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Old 06-30-2014   #1
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Default NFL cracks down on non-standard facemasks

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Posted by Michael David Smith on June 30, 2014, 5:58 PM EDT

The NFL plans to cut back on the size of some players’ facemasks.

NFL Executive V.P. of Football Operations Troy Vincent has circulated a memo explaining that facemasks characterized by “more bars, smaller spaces between the bars, and a generally larger coverage area” are now illegal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The NFL sent a similar message last year, but apparently this year the league will be even more strict about which kinds of facemasks it allows, and more restrictive about giving players medical exemptions if, for instance, they’ve had a history of eye injuries and want a bigger facemask to protect themselves from getting poked.

On first blush, that might sound like it doesn’t make much sense: Player safety is supposed to be the NFL’s top priority, and if a player thinks a facemask with more bars will keep him safer from getting poked in the eye, isn’t that a good thing?

But the NFL’s response has been that those non-standard facemasks aren’t as safe because they make players feel empowered to lead with their heads, and there are also concerns that more weight at the front of the helmet makes players more likely to lower their heads.

And so players who want bigger facemasks are out of luck. The standard-issue facemasks are the only facemasks allowed in the NFL.
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Safety move??? A safety move would be convert to paper Mardi Gras masks. That would be safety!.
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Old 06-30-2014   #2
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Default Re: NFL cracks down on non-standard facemasks

I think the NFL is over reaching on this one.
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Old 06-30-2014   #3
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Default Re: NFL cracks down on non-standard facemasks

It is a tough one, and I think it comes back to the argument about whether the NFL wants to focus on 'hits' or 'tackles'.

Obviously in rugby, like in the NFL there are no headshots allowed - but the absence of helmets does give the players a strong incentive to not get their head involved in a collision when tackling and receiving a tackle.

The NFL seems to be moving more towards trying to encourage a greater level of player responsibility - which is great - however it is a little bit of an odd area to settle on. I don't think head contact would be deterred from either party because of these helmet changes, so it is probably going to do more harm than good.
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Old 06-30-2014   #4
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Default Re: NFL cracks down on non-standard facemasks

Honestly, I think the bigger, better, stronger equipment is a huge safety issue in that it's NOT safe. These bigger, stronger athletes have all this top notch equipment, like a suit of armor, and go out throwing their bodies all over the place thinking they're protected by it. They're freaking weapons with all that stuff on.

I've brought it up before, and especially since I've been to a few rugby games the last few years, but I wonder what the injury comparisons are like between rugby and football. Rugby players, of course, don't wear pads or helmets yet they play tackle football.

Maybe the NFL just has too much to where the players feel invincible. Less equipment might make you less likely to put your head into somebody and just might make you tackle the right way.

But like I said, I don't know how the injuries compare. All I know is that I've never witnessed a serious injury in the few international rugby matches I've attended (very small sample size) and they do some hitting. A season ending injury or concussion happens damn near every game in the NFL any more.
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Old 07-01-2014   #5
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Default Re: NFL cracks down on non-standard facemasks

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattieuk View Post
It is a tough one, and I think it comes back to the argument about whether the NFL wants to focus on 'hits' or 'tackles'.

Obviously in rugby, like in the NFL there are no headshots allowed - but the absence of helmets does give the players a strong incentive to not get their head involved in a collision when tackling and receiving a tackle.

The NFL seems to be moving more towards trying to encourage a greater level of player responsibility - which is great - however it is a little bit of an odd area to settle on. I don't think head contact would be deterred from either party because of these helmet changes, so it is probably going to do more harm than good.
There are definitely misconceptions by most concerning helmetless Rugby and their relationship to concussions. So as an FYI........

From a recent February 2014 New Zealand study.:

Quote:
Sport accounts for one in five traumatic brain injuries in New Zealand, with nearly half of those likely to have a high risk of complications.

Previous studies held sport accountable for about 15 per cent of head injuries but research published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport this month shows that to have increased to 21 per cent.

Even so, Hutt Hospital nurse Doug King, who studied concussion in rugby, said, if anything, the finding of 21 per cent was too low, because roughly half of concussions were never reported.

"Awareness around the seriousness of head trauma is growing but not everyone is being captured by it. For some, unless there's a loss of consciousness they don't consider it to be a concussion, which isn't the case," he said.

The study showed sports-related concussions in New Zealand were high compared to other activities and other countries. Rugby, cycling and equestrian activities were the sports most frequently associated with brain injuries.

