“By any measure, football has never been safer and we continue to make progress with rule changes, safer tackling techniques at all levels of football, and better equipment, protocols and medical care for players.” Jeff Miller – NFL Senior VP of Health & Safety, 2015
How to Choose and Fit Football Helmets
Preventing concussions is one of the most important aspects of football safety. With all of the advances that are being made in football helmets and in the science of measuring the long-term consequences of brain injury, it’s worth checking up on the facts yearly. Wearing the right helmet – age, weight, size, and fit – will go a long way to keeping the injuries minimal, and a player’s performance at their peak.
Youth vs. Adult Helmets
- Youth Helmets – Made of lightweight ABS plastic construction, youth helmets are able to withstand collisions at the level of force young players are capable of. Their prices are often cheaper than adult helmets.
- Ages 5-10 (Youth League) and 10-14 (Middle School)
- Youth players rarely tackle each other, so they can use lighter equipment.
- Polycarbonate helmets are often forbidden in youth leagues, as they can cause more damage to opposing players when collision occurs.
- Some middle school players have a skill level or physical growth that may need the protection of an adult helmet, especially by the time they are 13-14 years old. Switching to an adult helmet will help them adapt to heavier protection.
- Adult Helmets – Polycarbonate construction, strong, durable – designed to take the highest levels of collision between players. Adult helmets are made to withstand helmet on helmet impacts in a way that youth helmets are not.
- Ages 13 + (Middle School, High School, College)
- By high school, all players must wear heavier adult helmets. In high school, college play and beyond, the hits are stronger and tackling more advanced.
- Adult helmets are often higher in price than youth helmets, so be aware of the effect on your equipment budget