and change facemasks, but none of the changes can "affect the integrity of the helmet" the player was fitted with at the start of the season.

    The rule was created in the interest of minimizing any risk for a player to have an improperly fitted helmet, or for a player to potentially feel the need to alter they physical approach on the field due to using different helmets. This rule was all a concussion/CTE precaution.
    __________________________________________________

    With that said, I've noticed that there are several high school teams in Kentucky that have alternate football helmets. Off the top of my head, Prestonsburg has three different helmets they use during the season, McCracken County has two or three different helmets, Paintsville has announced that they will have a alternate "white out" helmet for the 2018 season, and I think? (could be wrong) Frederick Douglass had an alternate helmet last season.

    With the medical science that we have in this day and age about the dangers of concussions - particularly to brains under the age of 20 - is it a dangerous move for high schools to have their football players competing in numerous different helmets each season? ...or at the very least, is it an unnecessary risk?
    I have to admit, I don't understand this rule in the NFL. Why can't a player be "fitted" into multiple helmets? I'm sure helmets get damaged and need replacing at times during the season, so I don't see an issue with fitting a player more than once. And in the NFL, with the more expensive helmets, helmets can be custom fitted to a very high degree. I know many college teams do have alternate helmets, so I'd be curious to see how concussion rates might be while using alternate helmets.

    As for the high school level, as long as teams are going to the proper lengths to fit and properly maintain helmets, I really don't see an issue. The biggest issue I would see at the high school level would be cost. More helmets to buy, more to recondition, which leads to high costs. Also, since helmets have a limit to the number of times they can be reconditioned, it in my opinion not a great way to spend your money. But that's up to each school to make that call.

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    plantmanky's Avatar
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    What do you do when a helmet breaks during a game?

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    Johnny_Utah's Avatar
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    Pretty sure that Douglass only had one helmet, but I've been wrong before.

    now for my real response:

    GOOD GRIEF! As a former AD I don't know how you could substantiate the sheer cost of this during a Title IX review, there is no way to balance that out no matter what you do for girls athletics.

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    GrantNKY's Avatar
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    Odds are if your school can purchase multiple helmets you can afford to have all of them fitted. I’ve never understood this rule at all at the NFL level. Plus if you switch helmets more regularly it helps keep the intergrity of each individual helmet stronger. Honestly the NFL rule to me seems like it may stem from stingy owners not wanting to purchase multiple helmets for every player. *cough* Mike Brown *cough*

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    Alternate helmets in high school? I thought that was reserved for the ESPN "reality show" schools like Bishop Gorman.

    The NFL claims it has abandoned alternate helmets for "safety reasons". The reason that makes the most sense to me is that by using one helmet for one season it is easier to capture data on the concussion and what role the helmet played or may not have played. Stated another way, it takes out a variable (how new or old the helmet was) when trying to analyze concussion data.

    On the other hand, why wouldn't you want to rotate helmets whose shells take a beating? Isn't the helmet shell and internal padding weaker at the end of the season than at the beginning? Instead of using one helmet for one season, maybe the NFL should get a sample group of players who rotate into new helmets once every four games.

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    plantmanky's Avatar
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    I sent an email to 3 helmet reps today because of this thread and asked them the below question:

    "What is your recommended break in period for your helmet for players to get acclimated to it?"


    I have received responses from two of the three.

    Response 1 - "none, but most teams do 1-3 days"

    Response 2 - "a properly fitted helmet does not need a break in or acclimation period to the user."

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