Helmet Safety Information
The Missouri Wolverines Youth Football Club takes the safety of our participants seriously and considers the protection of our participants our most important responsibility. We allocate resources to provide the best equipment for the players on our teams.
The above video is a news report that local Kansas City FOX 4 News ran as they decided to investigate the quality of the helmets being used by teams in the Kansas City Metro Area. The complete article can be found by visiting their website - Click Here.
Our guidelines and protocols in the area of concussion management have been developed over time as a result of collaboration with and/or information drawn from many partners; the MSHSAA, the NFHS, the local medical community, NOSCAE, USA Football, and Missouri State Law.
Here is some important information regarding the Missouri Wolverines Youth Program and the equipment we allow our participants to use:
The Make and Model of our current inventory of football helmets
- The Missouri Wolverines recommend and purchase new Riddell Helmets and we currently have close to 200 helmets with 100% of our inventory consisting of Riddell helmets. We currently do not have any Schutt and Xenith helmets in our inventory. We only allow helmets into our inventory after they have been reconditioned and certified safe for use.
- The Missouri Wolverines have a UNIQUE painted helmet... before any helmet can be painted with the Missouri Wolverines insigna, it has to first be recertified as our reconditioning company will not paint any helmet new or used without first running it through the recertification process.
- When a helmet has reached its maximum life or has been found defective, the Missouri Wolverines purchase a new Riddell helmet which meets the latest NOSCAE standards.
- Since we deal with a wide variety of sizes of players from 5 to 14 years of age. We purchase helmets that fit these players accordingly that allow these players to function correctly. For instance, an Adult Speed Flex helmet may fit one of our 3rd Graders however that helmet may also be too heavy for a player of that age to keep his head in the proper position to avoid a concussion. So the Missouri Wolverines purchase a lighter model Riddell helmet with lighter insides (same shell on the outside and same NOSCAE standards) to allow a player to keep their head in the upright position and to avoid the bobble-head affect seen by several small undersized players. Again this is an added expense for our organization to buy different models of our helmets but it also helps us to protect and ensure the safety of our younger, smaller players.
Policy and Procedures Regarding How Often We Replace the Football Helmets Owned and Used.
- The Missouri Wolverines takes any helmet out of its inventory immediately if it is deemed unsafe for use. However, many of the components of a helmet can be replaced if found defective during the reconditioning or ongoing inspection process. Additionally, per NOSCAE guidelines (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment), the Missouri Wolverines rotate all football helmets out of its inventory when they reach 10 years from the manufacture date; even if the helmet was not used all ten years.
- Every Missouri Wolverines helmet has a sticker on the back left side of it stating when it was last reconditioned also listing the initial season of the helmet and a notice stating that the helmet has a maximum life of 10 years.
Who do we use to recondition our football helmets
- The Missouri Wolverines utilize the actual manufacturer to recondition our helmets, Riddell All-American Reconditioning.
Note: We stress that the helmet safety is an ongoing process. Teams should not rely on the reconditioning of helmets alone. There is the false belief that reconditioning of helmets is the only safety precaution that we take with regards to helmet safety. It is a safety issue no doubt but it is also a warranty issue. Most important is the regular inspection of helmets which is of tremendous importance to the Missouri Wolverines. While inspecting helmets, coaches look for the following:
- Shell - Cracks, particularly noting any cracks around holes (where most cracks start) and replace any shells that have cracked.
- Hardware - Mounting rivets, screws, hook/loop tape, and snaps for breakage, distortion, and/or looseness.
- Faceguards – Exposed bare metal or if guard has spread (flattened out) or sprung (opened up).
- Internal components - Jaw Pads, Chin Straps, Front Sizers, Back Sizers, Crown pad and side pads.
The name of the person or company responsible for fitting the helmets used by the football players in the Missouri Wolverines.
- During most years, Missouri Wolverines football coaches fit the football helmets on the players. They are trained by a representative from Riddell on the proper procedures and also all of our football coaches have taken a USA Football Certification on Equipming Fitting which covers the correct way to size football equipment. Additionally, Riddell and USA Football provides valuable information on what to look for when inspecting the helmets (see answer above).
- We have also have our Riddell Rep come to several of our gear handouts over the past few years to measure and evaluate our players to help educate our coaches on proper helmet fitting.
The Missouri Wolverines Policy on the Prevention and Treatment of Concussions
- To help educate our parents about concussions... we have posted this Concusion Awareness Information on our website.
- Also, all of our football coaches are required to become USA Football Certified and take a clinic on teaching proper fundamentals.