There was a lot of talk this weekend about new helmets — or at least redesigned helmets — and the impact they could have on all levels of football.
Changes in how football helmets are made soon might be legislated. The Associated Press in New York reported Monday that Senator Charles Schumer is starting a bill to improve standards for youth football helmets.
Schumer says the current voluntary safety standards for football helmets do not specifically address concussion risk or youth-size helmets. The proposed legislation would establish a process for new, youth-focused safety standards.
The announcement came on the heels of two reports we offered briefly Sunday.
First, CBSSports.com reported Riddell has a select number of college and pro teams wearing the “360,” a new style of helmet the company believes can prevent concussions. Under testing, the model received the highest marks helmets can get.
Here is a promotional video from Riddell on the 360′s benefits:
The retail price for a brand-new Riddell 360 is $374.95, according to the Virginia Tech health study on helmets.
Second was an Associated Press report on how Indianapolis auto racing helmet maker Bill Simpson wants to start all over and redesign football helmets — especially for kids.
NASCAR has made incredible strides in safety ever since Dale Earnhardt died of head and neck injuries at the 2001 Daytona 500. Concussions in major motorsports series are rare, especially since NASCAR requires Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Trucks racers to wear a HANS (Head and Neck Support) device.
Simpson helmets have a fast track record of improving safety, considering the sport runs at 180 mph. And Green Bay Packers center Jeff Saturday swears by his Simpson football helmet, which he started wearing last season as a prototype.
Simpson plans to make what he describes as a radical new helmet for even younger players by early next year.
“It’s real Buck Rogers stuff,” Simpson said of his youth football prototype. “It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen.”
Everything about his football helmets is different, Simpson said, because he uses better materials and doesn’t follow the decades-old blueprint of other helmet-makers.