Controversy Brews Around Guardian Cap

Sports Industry News and Analysis

Controversy Brews Around Guardian Cap

USA Today recently published a roundup of various technologies being employed on the football field to either reduce concussions or their impact.

The first product mentioned was the Guardian Caps, padded shells made of polyurethane fabric, which are designed to fit over helmets and reduce the severity of impacts to the head.

The article went on to report that South Carolina tried 32 of them on linemen in the spring, and liked them so much that the school bought another 75.

Athletic Trainer Clint Haggard told the paper: “I’ve talked to our team physicians and discussed all that stuff, and I’ve talked to a bunch of people around the country. And we’re still going to use them. … It seems like it will help.”

Lee Hanson, Guardian Cap’s founder, told the paper that he anticipates selling 12,000 this year.

Not everyone is enamored with the product, however. The Colorado High School Activities Association warned recently that any school using the Guardian Caps in games will not be in compliance with the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), which sets helmet certification, according to USA Today.

“NOCSAE recently stated that add-ons to helmets could void certification and warned It warns against ‘quick solutions,’” according to the article. “It says the primary focus should be limiting “unnecessary” hits and medical handling of concussions.

“’Equipment changes are probably fourth or fifth on the list of things that are going to make the biggest difference. Maybe even further down,’” Mike Oliver, NOCSAE’s executive director, told the paper.

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