Many sports require that players should wear helmets to reduce the risk of severe head injury. The sole purpose of a sport helmet is to prevent head injuries like skull fracture and brain damage when you crash against a nearby object, other players, trees and animals. So if you want to save your life, don’t go snowboarding, skating or horse riding without wearing the right sport protective headgear. Head and neck injuries are common in sports, like biking and skiing.
You and I both know that no one ever successfully learns to ride without taking a hard fall, somehow. So if you are taking a ride down the mountain and you accidentally miss a track, you can get a collision. Much of the impact energy gets absorbed by your helmet, at least, your skull and brain get protection.
Sport helmets are good protective head gears, but do they prevent concussion? I don’t think a crash helmet can counteract the impact energies that cause concussion. You know, Concussions are one of the most experienced head injuries that American youths get during sports activity.
However, it is hard to tell that sport helmets prevent concussions since it results from the stunning, damaging, or shattering effects of taking a hard blow. Hard blows transfer the impact energy to the brain as shock waves.
You will probably suffer a disturbance of cerebral function or permanent head damage even while wearing your head protector.
The different American sports that require a helmet
Helmets have contributed to increased sports safety and, in particular, have been effective at preventing skull fractures. Sports helmets reduce the risk of injury to the user during a collision by attenuating the impact energy.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussion are the biggest causes of death amongst adults during sports accidents. Let me name 11 sports that require a helmet in America and briefly explain each so that you can have an insight into them.
The first helmet design was a leather helmet to protect damage to the ears. Today, we have developed from leather helmet to technologically advanced helmet design used in other contact sports. Head injuries like head trauma, damaged eye, skull and jaw bone fracture are common contact sports, like playing football.
American football developed from soccer and Rugby around 1892 and is a completely different sport from European soccer. It is a game played by two teams having 11players each at a time with unlimited player substitution. Each team actually has 45 players.
The goal of the game is for the players to move the ball into the opposition’s end zone. We see the NFL players do this either by running with the ball until tackled or by passing the ball to a teammate downfield towards the opposition’s end zone. Football helmet is a necessary requirement for a player to join the National Football League(NFL). Football is a very energetic and high-intensity game to play without a protective headgear.
The American football positions are divided into offensive American football positions and defensive American football positions. Let me briefly explain to each of them because your appraisal of this sport begins with an understanding of the football positions.
Understanding exactly what each player does on the field can be pretty hard and I believe that this position primer is here to help you. These the football positions which agree with the national football league(NFL) rules.
Offensive American football positions
11 players play the offensive part of the game. Here, you will have some deep understanding on players whose primary function is to score touchdowns.
- Quarterback (QB). Also known as the field general, he calls the play, starts actions and handles the snap. He can also run with the ball.
- Running back (RB). We also known this player as halfback. He does most of the hard work. The RB runs beside and behind the quarterback, catches and block balls. He can throw passes.
- Fullback (FB). The fullback is an excellent runner with a lot of power. He is a lead blocker at the backfield.
- Offensive line. There is 5 offensive linemen whose job is to run block for the RB or FB. They also pass block for the QB so he can have enough time to throw. The offensive lines are; Left Tackle (LT), Left Guard (LG), Center(C), Right Guard (RG), Right Tackle (RT).
- Wide Receivers (WR). We also know the player as the catcher. At the beginning, of the game catchers separate themselves from the rest of the group and run towards an imaginary line called the scrimmage. They get the pass from the quarterback play.
- Tight end (TE). This is a dynamic player between the offensive linemen and the receiver. He is a hybrid of a lineman and a receiver. He blocks for both the quarterbacks and running backs.
Defensive American football positions
The players here have the duty of preventing the offensive line players from scoring a goal by causing turnovers on players. There are also 11 players in the defense part.
- Defense line. The line of defense comprises 3 to 4 players depending on the situation of the game. They stand opposite to the offensive line. Their function is to stop the offensive line players from scoring a goal.
- Linebacker (LB). The players here (3 to 4) back the offensive line position of the game. The players include outside line backers (OLB), inside line backers (ILD), and middle line backers (MLB).
- Cornerback (CB). They are the fastest players in the team and spend most of their time covering the wide receivers. They intercept and break passes and tackle catchers.
- Safety(S). There are two safety positions in football. The first one which is meant for strong safety (SS position) comprises players whose duty is to cover up the RBs, TEs, and WRs and to also run support. The Free Safety is the last line of the defense also considered as the center fielder. It has similar functions as the Strong Safety position.