ACC figures show more than 4000 people a year suffer a brain injury while playing sports, claiming about $8 million for lost earning and rehabilitation. Of these about a three quarters were suffered playing rugby.

Former All Black Steve Devine said his professional rugby career was cut short because he didn't take head injuries seriously enough.

The halfback's career ended in 2007 after a decade playing for Auckland, the Blues and 10 caps for the All Blacks.

His head troubles started five years earlier while playing for the All Blacks.

After the knocks kept on coming, he was forced to take a six-month break in 2006. A swinging arm in an NPC match the following year led to doctors saying his playing days were over.

Devine said a lot of research and testing was being done around preventing head injuries but at the height of his career he would get knocked out and then continue playing.

"My career probably would have lasted longer under today's conditions."

He said doctors instantly reacted to players affected by concussion in professional rugby today but he still worried about players at junior and club level who didn't have immediate medical support.

"School boys' rugby is an area that we've got to look at improving," he said.

"If boys see their opposition or team mates struggling on the field or someone else is witness to it then they need to stand up and stop them," he said.
link



Interesting how Rugby players view the wearing of head gear.
Quote:
Does rugby headgear prevent concussion? Attitudes of Canadian players and coaches


University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the attitudes of players and coaches to the use of protective headgear, particularly with respect to the prevention of concussion.

Methods: A questionnaire designed to assess attitudes to headgear was administered to 63 players from four different Canadian teams, each representing a different level of play (high school, university, community club, national). In addition, coaches from all four levels were questioned about team policies and their personal opinions about the use of headgear to prevent concussion.

Results: Although the players tended to believe that the headgear could prevent concussion (62%), the coaches were less convinced (33%). Despite the players' belief that headgear offers protection against concussion, only a minority reported wearing headgear (27%) and few (24%) felt that its use should be made mandatory. Common reasons for not wearing headgear were “its use is not mandatory”, “it is uncomfortable”, and “it costs too much”.

Conclusion:
Although most players in the study believe that rugby headgear may prevent concussion, only a minority reported wearing it. Coaches tended to be less convinced than the players that rugby headgear can prevent concussion.


Quote:
Concussions in youth rugby on the rise
SPORTS | HEALTH
Wed, 9 Apr, 2014


The growing incidence of concussions in school rugby have prompted South African Women in Science Award-winner (WISA) Shameemah Abrahams, and her team of researchers to look into the predisposing factors of concussion in adolescent rugby.

Her lecture on the subject took place on Sunday 16 March at the Olive Schreiner Hall as part of the ongoing Science Festival.

According to Abrahams, a concussion can be defined as “a brain injury due to a head knock with balance, memory and or speech problems.”

Rugby has been identified as the leading sport in terms of concussion rates.

Between 2002 and 2010, there were six deaths related to severe brain injury in schoolboy rugby.

Up to 50% of all high school rugby players would have suffered a concussion in their high school playing careers.

“The frequency is less in youth players but when concussion does occur, it is more severe,” Abrahams said.

The impetus for the study about the predisposing factors of concussion in adolescent rugby is that concussions generally cause more damage in younger players when compared to professional players.

However, there are certain factors that make some players more vulnerable to concussions than others.[/QUOTE
Concussions in youth rugby on the rise
SPORTS | HEALTH
Wed, 9 Apr, 2014
Youlendree Appasamy and Siphokazi Zama

The growing incidence of concussions in school rugby have prompted South African Women in Science Award-winner (WISA) Shameemah Abrahams, and her team of researchers to look into the predisposing factors of concussion in adolescent rugby.

Her lecture on the subject took place on Sunday 16 March at the Olive Schreiner Hall as part of the ongoing Science Festival.

According to Abrahams, a concussion can be defined as “a brain injury due to a head knock with balance, memory and or speech problems.”

Rugby has been identified as the leading sport in terms of concussion rates.

Between 2002 and 2010, there were six deaths related to severe brain injury in schoolboy rugby.

Up to 50% of all high school rugby players would have suffered a concussion in their high school playing careers.

“The frequency is less in youth players but when concussion does occur, it is more severe,” Abrahams said.

The impetus for the study about the predisposing factors of concussion in adolescent rugby is that concussions generally cause more damage in younger players when compared to professional players.

