NFL to prohibit use of certain helmets for 1st time
NEW YORK – The NFL for the first time is prohibiting certain helmets from being worn by players.
In notifying the 32 teams Monday, the league has sought to have players stop using 10 helmet varieties. Some, particularly those manufactured by Rawlings, no longer are being made and don’t have support from the company. Others were found to be inferior to many of the 34 helmets the NFL and the players’ union examined.
Previously, NFL players could choose any helmet as long as it passed certification standards. Six of the substandard helmets are prohibited immediately, while the other four may be worn by players who used them in 2017 but not by new players.
The 10 helmets are Rawlings’ Impulse and Impulse+, Quantum and Tachyon; SG Varsity and SG 2.0; Schutt Vengeance Z10 (model 204100), Air XP (model 789002) and Air XP Pro (model 789102); and Riddell VSR-4 (model R41133).
A survey of players revealed at least 98 percent used one or more of the 34 helmet models tested.
Laboratory testing showed that the VICIS Zero 1 models of 2017 and 2018 rate best for player safety. A chart specifying top-to-bottom rankings for the 34 helmets is posted at every team’s training facility.
The 2018 Zero1 was the only new helmet model tested this year.
“We’re demonstrating our commitment by setting the pace for innovation and safety,” said Dave Marver, CEO of VICIS, which has been making helmets for only four years. Marver estimated 70 players were using the Zero1 by the end of 2017.