SOURCE: USA Football

Indianapolis – Offering the fun and fitness of football to young athletes, USA Football’s 2018 Protection Tour will kick off its national schedule on June 16. The series of USA Football events, conducted in partnership with Riddell and AIG, delivers expert-driven football and player safety information to youth players, parents and coaches, including proper tackling fundamentals, concussion education and equipment fitting.

“The fun and excitement of our Protection Tour events give kids and parents a great springboard into the upcoming season and support from Riddell and AIG make it possible,” USA Football CEO and Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK said. “Our event sites are exceptional football destinations thanks to the participating NFL teams and the Pro Football Hall of Fame who open their fields to young players and their families.”

The 2018 Protection Tour encompasses seven free, single-day events this summer for approximately 2,000 young athletes. Events will take place at NFL stadiums and practice facilities as well as the Pro Football Hall of Fame, providing instruction on several components of USA Football’s Heads Up Football program. The Protection Tour incorporates non-contact, age-appropriate drills in alignment with USA Football’s adaptation of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s American Development Model.

“Riddell’s continued support of the USA Football Protection Tour underscores our commitment to a smarter, more intelligent game,” said Riddell President and CEO DAN ARMENT. “This unique program helps educate players and their parents and coaches about proper equipment fitting, while also uniting the football community around best practices through a shared effort with USA Football and AIG to lead football to a strong future.”

Riddell and AIG are long-term supporters of USA Football’s programs and initiatives. Riddell is USA Football’s official protective equipment partner, assisting the independent non-profit as it awards more than $1.5 million in grants to youth and high school programs annually. The AIG companies provide participant accident insurance plans for youth leagues nationwide.

“Our priority of safety mirrors that of USA Football and Riddell,” said KATIE McGRATH, Head of Specialty and Sponsor Solutions, AIG Accident and Health consumer insurance. “From guidance on how to spot a concussion to providing education on equipment fitting, the Protection Tour is a helpful asset to players and parents alike.”

2018 USA Football Protection Tour event components:

Shoulder Tackling. Clinicians teach youth players and coaches proper tackling technique. Shoulder Tackling is designed to reduce helmet contact for fundamentally sound and safer play. 

Learn the fundamentals. Athletes participate in a fun and dynamic seven-part rotation of non-contact football drills to advance physical literacy and fitness.

Concussion recognition and response. Youth football parents receive an educational seminar on CDC-approved concussion recognition and response protocols. 

Equipment fitting. Players, parents and coaches participate in an interactive session, led by a Riddell equipment fitting expert, to learn how to properly fit a player’s helmet. Players may also bring their own helmet and receive a personalized fitting by Riddell.

Special Guest Appearances. Past and present NFL coaches and players will participate at events to engage with parents and young athletes.

USA Football’s Protection Tour events will be hosted by the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pro Football Hall of Fame throughout June, July and August.

2018 USA Football Protection Tour Schedule of Events:

DATE

HOST

CITY

LOCATION

June 16

Los Angeles Chargers

Costa Mesa, CA

HOAG Performance Center

June 20

Denver Broncos

Englewood, CO

UCHealth Training Center

June 23

USA Football

Renton, WA

Virginia Mason Athletic Center

July 14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa, FL

One Buccaneer Place

July 21

Chicago Bears

Lake Forest, IL

Halas Hall

August 3

Buffalo Bills

Orchard Park, NY

New Era Field

August 11

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Canton, Ohio

Field site TBD

Youth football players, parents and coaches can learn more and register for free 2018 Protection Tour events, dates and times at https://usafootball.com/protectiontour/.

USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, trains more high school and youth football coaches combined than any organization in the United States.

About Riddell: Riddell is a premier designer and developer of football helmets, protective sports equipment, head impact monitoring technologies, apparel and related accessories. A recognized leader in helmet technology and innovation, Riddell is the leading manufacturer of football helmets and shoulder pads, and a top provider of reconditioning services (cleaning, repairing, repainting and recertifying existing equipment). For more information, visit our website at http://www.riddell.com, like the Riddell Facebook page, or follow Riddell on Instagram and Twitter @RiddellSports.

About AIG: American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization serving customers in more than 100 countries and jurisdictions. The AIG companies serve commercial, institutional and individual customers through one of the most extensive worldwide property-casualty networks of any insurer. In addition, the AIG companies are leading providers of life insurance and retirement services in the United States. For more information, visit our website at www.aig.com or visit us on Youtube (www.youtube.com/aig) or Twitter @AIGinsurance.

About USA Football:  USA Football designs and delivers premier educational, developmental and competitive programs to advance and grow the sport. As the sport’s national governing body, member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and organizer of the U.S. National Team program for international competition, USA Football partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics to support positive football experiences for youth, high school and other amateur players.