The Great Game of Football
There are over 3 million kids (6-14 years old) playing organized youth tackle football (USA Football); 1.1 million in high school (2010-2011 poll from National Federation of State High School Association); 70,000 in college (NCAA stats). Currently, there is an estimated 10 million football helmets in circulation.
It is a huge market but trending downwards. Why?
“The concussions, violent hits seen on TV, lawsuits over health, and suicides among football players have taken their toll on parents, who see a connection between what's happening in the pros and the risks their children face on the field down the street, an "Outside the Lines" survey finds. About 57 percent of parents in an online public opinion survey of more than 1,000 people conducted by ESPN Research and the Global Strategy Group in early August said that recent stories about the increase in concussions in football have made them less likely to allow their sons to play in youth leagues.
The survey asked several questions about people's perception of injuries, specifically concussions, in the NFL, and how those opinions trickled down through all levels of the sport. Special emphasis was given to parents of boys younger than 15. About two-thirds of parents said concussions are a serious issue in youth football.” (ESPN poll August 2012).
How does Impact-Alert fit into the trend? Impact-Alert finally provides a tool to the football coaches, equipment managers, parents, etc that measures significant impacts on all football helmets. This tool can be used for three specific and important functions:
- With Impact-Alert’s sensors on all of the helmets, teams can now begin to understand which helmets are taking the most significant impacts. These helmets can then be switched with other helmets to “level” out the playing field to make all helmets equal on the team. Now a parent can be comforted and be confident that the helmet that has been assigned to their son/daughter offers the same protective value as all other helmets in the team’s inventory. Based on the SI of those helmets, each and every helmet would have the same SI index within a few percentage points to accommodate for margin of error. Now, a “linebacker’s helmet” can be just as safe as a “kicker’s helmet” assuming team has maintained a log of all significant impacts that the helmets have taken over it’s lifetime;
- Currently, a very small percentage of all helmets are put through a stress test when being reconditioned. Now, teams and reconditioning companies can pay “closer” attention to those helmets that have taken the most significant impacts when reconditioning those helmets. By making more accurate decisions on reconditioning the helmets, it will make it a safer environment for all of the participants.
- With an activated sensor, it now ties an event (significant impact) to symptoms of a head injury that can be witnessed hours and even days after the event. In the past, if a child complained of a headache, the parent might think they are dehydrated or stressed, now they can possibly link that headache to the "big hit" in the practice or in the game.
*Impact-Alert Sensors carry a five-year UV protection warranty via 3M. All materials used in the manufacturing of our sensors are CSA and UL approved including printed materials, adhesives and UV coatings.