What are Football Helmets?
In order to protect themselves from injuries during hard hits while playing, football players must wear helmets during practices and games. The earliest form of helmets were made of leather and had little padding for protection and no coverage of the face. Now, helmets have different layers that provide the most protection for each player. An outer shell absorbs the vibrations from impact when the player is hit and padding on the inside stops the head from moving as much inside the helmet. A facemask attached to the front of the helmet protects the face and a chin strap holds the helmet in place for the player. The polycarbonate material that is currently used in helmets is much stronger and provides a much safer level of protection for players than older materials did.
The helmet's paint typically matches the uniform the player is wearing and often displays the team's mascot or logo. Some teams, often at the high school or college level, put stickers on the helmets of players who made a big play during a game. In the NFL and other professional leagues, helmets can contain radio receivers that allow players to communicate with coaches on the sidelines in order to know what plays need to be called.
Riddell, Schutt, and Vicis are the most popular helmet manufacturers, Vicis being consistently ranked the safest brand currently on the market. Helmets can be purchased from most sporting goods stores as well as on manufacturers' websites, making them easily available to the millions of players and fans in the world. Manufacturers no longer have their names on NFL teams' helmets, as players can choose their own helmets based on their preferences.