NEW ORLEANS — Rawlings and Riddell have made player safety an important part of their company missions, and both demonstrated that during their exhibits at the NFL’s Player Health and Safety station at NFL Experience inside Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
“We think that football is at a crossroads,” said David Hill, vice president of fall product for Rawlings. “The parents are concerned for good reasons. They need to feel good about their children being able to participate. It’s incumbent upon us not only to make sure that we design the best equipment and that we educate people in how to use it, but also, participate in the bigger mission with regard to how the game is played, how it’s officiated, how it’s coached. We think it’s exciting to be part of this change. We think it’s very positive.”
Erin Griffin, media relations manager for Riddell added: “At Riddell, improving athlete protection is the foundation of our company. As an industry leader in head protection, we’re uniquely positioned to not only raise awareness of the latest helmet technology, but also to educate players and parents on how properly fit equipment maximizes the helmet’s protective benefits.”
Rawlings was on hand earlier in the week to demonstrate the importance of having helmets properly fit athletes. Rawlings has begun to use an air system that inflates the inside of the helmet based on the shape of a player’s head.
“We’re trying to teach them how to achieve a good fit on the helmet because the helmet only works as well as it’s fitted to the child’s head,” Hill said. “The performance of the helmet is predicated on good fit because no two heads are exactly the same. With these particular helmets that we have, we have an air adjustment system that will conform the fit to the respective head. Good fit is the beginning of optimum performance from a football helmet.”
Later in the week, Riddell also showed fans the proper way to fit players for helmets.
“Riddell plans to teach youth and parents in attendance the key steps to fitting a helmet, and highlight how properly fit equipment helps build the player’s confidence by maximizing visibility, comfort and hearing,” Griffin said. “The tips and information that Riddell offers here at NFLX (Experience) can be taken back and applied on the field during the next season.”
– Matt Florjancic, ClevelandBrowns.com