NFL Raises Helmet Performance Standards with Five New Models Achieving Record-Breaking Testing Results

NFL Raises Helmet Performance Standards with Five New Models Achieving Record-Breaking Testing Results

In a groundbreaking move aimed at enhancing player safety, the NFL and NFLPA have unveiled five cutting-edge helmet models for the upcoming 2024 season, setting a new benchmark in helmet safety innovation. This announcement underscores a significant leap forward in ensuring the well-being of players on the field, with a total of 12 new helmet models deemed eligible for the upcoming season.

This year’s introduction also sees a remarkable expansion in position-specific helmets, with eight new models tailored to the unique needs of individual player positions. These position-specific helmets are specifically engineered to mitigate impacts commonly experienced by players in various positions on the field. The development of these helmets is informed by comprehensive game impact data collected by the league, which is shared with helmet manufacturers to inform design enhancements.

Following their initial availability to offensive and defensive linemen in 2022 and quarterbacks in 2023, the 2024 season marks the third consecutive year of offering position-specific helmets to select positions.

Jeff Miller, NFL Executive Vice President overseeing Player Health and Safety, expressed pride in the ongoing advancements in helmet technology, stating, “We’re proud to see so many new helmets continue the rapid rate of improvement we’ve seen over the past decade.” Miller emphasized the league’s commitment to providing players with the best possible protection tailored to their specific positions, with plans to expand position-specific helmet options to more player positions in the coming years.

The rigorous evaluation of helmet performance is conducted through annual laboratory testing overseen by jointly appointed biomechanical experts from the NFL and NFLPA. These tests assess the helmets’ ability to reduce head impact severity, with additional evaluations conducted using position-specific test methodologies for quarterbacks, offensive linemen, and defensive linemen.

For the first time, the results of these tests will be prominently displayed in all club locker rooms, featuring four distinct helmet posters. These posters highlight helmet performance across all positions, as well as specific evaluations tailored to quarterbacks, offensive linemen, and defensive linemen.

In a notable development, six helmets have been newly prohibited for the 2024 season, despite their initial high performance rankings. This decision underscores the ongoing commitment to raising the standard of helmet safety and performance through continuous innovation.

The introduction of two new models, the LIGHT Gladiator (ATK) and Xenith Orbit Pro, developed through the NFL Helmet Challenge, further exemplifies the league’s dedication to collaboration with engineers and material scientists to drive advancements in helmet design and safety. These models, included in the highest-performing section of this year’s rankings, highlight the league’s ongoing efforts to foster innovation and prioritize player safety.

With the unveiling of these groundbreaking helmet models, the NFL reaffirms its commitment to advancing player safety and ensuring the highest standards of protection for all athletes on the field.

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