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Helmet testing standards could be improving

Helmets Getty Images

As concussion sensitivity has increased, helmet testing standards haven’t.  They soon could be.

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) announced Friday the approval of a revised helmet testing standard.  For the first time, the NOCSAE standard specifically will concussions in addition to more significant head injuries.

It won’t become effective until June 2016 at the earliest.

“It’s a pretty dramatic step for us.  I don’t think any other helmet in the world has incorporated these kinds of testing components,” Mike Oliver, executive director of NOCSAE, told Gary Mihoces of USA Today.

The NOCSAE doesn’t claim the standard, which measures rotational forces and simulates the blows that occur in football collisions, will represent a step toward developing a concussion-proof helmet.  That’s impossible, given that many concussions are caused by the banging of the brain against the inside of the skull when the head suddenly changes directions.

“I think what I could honestly say is by the time the standard becomes final that a helmet that meets that standard will provide the maximum level of protection consistent with technology and science that can be provided for concussions,” Oliver said.

That’s a fancy way of saying there’s only so much that can be done to prevent concussions from happening, which means that concussion management will continue to be an important part of the game at every level.  Which means that changing the culture of football will continue to be critical to making football as safe as it can be.

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12 Responses to “Helmet testing standards could be improving”
  1. nyyjetsknicks says: Jun 22, 2014 9:47 PM

    If players wore leather helmets, they’re no longer lead with their head.

  2. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jun 22, 2014 10:03 PM

    The guy that developed helmets for NASCAR said the NFL helmets are a joke. He offered to help and they turned their nose up at him. No I’m not a NASCAR fan at all. If the technology is there use it or explore it.

  3. pittspuke7 says: Jun 22, 2014 10:17 PM

    On a related note the Steelers standards for winning seasons have not improved since being tebowed out of the playoffs years ago. They have not had any! Haha

  4. mazenblue says: Jun 22, 2014 10:23 PM

    Could be improving? Whew.

  5. catfanatic1979v1 says: Jun 22, 2014 10:30 PM

    They should have tried improving helmets first before all of this other nonsense.

  6. bobnelsonjr says: Jun 22, 2014 11:02 PM

    With improvements come more spearing and improper tackling technique.

    Going back to leather would improve the game and reduce injuries.

  7. celticsforever says: Jun 22, 2014 11:04 PM

    “Protective” equipment like helmets & (hockey – shoulder and elbow pads) have become the weapon. I’m with the leather helmet dude.

  8. gloryfromheaven46 says: Jun 22, 2014 11:11 PM

    brownsmakemecrazy says:
    Jun 22, 2014 10:03 PM

    they turned their nose up at him

    ————-

    Hm….. Interesting

  9. doctorrustbelt says: Jun 23, 2014 6:33 AM

    Let’s Be Honest… Nike could tell all their multi-millionaire sponsored European futbol stars to take it easy on the Team U.S.A. to ease them into the finals… speeding up the imminent demise of American football by 10 to 15 years.

    I love football… but… I am not blind.

  10. restorativejusticeprogram says: Jun 23, 2014 8:19 AM

    There are PROVEN safer helmets on the market right now, but the NFL will not use them because the manufacturers have not paid the NFL the most money.

    If the Commissioner did a Google search he could easily see he is requiring his players to smash heads into each other with decades-old technology and equipment. Criminal negligence and I hope someone takes away every dollar of his $40+ million salary and everything he has been paid before he leaves office.

  11. leatherhelmets says: Jun 23, 2014 10:13 AM

    How about a helmet that explodes with contact and emits the words “I got jacked up”! That would sell

  12. pocketcow says: Jun 23, 2014 12:22 PM

    A better solution would be to put padding on the outside of the helmets to ease the forces being applied.

    Either way, you cannot totally stop concussions due to them being caused by the brain hitting against the inside of the skull.

    The only thing that will help, is something that is slowing down the force. Which means… padding on the outside of the helmets to help slow down the deceleration speed after a hit.

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