However, there are certain factors that make some players more vulnerable to concussions than others.
THE REST OF THE STORY

Last edited by CloakNNNdagger; 07-01-2014 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 07-01-2014   #6
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Default Re: NFL cracks down on non-standard facemasks


I don't like it when they touch my eyes, boss.
Quote:
When Ravens veteran defensive end Chris Canty was entering the NFL draft in 2005, he was struck in the eye with a beer bottle while trying to leave a bar when a fight broke out.

Canty suffered a detached retina that required emergency surgery, which saved his eyesight. Because of the serious damage to his left eye, Canty wears a special facemask with several horizontal and vertical bars along with a dark visor attached to his helmet for protection.

Canty has to apply again for medical approval to continue wearing that facemask after being granted permission along with three other players last year, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email.
Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/r...#ixzz36E3uRnw4
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Old 07-01-2014   #7
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Default Re: NFL cracks down on non-standard facemasks

See also this thread....http://www.texanstalk.com/forums/sho...light=facemask

I HAD to look for fear of an all-too-realistic deja vu.
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Old 07-01-2014   #8
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Default Re: NFL cracks down on non-standard facemasks

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Originally Posted by Article
But the NFL’s response has been that those non-standard facemasks aren’t as safe because they make players feel empowered to lead with their heads, and there are also concerns that more weight at the front of the helmet makes players more likely to lower their heads.
Threaten suspension for a game for blatant examples of leading with the head and I'd imagine it would quickly stop being a technique.

The NFL probably doesn't want to admit it, but I think this is an image-conscious move, as well. Those tightly meshed face masks look like Roman gladiators, and that's an image the NFL is trying to avoid.
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Old 07-01-2014   #9
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Default Re: NFL cracks down on non-standard facemasks

It's the NFL's game and if they say that everybody will wear the same facemask then everybody is going to wear the same facemask. If they say that fans can only carry clear bags no bigger than "whatever" then fans can only carry clear bags no bigger than that.

Players who enjoy money will comply.
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Old 07-03-2014   #10
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Default Re: NFL cracks down on non-standard facemasks

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
Threaten suspension for a game for blatant examples of leading with the head and I'd imagine it would quickly stop being a technique.

The NFL probably doesn't want to admit it, but I think this is an image-conscious move, as well. Those tightly meshed face masks look like Roman gladiators, and that's an image the NFL is trying to avoid.
Unfortunately for the NFL, this is the image they cultivated throughout the 70's - 2000's with highlight reels like ESPN's "JAKD UP" and other shows featuring the hardest hits of that previous week. Now that it's come out that they've actively tried to warnings about concussions and it's bitten them in the wallet they have tried to turn on a dime and make the game seem not nearly as violent as it really is.
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Old 07-03-2014   #11
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Default Re: NFL cracks down on non-standard facemasks

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Originally Posted by b0ng View Post
Unfortunately for the NFL, this is the image they cultivated throughout the 70's - 2000's with highlight reels like ESPN's "JAKD UP" and other shows featuring the hardest hits of that previous week. Now that it's come out that they've actively tried to warnings about concussions and it's bitten them in the wallet they have tried to turn on a dime and make the game seem not nearly as violent as it really is.
yep. The NFL heavily marketed those hits that they are actively trying to avoid these days.

I've got several NFL Films DVDs at home that are full of those kinds of hits. Given to me over the years as presents, I will keep them to show my grandkids one day what the NFL use to be like before they realized the long term health implications of this style of play.

It's going to take a generation to change things, but at least they are trying with the Heads Up certification program and other changes to the rules and educating parents and players.

It's a great sport (as I'm sure we all agree). I have no problem with teaching proper techniques aimed at lessening head trauma. While I have to admit enjoying those brutal hits over the years, I will still enjoy the game if they are no longer part of i t.
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Old 07-07-2014   #12
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Default Re: NFL cracks down on non-standard facemasks

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
There are definitely misconceptions by most concerning helmetless Rugby and their relationship to concussions. So as an FYI........

From a recent February 2014 New Zealand study.:

link



Interesting how Rugby players view the wearing of head gear.




THE REST OF THE STORY
Whoops - didn't check back on the forum - great post! MSR!

I don't argue any of the statistics you provided (although I think that many sports have an issue with 'battling through' concussions as a sign of being a tough player). There is definitely an attitude of anything remotely head related being frowned upon by the rugby community though - where in football at times, and only by some it is seem as a highlight reel play when you hear the crack of plastic on plastic.
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Old 07-08-2014   #13
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