04/20 13:05 CDT VICIS has top 3 helmets in survey including lineman model
VICIS has top 3 helmets in survey including lineman model
By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer
VICIS has the top three performing helmets in the NFL/NFLPA's seventh annual
study, with a position-specific helmet tested for the first time and ranking
The VICIS ZERO2-R TRENCH, designed specifically for linemen, came in behind
only the VICIS2-R MATRIX in the survey conducted by engineers who assessed in
measured laboratory testing the performance of all helmets worn by NFL players
in reducing head impact severity. The results released Tuesday are displayed on
a poster shared with NFL players and team medical, training, coaching and
Biomechanical engineers appointed by the NFL and NFLPA ranked 41 helmet models,
including three new models never tested before by the league. All three new
helmet models made the top 10 --- suggesting continued significant improvements
in helmet design.
"Players have more and better choices than ever before. Continued improvement
in helmet design has raised the bar for top performing helmet models," said
Jeff Miller, the NFL's executive vice president who oversees player health and
safety. "The introduction of the first position-specific helmet is a promising
development within the helmet industry to further customize helmets for the
unique safety requirements of each position.
"The NFL and NFLPA have long supported critical innovation in helmet design
through our research and innovation challenges and by providing necessary data
to manufacturers, and we're excited for that effort to yield tangible results."
The other highly ranked helmets were the VICIS ZERO2-R, new to the survey like
the other two top-rated VICIS products; Riddell SpeedFlex Precision Diamond;
Riddell SpeedFlex Precision; Riddell SpeedFlex Diamond; Xenith Shadow XR; VICIS
ZERO 1 (2018); Schutt F7N; Schutt F7 UR1; and Schutt F7 UR2.
In all, there are 20 helmets listed from laboratory tests in the
better-performing category, all in green on the poster. Below them are six
models in yellow that are not recommended for use, but not barred. Those six
were introduced several seasons ago as top-performing helmets, but as a result
of industry innovation, better-performing models have "raised the standard for
what is considered a top-performing helmet," the league said.
The final category, in red, has three helmets that are newly prohibited: the
Schutt Vengeance Pro, Schutt Air XP Pro Q10, and Schutt Vengeance Z10.
Eleven approved helmets worn by less than 1% of NFL players for the past two
seasons have been moved to a list of legacy helmets and are still permissible.
The future for helmet development likely will target position-specific
"Our modular ZERO2 helmet allows us to uniquely adjust the target velocity and
impact type by location," said Jason Neubauer, VICIS vice president of product
development. " As we learn more about position specific impacts we will
continue to evolve the system."
Engineers already have a test methodology for quarterbacks' helmets. Because
those helmets have the coach-to-player communications systems, development of
QB-specific helmets must come in conjunction with updates in communications
Through its NFL Helmet Challenge, the league and the players' union offer a
multi-million-dollar innovation challenge to manufacturers. The idea is to spur
the development of a football helmet that outperforms, based on laboratory
testing, all helmet models currently worn by NFL players. Helmet Challenge
submissions are due in July, and a $1 million prize will be awarded for a
winning helmet which improves by more than 15% the performance score achieved
by current top-performing helmets.
The poster also includes a warning that testing is "intended to represent NFL
impacts and thus, the conclusions on helmet performance cannot be applied to
collegiate, high school, or youth football."
The tests were done by an independent lab in Canada.
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