Safety Experts Recommend New Test For Football Helmets

January 17, 2014

(Photo by Alexandra Olgin-KJZZ)
The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment biannual conference took place at Phoenix Royal Palms Hotel.

Safety experts in Phoenix on Friday recommended changes to the way football helmets are tested. The national committee that sets helmet safety standards for all levels of play was in town for its biannual conference. 

The current standard for testing football helmets is called a drop test. This involves dropping a helmet from various heights and measuring the impact. New research suggests that testing impacts on different parts of the helmet could help prevent head injuries.

Dr. Robert Cantu is on the board for the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. He said this new type of test will be more thorough.

“They have what is called a linear impactor, and it literally hits the head at any location you want it to be hit. So it's creating angles of hits and locations of hits that we that we can’t do with a drop test,” said Cantu. 

Cantu said the new test could be put into effect within the year. The board will consider the research and vote on new testing standards this weekend.