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Parent Feedback Forms - Helmets

posted Dec 22, 2013, 3:04 PM by Tony Davis
Thank you to those who returned the Parent Feedback Forms. The information gives us insight into our player's experience in the program. 

One of the forms asked about our helmets and helmet safety. Each offseason, based on our insurance provider's recommendation, every helmet in the program (grades 7-12) is sent to be "reconditioned." Helmet reconditioning includes cleaning and inspecting the condition of the shell, checking and replacing the facemask, removal and cleaning of the interior padding (replacing as necessary), replacing all hardware (T-nuts, screws, and face mask loops). Helmets that don't meet safety standards are rejected and can not be used any more. Each year new helmets are cycled in. At the high school, we add between 15-18 new helmets each year. The decision which brand of helmet we will purchase is based on our history of success with certain brands, being able to get the best fit for our kids,  the latest safety rankings. Virginia Tech University does a study each year and ranks helmets based on their evaluation. From their 2013 summary:

As observed in previous years, cost was not associated with performance, as the most expensive helmet was not the best performer. "Overall, we recommend players select one of the 4 or 5 star helmets. The specific helmet a player chooses will be dependent on additional factors such as a fit and comfort,"

and 

"It is important to note that no helmet can prevent all concussions. The most effective strategies to reduce concussions in sports involve modifying league rules and player technique to limit exposure to head impacts," Duma said. "Beyond this, head impacts are a given in sport. Our research focuses on identifying helmets that reduce concussion risk so that athletes can make informed decisions based independent data when purchasing equipment,

We will consider the latest Virginia Tech results when we purchase our helmets for 2014. 

Another question that comes up is the ability of players to purchase their own helmets. Our insurance provider recommends against this with the exception being "medical reasons; a student's physician recommends a specific type of helmet...the district must request something in writing from the attending physician that advises what the "objective physical findings are; ..."

If you have questions about helmets or other equipment, email (tdavis@tahomasd.us)or call (425.413.6302) Coach Davis at THS. 
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