The Helmet

NOCSAE_SEAL

 

No one helmet system will adequately protect all head shapes.
Regardless of the brand and styles you choose, all helmets must bear the NOCSAE approval seal and warning label.

 

Warning: No helmet can prevent serious head or neck injuries a player might receive while participating in football. Keep your head up. Do not use this Helmet to butt, ram or spear an opposing player. This is a violation of the football rules and such use can result in severe head or neck injuries, paralysis or death to you and possible injury to your opponent. Contact in football may result in concussion-brain injury, which no helmet can prevent. Symptoms include: loss of consciousness or memory, dizziness, headache, nausea or confusion. If you have symptoms immediately stop playing and report them to your coach, trainer and parents. Do not return to a game or practice until all symptoms are gone and you have received medical clearance. Ignoring this warning may lead to another and more serious or fatal brain injury.

The following general items should be considered when selecting a helmet:

  • A helmet must fit snugly to protect the player. A loose-fitting helmet cannot provide
    adequate protection. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and procedures.
  • A properly fitted helmet is supposed to be snug. It should not move independently.

HELMET SIZING

ADULT HELMETS (RIDDELL)

Size
Hat Size
Circumference
Small up to 6 1/2 up to 20 3/8″
Medium 6 1/2 – 7 20 3/8″ – 22″
Large 7 – 7 1/2 22 -23 1/2″
X-Large 7 1/2 and up 23 1/2″ and up

YOUTH PADDED HELMETS (RIDDELL)

Size
Hat Size
Circumference
X-Small 6 3/8 – 6 1/2 20 3/8″
Small 6 5/8 – 6 3/4 20 3/4 – 21 1/4″
Medium 6 7.8 – 7 21 5/8 – 22″
Large 7 1/8 – 7 1/4 22 3/8 – 22 3/4″
X-Large 7 3/8 – 7 1/2 23 1/8 – 23 1/2″

Please note sizing varies by helmet style and manufacturer.

General Helmet Fitting Tips

  • Recommend to your players that when fitting day approaches, each player should have their hair cut to reasonable length. Extremely long hair is very unsafe and makes it hard to properly fit a helmet. In addition, helmets should be fitted when the player’s hair is wet to simulate perspiration.
  • Have a sufficient supply of different sized jaw pads handy.
  • Measure the player’s head and record the size on your loan sheet. You can use this measurement as a starting point in select the helmet.
  • Use both a head sizer and a cloth measuring tape, measure the circumference of the player’s head. This measurement is taken by measuring approximately 1″ above the eyebrows. After the measurement, refer to the helmet manufacturer’s sizing charts to determine the proper helmet size.

It is imperative that there be some air in the bladder prior to fitting an air-sized helmet

  • Have the player try on his helmet. Hold the helmet with thumbs in the earholes of the shell and fingers pointing toward the helmet top. Spread the fingers and bring the helmet down toward the forehead at a slight angle with jaw pads first touching at the temples. Roll the helmet back slightly and bring it down straight into position.
  • Check for proper “positional” fit by placing your hands on the top of the helmet and pressing down. Pressure should be on the crown of the head and not on the brow. In dual airliner helmets, make sure the exterior liner is pumped up and fit snugly.
  • Check for helmet rotation by having the player hold his head and neck as stiff as possible, then placing your hands on the backside of the helmet, try to turn the helmet from side to side. The skin on the player’s forehead should move with the sweatband.
  • There should be a distance no greater than 1″ between the eyebrow and the front of the helmet.
  • The jaw pads should fit firmly against the face but not feel uncomfortable. After checking the fit, adjust the jaw pads to either smaller or larger size.
  • Adjust the chinstrap to achieve a snug fit ensuring that it is centered.
  • After the initial helmet fitting is done, it is extremely important to watch the players while they are practicing to ensure that a proper fit is being maintained.
  • Check the helmet fit periodically throughout the season.

This post is also available in: French