NFL Bans Helmets Ranked Tops by Virginia Tech

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High Schools and colleges that use Virginia Tech’s 5-Star helmet scale for judging the safety of helmets might want to have a look at the list of 10 helmets banned this week by the NFL.

The NFL and the NFL Players Association this week announced in a joint press release a list of 10 helmets that didn’t pass laboratory safety testing. According to Yahoo Sports, the helmets will be prohibited for use by players. A poster with the testing results, from best to worst, will be posted in every NFL facility.

“In previous seasons, NFL players could choose any helmet as long as the helmet passed current National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) certification standards,” the release read. “The prohibited helmets perform poorly in laboratory testing, have been discontinued by the manufacturer, or were produced by companies no longer manufacturing football helmets.”

“Six of these helmets are prohibited immediately. The other four may be worn by players who were using them in 2017, but may not be adopted by new players.”

Notably, a number of the helmets banned by the NFL were ranked highly on Virginia Tech’s 5-star helmet rating scale, which the school established in 2011. The SG 2.0., now prohibited by the NFL, is listed as a 5-star helmet by Virginia Tech. The Rawlings Impulse and Rawlings Quantum, both now prohibited by the NFL, were listed as 4-star helmets, or ‘Very Good’ by Virginia Tech.

Variations of the Schutt Air XP Pro VTD II and the Schutt Air XP Pro VTD — the safest and fourth-safest helmets on Virginia Tech’s list, respectively — were banned by the NFL. The NFL now prohibits the use of the Schutt Air XP Pro and the Schutt Air XP.

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment is in charge of certifying newly manufactured helmets. It’s worth pointing out that even a helmet given 1 star by Virginia Tech could still meet NOCSAE standards.  

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