ROSEMONT, Ill., Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Riddell, the official helmet of the National Football League®, is taking an in-season time out to educate coaches, players and parents about how to properly inspect helmets and shoulder pads. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, football is the most popular sport for high school boys with more than a million participants.
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"Between regular practices and games, a player's equipment experiences hours of use," said Dan Arment, president of Riddell. "Inspecting equipment throughout the season helps ensure it's prepared to perform its job – protecting players on the field."
Riddell's five-point, checklist is designed to keep proper fit and protection top of mind for all young football players:
- Inspect Exterior Shell – Take a close look at the outside of the helmet for any cracks or dents and run fingers over the helmet to feel for any cracks the human eye may miss.
- Check Hardware and Internal Helmet Padding – If pads feel too loose or too tight, inflate all necessary inflation pads to achieve a snug fit. The skin of the player's forehead should move with the helmet's front pad. There should be no room for twisting.
- Proper Helmet Fit – A secure fit ensures the equipment is positioned on the head properly to best protect the athlete. When properly fit, the front of the helmet should rest approximately one inch above the player's eyebrows. He should feel pressure on the crown of the head, instead of the brow, when pressing the helmet down. A player should never wear a helmet that is positioned too low or too high.
- Assess Chin Strap – The cup should be centered and snug over the chin to hold the helmet in place. The top strap should go underneath the face mask, not above it, before snapping it in place while the lower strap should pass through the notches at the bottom of the shell and snap securely.
- Shoulder Pad Fit - Periodically check accessory attachments, condition of underarm straps, laces, and arch padding. The pad fit should be maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions.
At the end of the season, Riddell recommends annual reconditioning and recertification to prolong the life of the product and ensure it meets performance standards. When next season arrives, players will enjoy clean, sanitized, inspected and repaired equipment.
For more information about proper equipment fitting, visit www.riddell.com/fitting-guides.
Founded in 1929, Riddell is a premier designer and developer of protective sports equipment and a recognized leader in helmet technology and innovation. One of Easton-Bell Sports, Inc.'s most well-known brands and the Official Helmet of the NFL®, Riddell is the leading manufacturer of football helmets, shoulder pads and reconditioning services (cleaning, repairing, repainting and recertifying existing equipment).
Christie Burgner Shein