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Football has adopted a new standardized system for rating a helmet’s effectiveness in protecting against concussions. It has been credited with helping parents and players make better decisions about what helmets are best at reducing concussion risks.
The new standard is a five-point rating scale called the STAR system. It was developed by scientists and engineers at Virginia Tech, later used by the school’s football team in 2011. The football helmet rating system quickly caught on, encouraging manufacturers like Riddell and Rawlings to improve their helmet’s design.
Parents, too, have been listening. Sales of helmets with a five-star rating have spiked, whereas sales for low-rated helmets have plummeted. Even the NFL promoted the STAR rating system and posted ratings in every locker room around the league.
It’s now time for hockey helmets to improve.