SEATTLE, May 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Virginia Tech University Helmet Lab today released its 2018 VIRGINIA TECH® HELMET RATINGStm for football helmets, awarding VICIS' 2018 ZERO1 the highest available "5 STAR" rating. The ZERO1 rated highest of all 17 helmets tested according to Virginia Tech's STAR methodology, which rates helmets based on the impact frequency and severity observed in high school and collegiate play.
This top Virginia Tech STAR rating comes on the heels of last month's NFL/NFLPA Helmet Performance Testing Results, in which the 2018 ZERO1 ranked first among the 34 helmets tested to determine their ability to reduce the severity of head impacts at the NFL level. The 2018 ZERO1 has now earned the top spot on both major independent test protocols, together covering NFL, collegiate and high school play.
Since 2011, Virginia Tech researchers have been providing unbiased helmet ratings that allow consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing helmets. The helmet ratings are the culmination of more than 10 years of peer-reviewed research on head impacts in sports and, according to Virginia Tech, identify which helmets best reduce risks of head injuries. The impact conditions and weightings are football-specific, and inclusive of the broad range of head impacts athletes are likely to experience in high school and collegiate play. Sensors embedded in a test dummy head record the linear and rotational acceleration from the impacts, and those numbers are used to calculate a STAR value that measures how much each helmet reduces the head's acceleration – which translates to a lower risk of head injury for players. According to Virginia Tech, the more stars a helmet earns in the ratings, the better it is at reducing these risks.
The helmet laboratory testing conducted by Virginia Tech and the NFL/NFLPA mirrors that which has for decades been the gold standard in assessing automotive safety. Highly repeatable collisions are conducted in a laboratory environment, leveraging advanced sensors and software that would be impossible to deploy on-field. Complicated, uncontrolled variables are eliminated.
"Virginia Tech provides objective, scientifically rigorous ratings that help parents, coaches, schools, and players select the best performing football helmets for high school and collegiate athletes," said Dave Marver, CEO and co-founder of VICIS. "We are proud our ZERO1 helmet is now top ranked in both Virginia Tech Helmet Lab and NFL/NFLPA testing."
The ZERO1 is the most technologically advanced helmet on the market, designed to reduce impact forces with a highly engineered structure that differs from traditional football helmets. The ZERO1 has a deformable outer shell and a unique columnar layer designed to slow impact forces like a car bumper.
Last year, more than 75 NFL players wore the ZERO1 during the course of its inaugural season. Originally introduced only to NFL and NCAA teams, the ZERO1 is now available to players at the high school level. At the completion of last season, VICIS took advantage of lower production costs to reduce the price of the ZERO1, making it more accessible to high school programs. As a result, in the first quarter of 2018 alone, players on more than 400 high school teams and 110 professional and college teams have committed to wearing the ZERO1, including several high school and collegiate programs which have purchased the helmet for their entire roster.
Production capacity remains limited, so individuals and teams are encouraged to place orders as soon as possible for the 2018 season. For additional information about the ZERO1, or to reserve a helmet for your player or team, visit www.vicis.com.
VICIS is a Seattle-based company focused on sports protective technologies. Its inaugural product, the ZERO1 football helmet, launched in 2017 and was worn by more than 75 players on 18 NFL teams. The helmet ranked first in 2017 and 2018 NFL/NFLPA Helmet Performance testing, first in the 2018 Virginia Tech STAR Helmet Ratings, and was named one of TIME Magazine's 25 Best Inventions of 2017. VICIS was also named one of Fast Company's 2018 Most Innovative Companies. The company is funded and/or advised by several current and former NFL players, including Roger Staubach, Jerry Rice, Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, and Alex Smith. Additional investors include Peregrine Group, Harry Fath, Alliance of Angels, the W Fund, and angelMD. For more information, visit www.vicis.com/.