Since the early 70’s football helmet standards have remained the same. When NOCSAE (the helmet certifying group) began, the number one issue was skull fractures, so they set up standards to prevent these horrible injuries. This was a very big and important step, but since the standards were implemented, testing for those standards have not changed. Until now, perhaps, thanks to people like Alan Schwarz and those in the concussion community.
Mr. Schwarz ,who writes for the New York Times (have I mentioned how much I like this guy?) published yet another piece on concussions, this time the focus on the NOCASE possibly addressing the elephant in the room. Helmets do not protect against concussions, yet they market to that effect.
Nocsae’s single testing standard, used by all levels of football from pee-wees to professionals, considers only the extraordinarily violent impacts that would otherwise fracture skulls. It has little to do with the complex forces believed to cause concussions, and has not been changed meaningfully since it was first published in 1973.
The Nocsae standard has been criticized by outside experts, and even some Nocsae officials, for being outdated.