Football, despite others referring to it as a battle of strategy and teamwork, is first and foremost, a highly physical sport. Its evolution from the time it has started up to today includes how football gear has cope with the changes and demands of the sport.
Statistics show that next to cycling, football has been reported the second highest sport in head injuries. Studies show that the impact of these injuries may result in brain damage. It is, therefore, essential to give primary focus to the football gear used for head protection. Based on Shocpro’s list of safety accessories, we have the following recommended gear for your head:
One common observation about football helmets is it looks highly uncomfortable and heavy but necessary. This may be true to some extent but to understand how it protects football players, consider the following:
- Helmets have a shell
This refers to the helmet body which serves as the outer covering that protects the head. It started off with leather material and as time passes, innovations were made to make it as impact resistant, durable and lightweight as possible. The introduction of a plastic version and combination of synthetic materials created a shift on the look and feel of the entire helmet. Nowadays, helmets are made of molded polycarbonate shells. Depending on the brand and the other parts that come with it, helmets weigh around 3-5 lbs.
- Helmets have padding inside
Initially, the concept of padding is “more is better.” Its purpose is to reduce the impact of any collision When innovations were suggested to improve impact resistance, convenience and comfort were also taken into account. The padding inside were initially made of reinforced plastic and later on, vinyl.
- Helmets have a chin strap
When the chin strap first came around, it was around the neck. Later on, it has changed to right below the chin. It makes sure that the helmet is highly secure and that the player can focus on the game.
- Helmets have a face mask
There are two types of facemask: Open cage (one with 2 or 3 horizontal bars) and closed cage (one with 3 horizontal bars and 1 horizontal bar from the shell to the nose/horizontal bar). Face masks may be detachable and depend on the position during the game. Linesmen – who are the first line of defense may use the closed-cage for safety/security purposes while quarterback may prefer that they can strategize and see clearer, and would prefer an open-cage helmet. The vinyl coating was added to the bars to minimize damage.
- Radio transmitters
Some helmets have a built-in transmitter to allow the coach to coordinate with the team through the quarterback and the team to contact each other while in the game.
The mouth guard is a detachable/optional item that may be attached to the bottom horizontal bar of the helmet.
#2. Football Visors
Football visors are similar to how visors work on motorcycle helmets. It’s an added measure of security and in football (helmets), still considered an optional accessory. Having this safety gear may provide the following benefits:
Similar to the features of the helmet shell, football visors are also made of polycarbonate material which makes it durable and impact-resistant to some degree. It is also protection against the sun and dust particles. As a strategy, it will cover the player’s eyes and prevent opponents from detecting potential next step/direction.
- Clear and focused
When visors are used, it makes the helmet fully cover and the player’s head, apart from the nose and certain parts of the chin seen through the horizontal bars. Players, therefore, would be more focused on the game. Since the lens can be added to the visor, those who need corrective lenses will not be prevented from playing.