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Virginia Tech Selects Top Football Helmets That Can Reduce Concussion Risk

Virginia Tech has selected 5 new adult football helmets, which were released this spring, that have earned its five-star mark. The five-star mark is the highest rating awarded by the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings, which are designed to identify key differences between the abilities of individual helmets to reduce concussion risk. The complete ratings of the helmets manufactured by Schutt Sports and Xentih LLC, each with two new products, and Rawlings Sporting Goods Co, with one helmet, are publicly available at the helmet ratings website.

According to a news report from Medical News Today, the new helmet with the five-star rating include:  Schutt’s Vengeance VTD and AiR XP Pro VTD; Rawlings’ Tachyon; and Xenith’s EPIC and X2E. The Virginia Tech helmet ratings are based on research that includes analysis of more than 2 million head impacts recorded directly from high school and college football players using helmet-mounted sensors. These data were used to create lab-testing conditions representative of all the impacts a player may experience on the field.

The Medical News Today news report notes that each helmet model’s ability to reduce concussion risk is assessed through 120 impact tests that are analyzed using the STAR Evaluation System, with each test weighted based on how frequently the impact condition occurs on the football field. Helmets that better manage the impact energy result in lower head accelerations and thereby lower concussion risk.

Presently, 23 helmet models have been evaluated through the analysis of more than 2,700 lab tests. Steven Rowson, PhD, who developed the STAR system and testing of the helmets, says, “We found that concussion risk was 54 percent lower in players wearing a four-star helmet compared to a one-star helmet. This closely matches the reduction in concussion risk that our ratings predict. It’s great to see agreement like this between our on-field and in-laboratory studies.”

Rowson adds, “Our tests are representative of the impacts that players experience on the field, so helmets that perform well in our tests are going to perform well on the field, making the sport of football safer.”

Source: Medical News Today