New LBHS football helmets could be a giant step forward in preventing brain injuries

By MAGGI HENRIKSON

Laguna has responded to the growing crisis of sports related brain injuries with the purchase of new helmets for the football team. The new helmets are designed with specific cushioning technology and are intended to help protect players from concussion.

New LBHS football Noah

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Photo by Sammer and Luna Tarazi

Noah Driver runs the ball - new helmets are on the way

 “The LBHS athletic boosters and the high school staff discussed the potential purchase of new helmets for the 2018-19 football season,” said Leisa Winston, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources & Public Communications for LBUSD. “While the existing helmets are certified and comparable to the majority of surrounding high schools’ equipment, the new Vicis helmet technology was identified as a purchase for our athletes due to its ability to reduce impact forces during tackles.”

New LBHS football Helmet

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Courtesy of Vicis

The Vicis Zero1 helmet technology

The helmets, called the Vicis Zero1, look similar to regular helmets from the outside, but beneath the surface they are layered with high-tech cushioning. They consist of lots of separate spring-like columns in multiple layers. According to the manufacturer, this keeps the head protected from multiple forces. The softer outer shell helps to slow impact forces before they reach the head and brain. The Zero1 also offers a wider field of vision than traditional helmets. 

The NFL has recently invested in preventing, diagnosing and treating head injuries including a program called the Head Health Challenge – a competition to encourage companies to study and develop products to improve player safety. Vicis was one of the winners. The Vicis Zero1 helmet was designed by scientists and engineers, along with Vicis co-founder, Sam Browd, who is a pediatric neurosurgeon.

In 2017, the Zero1 helmets were worn by more than 60 NFL players, including Russell Wilson, Alex Smith, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, and Lamar Miller.

New LBHS football Team

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Photo by Sammer and Luna Tarazi

LBHS Football confers with coach – are they excited about the new helmets? Yes!

While no helmet can assuredly prevent concussions, testing by the NFL and the NFL Players Association over the last several years concluded that the Vicis Zero1 ranked highest in safety.

Vicis has recently made the Zero1 helmets available online, and for high schoolers, at a price point below the NFL level at $1,500 per helmet. According to the Zero1 site, the helmets will cost $950 for these students. 

Winston confirms that the cost for the helmets will be shouldered jointly for Laguna Beach High School, “The District and athletic boosters have agreed to jointly fund the cost of the new helmets with existing funding available. There will be no fundraising necessary to purchase the new helmets.” 

Booster rep Misty Ball is excited that the boys will be utilizing this advanced technology. “We are thrilled about these new, much safer helmets for our boys!”