Football injuries are common.
Your coaches trained you to endure hard hits on the field, but you need protective gear to cushion your body against impact. Football helmets play a critical role in protecting your head and brain. Whether you play in a professional league or on a college team, choosing a helmet is a crucial decision. Make safety your number-one priority when it comes to full-contact sports. Scrutinize perspective helmets for design and safety before making a final decision.
You risk potential head trauma every time you step onto the field. Research into football-related head trauma is driving a trend towards innovative helmet technology designed to better protect your brain. Helmets have always provided solid protection against severe head trauma. However, they have provided less protection against minor to moderate head injuries. Manufacturers now concentrate their efforts on providing enhanced protection. Stabilizing your head when you take a hard hit is the desired outcome.
Virginia Tech (VT) School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences developed an evaluation system for adult football helmets. It released the results of its annual helmet ratings in May of 2013, and four helmets received the highest possible score of five stars. The helmets that offered the most protection against head trauma were the Riddell 360, Rawlings Quantum Plus, Xenith X2 and the Riddell Revolution Speed.
Manufacturers line standard helmets with dense padding to cushion your head against impact. However, the four helmets that earned five stars from VT employ more innovative designs. The Xenith X2 Helmet uses specialized air cells that expand and collapse based on the amount of pressure applied, which provides enhanced protection. The Ridell 360 features on-board wireless software that records the velocity of each hit you take on the field and sends that information to your coach.
The amount of impact you sustain on a regular basis during games and practice depends heavily on the position you play. You give and receive a lot of hits as a lineman but are less exposed to brutal impact. As a running back, you take more punishment than any other position on the field. Running backs need the highest level of protection to counter the brutal impacts sustained during games and practice.
Along with your helmet, you have face mask options. The helmet you purchase can be fitted with the face mask of your choice. Choose the type of face mask relevant to your position. If you are a wide receiver or a quarterback, you will want a small face mask so that you can see clearly. If you play lineman, then you will need protection during tackles and blocks, so choose a larger face mask.