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Schutt Helmets' CEO Blasts New Virginia Tech Helmet Study

A 2014 study (Rowson S, Duma S, et al 2014) reporting that football helmet design can reduce concussion risk has prompted criticism from some of the football helmet manufacturers whose helmets were not involved in the study. In the interest of accurate and complete reporting on the study, set out below is the full text of an email dated February 10, 2014 from Rob Erb, Chief Executive Officer of Schutt Helmets.

Study Showing Helmet Design Can Reduce Concussion Risk Leaves Many Questions Unanswered

A new study provides the first good clinical evidence that helmet design can lower the risk of concussion in games and practices but leaves unanswered the practical question faced by football parents, coaches, and administrators: whether a difference in concussion risk reduction exists between currently available helmet models incorporating the latest design features.

NOCSAE Ruling On Helmet Sensors Generates Controversy

The July 2013 decision by NOCSAE that modification of helmets with third-party after-market add-ons, absent retesting and recertification as configured, renders the certification void may be necessary to protect the integrity of its helmet standard, but at the cost of depriving athletes of cutting-edge concussion safety products.

NOCSAE Voiding of Certification For Sensor-Equipped Helmets: A Big Blow To Player Safety

Last week many of the technology manufacturers who have been working diligently to produce products to make helmeted sports such as football safer were dealt a severe, if not crippling, blow by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) when, out of the blue, it decided to view modification of helmets with third-party after-market add-ons as voiding its certification, which could only be regained if the helmet is retested with the add-on. Newcastle Racers wearing three different football helmets

Brooke de Lench believes that the new NOCSAE ruling voiding the certification for sensor-equipped helmets could not have come at a worse time, just as football - from the youth level to the NFL - is gearing up for the 2012 season. If not reversed or modified, de Lench fears that it will have harsh real-world consequences; not just on sensor manufacturers but on player safety and consumer choice.

Buyer Beware (Part Two): NFHS Has NOT Endorsed Use of Football Helmet Covers As Reducing Concussion Risk

In recent weeks I have written a number of blogs about claims by equipment manufacturers that their products prevent or reduce the risk of concussions.  

First, it was to call attention to a settlement between the Federal Trade Commission and Brain Pad, a mouth guard manufacturer, barring the company from claiming that its mouthguard reduced the risk of concussion.

Next, it was to deconstruct some carefully-worded claims in a press release by a company named Unequal Technologies touting supplemental helmet protective pads utilizing so-called CRT (concussion reduction technology).

Beware of claims that external football helmet pads, now permitted in high school football, actually prevent or reduce the risk of concussion, says MomsTEAM founder, Brooke de Lench.

Heads Up: Recent Developments in Sports Safety

Three hot topics are on my mind today: wearable technology, head impact sensors, and football helmets.

Wearable technology

During the past year, I have been invited many times to participate in conversations about wearable technology for athletes. With our headquarters close to the hotbeds of technology centers of MIT and Harvard, I am often asked to sit in on meetings to provide my insight.

What I know is that this is a rapidly-developing field in which we are going to see some amazing technological advances in the next decade.

Three hot topics are on my mind today: wearable technology, head impact sensors, and football helmets.
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