ESPN Looks At Virgina Tech Study

Gregg Easterbrook, writing for Page 2 on ESPN.com in his Tuesday Morning Quarterback wrote an article about the rating system for helmets that Dr. Stefan Duma presented in late spring.  As we covered it here; explaining that his data was in concert with our observational data on helmets.  In the Easterbrook article titled “Virginia Tech helmet research crucial“;

Now all that has changed. Researchers at Virginia Tech have produced the first brand-by-brand, model-by-model ranking for the likely concussion resistance of helmets. A star-rating system modeled on crash safety rankings for automobiles, the rankings clearly identify the best and worst helmets. Virginia Tech researchers give high marks to these helmets: the Riddell Speed, Riddell Revolution, Riddell Revolution IQ; the Schutt Ion 4D and Schutt DNA; and the Xenith X1. The Virginia Tech researchers give medium grades to the Schutt Air XP and Schutt Air Advantage. The Virginia Tech rankings warn players not to wear these helmets: the Riddell VSR4 and the Adams A2000.

Now the chilling part: the VSR4 — Virginia Tech’s second-lowest-rated helmet — was the most common helmet in the NFL Continue reading

Helmet Rating Database

The public has “Consumer Reports” on everyday goods and cars, an open rating system for goods, so why not helmets for football?  That was until now as researchers at Virginia Tech have used years of data on hits and helmets to create a database accessible by the public on football helmets;

Stefan Duma and his research assistants unveiled Wednesday a formula derived from years of data collected on the head impacts of football players, including players at Tech. The formula will be used to find the number of concussions that one player may experience in one season using a specific helmet.

The result will be a first-of-its-kind online searchable database of every new helmet being sold. Currently about 25 different adult-size helmets are manufactured by six companies.

This is not as acknowledged by Duma a “perfect” system, however it is a beginning, and we agree that why not start now.  Perhaps there will be a owness on the manufacturers with a rating system to be even more vigilant in creating a better product.

The database is expected to be ready by May, Continue reading