Since great effort goes into the matches, wear a football helmet to protect your head so that the risk of damage to the head and brain injuries reduced. Helmet use should be a normal thing in football.
American football is divided into different levels: high school football, college football and professional football. High school football games last for 2 to 2.5 hours.
Hockey is another American sport played on a variety of surfaces between two teams, each having six players. All the players have some type of stick. The purpose is to propel an object past the goaltender or goalie into the net. Each player has protective equipment on the head called helmet.
There are different hockey sports, including ice hockey, field hockey, floor hockey and inline hockey. Men, women and children can play hockey in their own category. The different categories demand differing amounts of physicality and athletic skills.
As a hockey player, you must wear a hockey helmet to protect your head from potential injury when hit by the puck, sticks, skates, board, ice or other players. All helmets have an outer shell which disperse the force of impact, an inner foam padding which absorbs shock and a chin strap. Chin straps are used to fasten the helmet for a good fit according to the head size. There is also a helmet type with adjustable air bladders which you can add or subtract air from the pads for a good fit.
A good helmet has multiple layers made of carbon fiber designed specifically for hockey. The helmet meets the standard of resisting impact forces.
However, in the early development of hockey sport, players resisted wearing helmets for different reasons. You may want to know the last NHL player to not wear a helmet.
Baseball is a game of ball between two teams having nine players each. Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played on a field with four bases. Each player from one team hits a ball with a bat and runs around three bases and to the home base. If he does so before the other team can get the ball back, they score a point.
In March 1958, the American league passed a rule requiring all baseball players and their coaches to wear helmets. Wear protective helmets while at bat and while running the bases to prevent any potential head injury during a collision or fall. Catchers also wear a protective helmet and face mask while receiving a pitch.
Softball also called kitten ball, mush ball, diamond ball, indoor-outdoor, or playground ball in the United States is a ball game between two teams. Each team has nine or ten players. Softball is like baseball, and it is a popular sport in America.
The purpose of the game is to score more runs than your opponent. They threw the ball at you and then you have to hit it with a bat as far as you can before you run to complete a run around four bases.
Softball is one of the safest high school sports in the United States, but concussions remain a risk for players. Therefore, as a soft baller, you are required to wear a helmet with a facemask.
Biking, also known as cycling or bicycling, is the use of bicycles or motorcycles for transportation, sports, exercise, or recreational activities. Cycling also involves riding on a unicycle, tricycle, decumbent and similar human powered vehicles (HPVs).
The disciplines in cycling event include road bicycle racing, cyclo-cross, mountain bike racing, track cycling, BMX, and cycle speedway.
I cannot overemphasize cycling and bicycle helmet’s importance. During a bicycle accident, your head is often the first part of your body to be affected. Motorcycle helmets or bike helmets are very important, especially when riding on a rough road. Motorcycle helmets protect your head and even serve as indicators to other vehicles of your presence on the road.
It’s therefore necessary to choose the right size of a helmet that fits well. The helmet protects both your skull and brain from injury in case of impact with a hard object when you riding in high speeds.
Lacrosse sport is a mixture of basketball, hockey and soccer. Lacrosse from the French word “crosier” is a competitive sport where the players divide into two teams.
Each player uses a long stick with a net at the end of it to pass the ball amongst team mates into the opposition’s goal. You put the ball into the net at the end of the stick and throw it at your teammates and into the opposition goal.
We consider women lacrosse being a semi-contact sport, so we do not require you to wear the hard-shell helmet with a face mask as the men do. Men’s lacrosse is a full contact sport.
The rules are failing to prevent head or brain injuries and concussions in females. In girls, lacrosse players may wear flexible headgear, but this equipment is not a requirement.
You can follow American journal for sport to get for more information about sports medicine and safety standards.
The practice of horseback riding, also known as equitation, includes the disciplines of horse racing, barrel racing, endurance racing, eventing, dressage, showjumping, gymkhana, driving and vaulting (gymnastic and dance on a horseback).
Horse riding needs muscular legs and stamina. Both men and women compete in the sport.
Wearing helmets during horseback riding is a controversial issue. You might not feel comfortable wearing a head protector while horse riding, but when you consider the safety benefits of wearing it, you will dismiss the arguments against wearing it. They require certified helmets for some horse riding competitions.
Some health benefits of horse riding include; improved muscle tone (back, abdomen, legs, and buttocks), improved sense of balance, increase confidence, improved posture (of back, shoulder and chest), improved motor skills and reflexes, etc.
Skateboarding is a sport and a recreational activity popular amongst the youths. A skateboarder rider balances on a board mounted on wheels or rollers attached at the bottom. Skateboarding is a cardiovascular sport requiring balance and coordination.
