The Football Helmet

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Did you know that it wasn’t until 1948 when the first NFL team applied their team’s logo to the outside of their helmets?  The Rams from Los Angeles were the forerunners who made this move.  The football helmet is a vital piece of football equipment.  In fact, for all organized football teams, at all levels, the helmet is a requirement.  The football helmet has evolved greatly over the years.  Continue reading in order to learn more about the iconic football helmet.

The exact origin of who invented the helmet is unknown, but the first time that something similar came in to existence was in 1896.  There was a football player from Lafayette College, in Pennsylvania, who needed something to protect his ears, so he used straps and earpieces combined for his protection.

Around the early 1900’s, helmets became more common, and were made out of leather that was padded over the skull and around the ears.  It also had a chinstrap that hooked for security.  This type of helmet mimicked that of an aviator’s headgear at the time.  The helmets were not required by all football players at that time, so many players played their entire careers without any type of head protection.

The next significant change in the design of the helmet came about 20 years later when the helmet was raised to fall higher than the skull itself.  This was an attempt to provide protection for the player’s skull when direct contact with other players, or with the ground, would occur. 

Over the years, other adjustments were made that addressed issues such as improving airflow through the helmet, using plastics, polymers, and inflatable pockets for head protection materials, adding a face mask with bars for nose and mouth protection, visors that provided eye protection and limited sun damage, and creating rules of the football game that targeted the minimization of danger to all football players.

Some helmets are even equipped with headsets these days.  All players on the field must be made aware of the specific players that are using helmets that have headsets engaged.  These new rules regarding headsets that were created by the NFL ensure that no team has an unfair advantage over another team.

Players, coaches, and football equipment companies are constantly researching and creating new ways to protect football players, and especially the players’ heads.  Head trauma and concussions are taken very seriously, and football is taken very seriously, so the combination of the two things promise a long future for all those involved.