Football Helmet Visors
What are Football Helmet Visors?
A visor is a curved piece of polycarbonate plastic that is attached to the face mask to cover the eye area. One of the first people to use this piece of equipment was former Minnesota Vikings' Defensive End, Mark Mullaney, in 1984 as he tried to protect a healing eye injury. A visor can serve as a sort of shield, protecting the athlete from things such as incoming balls, fingers, or cleats. For the visually impaired, some visors can act as glasses to aid in the vision of these athletes. This is a lot more convenient than attempting to wear a pair of spectacles the whole game. As time went on, visors turned in to a point of fashion, as guys like LaDainian Tomlinison began sporting stylish eye shields.
Generally, three different types of visors are used in today's game. The most basic of the three, the clear visor, protects the eye from injury while still giving the athlete a clear view of the field. Tinted visors also offer the eye protection, but they also serve another very important purpose. Tinted visors help to reduce the amount of sunlight that comes in contact with the eye. Playing in a place like California or Florida, this could be very helpful. The last type of eye shield, polarized visors, offer even more protection from the sun. These visors work to filter UV rays in order to reduce the amount of glare received.
Picking the Perfect Visor
As visors grew in popularity, there became a need for some regulation to promote both safety and fairness. At the high school level, players are only allowed to wear clear visors. This is because in the case of a head injury, referees and coaches need to easily be able to see the player's eyes to make sure they are alert and conscious. At the college level, the NCAA also requires players to only use clear visors. There is also a rule that states that the only logo that may be present on the visor is the manufacturer or distributor label. In 1998 the NFL changed their equipment regulations by adding tinted visors to the banned equipment list. This was done to encourage uniformity in player's uniforms and equipment.
Although there are rules put in place preventing the use of certain types of visors, these eye shields are still widely used in football leagues everywhere. They are available for purchase in your favorite brand at most sporting goods stores.
Installing them is quick and easy! First, you must begin by popping off your face mask so that all you're left with is your helmet. Then, you must slide your visor under your face mask and make sure that the end hole lines are lined up between the bars of the face mask. Once this is done to your liking, simply screw your face mask back on until it is tight enough to keep the visor in place. Now you're ready to join the likes of Mike Mullaney and LaDainian Tomlinson.