December 08, 2014

Helmetless Football?: "the latest innovation—practicing without helmets—is meant to ingrain safer tackling techniques into a new generation of players"

posted by yerfatma to fantasy at 02:46 PM - 5 comments

Interesting read. I hate to see players lead with their helmets on hits.

I particularly liked this quote: "What we have not done in these contact collision sports is to explicitly train people to have respect for their head and the heads of others."

posted by rcade at 09:29 AM on December 09, 2014

I have long advocated for the return to the leather helmets. Sounds preposterous on the surface, but would eliminate the rampant spearing that goes on. I firmly believe that the headgear was not originally intended to be used as a weapon.

posted by Scottymac at 04:46 PM on December 09, 2014

Rugby (both codes) has laws to protect the head. Tackling is coached from the early years through aiming lower and leading with the shoulder. Also, only the ball carrier is allowed to be tackled or blocked.

In the professional game, over the last two decades the crackdown on head high tackles has virtually eliminated them from regular play, through sending offs and severe suspensions for offenders.

Since nobody currently passes (laterals) in the NFL, would changing tackling techniques, like aiming lower, lead to more rugby-style plays? Or would blocking of other players continue to prevent that?

posted by owlhouse at 08:27 PM on December 09, 2014

My Dad, who played in the 30's claims it's not so much the helmets, but the facemasks that have lead to problems. People would stop using their heads as weapons.

posted by carrcar at 08:22 AM on December 10, 2014

Yeah, the NFL actually banned certain "overbuilt" facemasks recently to try to address that issue.

posted by yerfatma at 09:16 AM on December 10, 2014

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