A total of youth football helmets have been rated using the STAR evaluation system. Our impact tests evaluate a helmet's ability to reduce linear and rotational acceleration of the head resulting from a range of head impacts a youth football player might see on the field. Our lab tests are based on data we collected directly from 10 to 14 year old youth football players that wore helmets equipped with sensors. Helmets with more stars provide a reduction in concussion risk for these impacts compared to helmets with less stars.
infoUnderstanding the rating system
Our ratings are an independent and objective assessment of helmet performance for consumers, free from manufacturer influence.
We rate each youth football helmet based on the results of 48 impact tests in our laboratory. A pendulum designed to match helmet-to-helmet characteristics in youth football is used to test the helmets. We measure linear and rotational accelerations for each impact, which are correlated to concussion risk.
We test the helmet's front, front boss, side, and back at low, medium, and high impact energies. Our dummy assembly is sized to match a 10-12 year old boy. The low impact severity represents common impacts in football. The high impact severity represents the types of impacts most commonly resulting in concussions. The medium impact severity falls in between.
Each lab impact is weighted based on how often a youth football player might experience a similar impact. We compute youth-specific concussion risk from measured peak linear and rotational accelerations for each test. Each risk is multiplied by its weighting factor and then summed together to compute an overall score. The overall score estimates the number of concussions the average person would see if they experienced identical impacts at rates matching their weightings while playing youth football.
A lower score indicates better helmet performance.
The score values in these ratings are not comparable to score values in our helmet ratings for other sports. This is because there are differences in test methods, impact conditions, risk calculations, and impact weightings specific to each sport.
Cost shown is the price of the helmet at the time of testing.
*Any player in any sport can sustain a head injury with even the very best head protection. This analysis is based on data trends and probabilities, and therefore a specific person’s risk may vary. This variation is likely dominated by genetic differences, health history, and impact factors such as muscle activation.