Should the CFL go helmet-less to reduce brain injuries?

a few recent studies reveal that removing helmets markedly decrease the incidence of head trauma in football players potentially making for a safer game, longer career prospects and enrollment stability at the grass roots level.

It appears that players without helmets refrain from leading with their heads and spearing than those with helmets by adjusting their tackling styles.

should the CFL experiment with this?
should they also experiment with removing hard shell padding ala rugby style?

The counter-intuitive idea that could drastically reduce football’s concussions:

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Football Players Experience Fewer Spine, Head Injuries In Helmet-Less Training Program: Study

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STUDY: Football Practice Without Helmets Reduces Concussion Risk, Improves Tackling Ability:

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I think it's certainly worth looking into. It would be a pretty radical change, so how to test it further and then phase it in if the tests prove successful?

Implement x number of helmetless practices per week?

Try it in preseason games?

Ask the CIS to try it out?

Could such a move actually help the league market itself better in the future? I.e., players would be more identifiable to the average viewer if viewers can see the players faces more easily.

Then you would have to remove ALL protective equipment ..

Imagine a running back running full speed "helmet-less" through the line and all of a sudden BAM..right to the head with a hard shell shoulder pad..

maybe a couple of eye pokes in there ....

tackled by the HAIR :o altho that has happened with long haired players

I don't know could go either way i guess

this is why I mentioned possibly removing hard shell padding as well..and with head shots of any kind still being prohibited of course.

but either way, the studies show that just the removal of helmets alone can decrease head trauma dramatically.

Maybe add a penalty for 'horse mane' tackles to go along with 'horse collar' tackles. :lol:

Hopefully this is the helmet of the future.

[url=] ... ll-helmet/[/url]

Dave Marver crouches in his Seattle office, brandishing two black football helmets that look pretty much alike. One is made by Riddell, the nation’s best-selling helmet manufacturer. The other is a prototype made by Vicis, the startup company for which Marver is chief executive.
He slams the crown of the Riddell model onto the concrete floor, producing the familiar violent crack of a strong safety blindsiding a wide receiver. Then Marver bangs his own company’s helmet down. The sound it makes is a flat, squishy thump—not something likely to thrill the average National Football League fan. Marver grins. “It’s up to us,? he says, “to make thump cool.?

[i]To treat football’s concussion plague, Vicis (VYE-sis) has reimagined the traditional helmet. Instead of a rigid outer shell, the company’s debut helmet, called Zero1, has a soft, deformable outer skin with a harder plastic core inside. Like a car’s bumper, the softer carapace gives a little when struck, slowing the impact before it reaches a tailback’s brain.

Additional layers further dampen impacts and cradle the player’s head in mattress-like memory foam. Two of the four chin-strap snaps fasten to the inner shell rather than the outer one, which Vicis’s engineers think will curb energy flowing through the jaw.[/i]

Interesting helmet Grover no question and great links tangle, interesting again. Maybe there will be laws enacted to get this helmet on playgrounds as well in the future :o :wink: Actually it isn't a laughing matter at all.

Concussions, brain injuries from playground mishaps on the rise

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If it saves 1 brain injury, it would be worth it.

I still think helmets are important. Roller skating, biking. hiking and skateboarding all recommend head gear.

Could go back to the old hard leather helmet or hockey style helmet with visor for the eyes.

For those of you familiar with Australian Football, it would be possible.
They are full contact and no helmets.

Rules of coarse would have to be altered.

Further, like the AFL the team LOGO would just be on the jersey.

Plus, consider this. Less and less parents are enrolling kids in football because of head injuries in Canada and the US.

In 10 - 15 years, will football even be around , if kids are not enrolling at the same rate?

I have wrote on here before that the padding should be soft and disposable. Use of foam, leather and rubber is the way to go. I think going Helmetless and padless would be impossible and dangerous. A malleable helmet shell would assist medical and team staff in recording exactly the point of impact and force incurred by the blow. The helmet could look the same and still hold a facemask but once its taken a blow the outer shell would need to be replaced on the sideline and the old shell kept for analysis.

