It has come to this. The discussion surrounding football and the potential for long-term brain damage has become so prevalent that talk of helmet design and technology has started bubbling to the surface.
There is an atmosphere of fear in the football arena. And that is somewhat problematic because the football season is starting to pick up speed. The health dangers related to the NFL cannot be ignored. And even if you do not care about the health of football athletes, you probably have something to say about all the NFL events affected by injuries.
Basically, if you engage with the NFL in any way, then the brain damage story affects you in some way. This hullabaloo has been growing in intensity ever since a study came out and identified cases of brain damage in former football players.
While the NFL has made it an objective to create new rules and regulations that make play on the field safe, companies that make helmets are also doing their part to minimize injuries by introducing new helmets into the mix.
There has been a lot of talk about the introduction of innovative new designs for helmets into the game of football. Many a company believes it has what it takes to create headgear that can absorb enough force to make a game of speed and impact like football safe.
Riddell is leading the charge in this campaign. They are one of the most popular helmet brands in the league. They have been working on technology that can scan an athlete’s head and the print custom fit helmets for players that include cushioning and liners positioned in the right place to avail maximum protection.
Riddell also has plans to place sensors in helmets that will inform staff when impacts of note happen during a game. The sensors are specifically designed to send out alerts in the case of dangerous impacts that could pose a threat to the athlete in question.
Riddell is in competition with Schutt to bring transformation and innovation to helmets in the NFL. Schutt is another big player in the NFL helmet game and they are hopeful about their F7 helmet to secure the safety of players.
The F7 helmets have special tektonic plates that move independently of one another and are designed to work in tandem with the fit liner to absorb the energy generated as a result of an impact.
The helmets, which include a titanium face mask, have already begun making appearances in locker rooms across the NFL landscape.
The hope is that Schutt and Riddell’s efforts can have an ostensible effect on the rate of injuries. And if both companies fail to live up to expectations, NFL owners and fans can always look to other players for an alternative solution.
One such player is Vicis, a newcomer that created a helmet which offers the widest field of view on any advanced football helmet, this while using a flexible internal polymer and a powerful external polycarbonate shell to slow down impact forces.
Vicis isn’t as well known as its competitors but the technology the company is bringing to the table promises to change the game of football. Along with Xenith—another firm working to advance helmet technology—it is entirely possible that the right helmet design could make brain injuries a problem of the past.