Skateboarding is a perilous sport. Wear a head protector or helmet before skating to prevent head injury in case of a fall or collision with hard objects.
The nature of skateboarding and the site in which they performed it differs from one version to another. The various versions of skateboarding include:
- Street skateboarding – The rider performs on the street, shopping center, parking lot or any flat area. The riders move round obstacles like curbs, steps, handrails along the way.
- Downhill skateboarding – As the name implies, the rider moves down a hill at speeds as high as 60miles/hour.
- Freestyle skateboarding – The riders perform artistic tricks and maneuvers while flat ground skateboarding accompanied with music.
- Long boarding – A skateboarding in which the rider uses a long board to run down a hill in a competition.
- Vert skateboarding – The rider skateboard up and down a large inclined plane performing astonishing tricks while being airborne.
- Slalom skateboarding -Athletes move downhill on a course out by cones. Move down without displacing the cones.
- Flatland skateboarding -They do it on a flat hard surface area
- Park skateboarding -The perform tricks along a course containing bowls and pools in a combination with ramps and bends
The different basic tricks involved in skateboarding include Ollie, aerials, flip tricks and grinds
Inline skating is a multi-disciplinary sport. Inline skates have two to five wheels arranged in line to increase speed and easy maneuver. In line skating is also known as rollerblading because of the brand “rollerblades”.
You might want to buy a pair of inline skates for yourself, but you will confront the problem of many varieties of inline skates. Why are they so many inline skates?
There are many disciplines and subcategories of inline skating. I will now describe briefly some of the inline skating disciplines.
- Vert skating– inline skating on an inclined plane performing tricks while airborne.
- Road skating -skaters use line and ride on the road
- Roller soccer – it is an indoor sport where skater play soccer wearing inline skates
- Downhill inline skating -this is downhill skating of paved roads and paths.
- Offroad inline skating – this is inline skating on uneven grounds like sandy trails, forest etc.
- Speed inline skating – speed inline skating is skating in a circuit to get the highest speed attendable.
- Aggressive inline skating – this is stunt skating. The tricks of aggressive inline skating include big jumps, stalls, slides, grins, airs, hill rolls and many others.
- Freestyle slalom skating – skating through and around slalom cones.
- Urban inline skating -inline skating in urban environment. Skaters jump over construction pits, slides, down stairs, etc.
- Fitness inline skating – it is recreational and performance skating in which you skate alone or with friends.
These sports are like inline skating; roller skating, ice skating and roller skiing. Many inline skating require the wearing of a helmet because of the unstable nature of the sport.
Skiing is a sport played during winter where a person uses skis on snow to slide down a hill. Skis are a pair of long flat runners attached to shoes. We know downhill skiing as alpine skiing.
Skiing can be a recreational activity, a mode of transportation and a sport. Skiing requires the use of helmets for head protection in case of accidents which are very common.
What are the skiing types?
- Freestyle skiing–Freestyle skiing is about doing airborne tricks in a natural terrain or in a halfpipe. Freestyle skiing is a sporting discipline in the Olympic Games.
- Alpine skiing–This is a recreational downhill skiing. It is a popular type of skiing enjoyed by recreational skiers.
- Alpine touring–this differs from alpine skiing. It is a subcategory of backcountry skiing.
- Back country–This is skiing in unmarked and unmonitored back country like in the woods.
- Cross-country skiing–This is done on flatland so it is more energy consuming than alpine skiing where the force of gravity helps to pull the person downwards.
- Telemark skiing–This type of skiing is not defined by the type of terrain used in skiing but by the technique you use. Here you keep your heels unlocked always as you ski. When you want to turn, you use a different technique.
- Heli-skiing–A brave skier jumps down from a helicopter to a mountain slope around the ski resort.
- Ski mountaineering–this is a type of back country skiing because it does not take place in a resort, but you have to traverse ungroomed snow on the mountain.
- Hut-to-hut skiing–This is skiing through the wilderness from hut to hut to exercise and to enjoy nature.
- Adaptive skiing–This is skiing adapted for disabled persons. It can be any of the other types of skiing.
To look for a good ski helmet size and quality, consult the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) or check the international ski federation rules.
The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) is a non-profit and independent organisation whose only mission is to enhance athletic safety through scientific research.
Snowboarding is a winter sporting, recreational activity involving descending on a hill covered with snow. It developed from skateboarding, skiing and surfing. It is like skiing and skateboarding in that all of them involve riding down a snow covered slope.