As for padding, there was nothing wrong with leather except for the weight and that in large part could be alleviated with synthetic materials like rubber, silicone etc.

Get ride of the Armors…

helmets may help somewhat against superficial contusions/lacerations but they do nothing to prevent injury to the brain as any sudden jolt or stoppage of a skull in transit will invariably lead to soft tissue impact/damage inside of that skull.
there is no way around this even with modified helmets.
and while soft heavily padded helmets will only reduce impact by micro/milliseconds (and thus marginal benefit) it is still a better alternative than the current model I would gather.

If, as these studies reveal, football players without helmets refrain from leading with the head or spearing resulting in better tackling and less concussions then I’m all for it.

…and as you said, 1 less brain injury would be worth it.

Rugby players run full speed "helmet-less" and the cases of concussion and brain injury are far less in rugby. The helmet gives players more confidence and playing without a helmet would stop players from leading with their heads.
Would players need shoulder pads if they didn't have helmets?
I'm sure it would be more exciting without helmets, receivers especially would see the ball more clearly.
I bet there would be far fewer injuries without helmets.

and you may also see more plays incorporating lateral/back passes of the ball recipient as was more prevalent in the early days of Canadian football which will enhance/extend the action of plays.

Basketball is an aerial game and very popular with no where near the contact of gridiron football. It's something the CFL should explore to go helmet-less IMHO, absolutely albeit sort of sad as someone who played the game with full contact but us oldies are going to pass on as time goes on, of course. I think we will eventually see full contact sports like football and hockey become more extreme sports meaning less youngsters involved as time goes on as more parents with more information these days at their disposal about head injuries don't want to put their kids in football and hockey. It's inevitable that change is happening.

Mind you soccer has head injury problems as well and baseball always has that Tony Conigliaro nightmare with every pitch thrown as a possibility.

What I found interesting in the video is the side-by-side portion. The head does not seem to move as much in the new helmet as compared to the standard one. While it can't eliminate concussions, it would seem to be an improvement that would be worth adopting. ...and as you said, 1 less brain injury would be worth it

I think it's an option to explore. There would have to be changes in the way tackles are made. For example in rugby you have to wrap or attempt to wrap the player with your arms- you can't just fly in with a shoulder.

One difficulty would be the fact that in rugby you can really only make contact with the player who has the ball in open play. I'm not sure how blocking and the line of scrimmage would look without pads or helmets. Of course there are pads that can be worn in rugby, and adapted to this. They are soft foam only 1cm thick, mostly to take the edge of of impacts.

The CFL should team up with Rugby Canada or World Rugby to study this. Get a mix of rugby and football guys, do some training and experimental games to see what the effects would be. It could be a radical change that differentiates Canadian Football from the American game. They are not the same game despite similarities and we shouldn't be afraid to go our own way with it. With all the concern for concussions and uncertainty over the future of contact sports, perhaps a radical step is what is needed. The forward pass was radical at one time too.

Don't wear helmets! Don't wear pads! Be like rugby!

BUT!!! Whatever you do, DON'T PUT BLACK STRIPES ON THE FOOTBALL!!!!. :wink:

I would be just fine watching the best guys possible playing professional or flag leagues.

Seems to me many head injuries come from the head hitting the ground, not necessarily another player.

That earlier post showing the new type of impact absorbing helmet appears to be on the right track.

Why not go back to the Leather Helmets. Quite a few of the Rugby guys that go into the scrums use the Leather to protect their ears more than anything. It would also stop the defenses from leading with their heads when tackling.
But what about face masks though. Broken noses would be up without them.
It would be interesting and quite an adjustment period. But with the game going so much to the passing game now it might not be that difficult of an adjustment after all.

The law of unintended consequences in action. As they worked to make playgrounds safer, kids started taking more risks to push the boundaries of what they can do, because that's a fundamental thing kids do. It's part of learning.

You see the same thing in adults when you put them in an SUV and tell them it's the safest car out there. They start taking stupid risks because they feel invincible.