Student concussions can be averted with the right helmets

Ways to protect football players from concussions


Wyett Derr, Writer

Coaches at Mead strive to protect student athletes as best as possible. When it comes to football, there are many variables that players and those close to them should be aware of. The biggest is concussions. 

The greatest way to help prevent concussions is knowing which helmets are the best at protecting players’ heads. There are no ways to actually stop concussions from happening in a sport like football, but there are ways to try and lessen their severity. 

A chart made by the NFL claims that the Vicis Zero1 helmet is the best at helping protect someone’s head from extreme harm. While this helmet may cost a lot of money–$950–it was made by neurosurgeons that are tired of seeing younger kids getting lifetime illnesses from concussions.  

The Vicis Zero1 may be 2019’s best helmet, but it isn’t the only safe helmet that can be used. Mead uses different types of helmets, such as the Riddell Speedflex, which is rated number three on the NFL list. This helmet offers a front plate that flexes as the helmet is hit to take part of the blow. While this helmet is still a little pricey–$410–it is a widely used helmet in high schools and is trusted by many coaches. 

There are many procedures that the NFL and other organizations use to determine how effective a helmet is. First, the NFL conducts drop tests that are weighted to determine the potential effect that it may have on a player. Higher-rated helmets take the impact of a hit better, lowering head injuries.

After going through all these tests, the helmets get STAR ratings. According to the article ¨The STAR value itself is a theoretical calculation that is based on a probabilistic analysis of impact exposure and injury risk. While there is almost an infinite number of ways to test helmets, the overall methodology must be practical. To this end, head impacts measured on the field were generalized to 20 drop test scenarios. Each helmet model had a total of 120 drop tests performed, and the data from these tests was combined to form one overall STAR value.¨ 

While we don’t have the best 2019 helmet, we still have one of the safest helmets in the league.