Snowboarding is equally a dangerous sport with the risk of head injury during a collision. So you need to wear a helmet while snowboarding.
What are the snowboarding types? Each person has their own preferred style and location on the mountain where they ride. The equipment and gear you will need in snowboarding then changes depending on the type of snowboarding you need to practice. Let me describe briefly the most common types of snowboarding. You should fit in at least one of them.
- All mountain snowboarding: Also known as free riding, it is an all-round snowboarding where you are free to ride, carve and jump in any place. It is not technical, as it focuses only on recreation.
- Freestyle snowboarding: Freestyle is a popular style of snowboarding and involves the performance of airborne tricks that thrill. Freestyle involves jumping, rail rides, riding and half pipes. It is a technical discipline.
- Half pipe snowboarding: This involves riding through a big U-shaped structure in a top speed.
- Free carve snowboarding: This is about the carving turn at high speed in snowboarding. As an Olympics discipline, they required you to maneuver around poles and gates at high speed.
- Split boarding: a Split board splits into two and then use as skis. So riders can go for skiing and snowboarding with the same equipment at the same time.
- Urban snowboarding: This takes place in urban areas outside of the resort and makes use of features like parking structures, handrails, walls, ledges and so on.
- Boarder cross: races such as slalom, giant slalom characterize this. Boarder cross developed from BMX riding.Snowboarding protective equipment or helmet design provides warmth will keep the head safe from any head injuries. Keeping hair long is not good when wearing a helmet. For a good fit, your helmet should not move from side to side.
What sports do the players wear helmets in Canada?
Dalhousie football players are the first to use helmets in Canada. Other sports that require the use of helmets in Canada are curling, biking, skateboarding, skiing, hockey, inline skating, lacrosse, baseball, horseback riding, and snowboarding.
Are helmets required in rugby?
Rugby players do not wear helmets because the primary focus of rugby is safety. The referees, before a match, inspect and make sure that the players’ protective gear does not hurt or injure other players.
How much does an American football helmet cost?
If want a cheap football helmet, you can go for used ones. The cost can range from $55 to $450. News football helmets range from $120 to $450. College football helmets are more expensive. They range from $650 to $800 at Baylor University and about $620 at Mississippi State (CBS Sport article).
Are there helmets that I can wear for more than one sport?
Not all helmets are the same. Each activity has its particular helmet to protect your head from different collisions. However, you can wear a few multi-sport helmets that meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and ASTMF1492 standards.
Will I need sport helmet after an impact?
Helmets withstand multiple collisions associated with each type of sport. However, if the impact or collision is serious, you may have to change your helmet if visible signs of damage are showing.
How long are sports helmets to last?
Follow the instructions of the manufacturer and if they do not show the expiring date on your helmet, change it between 5 to 10 years. This decision should base on how much you use and care for your helmet. Some indications your helmet needs replacement are cracks on the shell or liner, a loose shell, marks on the liner, crushed foam, worn straps, missing pads and other parts.
Are all helmets the same?
No. Each activity has its particular helmet that suits the potential collisions in that activity. Helmets meant for other sports might not protect your head from injury during collisions.
What are some sports Helmet Tips?
- Always wear the right helmet for your preferred sport.
- Take care of your helmet and wear it consistently and correctly when playing.
- To choose your best fitting sport helmet, pick the one that the federal agency (Consumer Product Safety Commission – CPSC) approves to meet their safety standards.
- Helmets should fit well and comfortably in a horizontal position on your head. They should not tilt forward or backwards.
- After every accident, replace your helmet as they can be more invisible damage on the helmet.
- If you want to buy a helmet for a child, bring the child to the store so that they test the helmet for a good fit on the child’s head.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s guide and safety instructions.
Do sport helmets prevent concussion?
Concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a hard blow to the head, making the head to vibrate (move violently back and forth). This can cause the brain to twist in the skull, inciting chemical changes that damage brain cells.
A concussed person may show the following signs and symptoms of concussion; headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, ringing in the ears, depression, unconsciousness, loss of a sense of smell and taste, memory loss, blurred vision. You need to see a doctor if your child or some is experiencing most of these signs and symptoms after a head injury that involves a collision.
It has proven no design of helmet to prevent concussion. The material of the helmets made recently is engineered to absorb the impact energies of collisions that can produce skull fractures and damage to the brain. However, these materials have been proven not to hinder the energies that cause concussions during impact from reaching the brain.
So, as a safety measure against concussions, learn the concussion vital signs and symptoms so that after a collision you can say whether you have concussion and seek proper medical treatment.