A football helmet rating system designed by Virginia Tech engineers has been updated to include new helmets.
The ratings stem from a larger research project to rate the effectiveness of adult-size football helmets to protect players from possible concussion inducing impacts.
The new results include more helmets to receive the top five-star rating.
“Specifically, you can see Riddell and Rawlings using this research to develop the very best helmets,” said project director Stefan Duma, the Harry C. Wyatt Professor and Department Head of the Virginia Tech – Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, in a news release.
Riddell and Rawlings were the only two manufacturers to design helmets that earned top marks. Last year Riddell Revolution Speed was the only helmet to earn five stars. This year, the Riddell 360 and the Rawlings Quantum Plus also earned five stars.
The researchers also noted that the helmets with the lowest ratings from the 2011 results are off the market.
Last year, about 30 percent of Virginia Tech football players got new helmets after researchers at the university found one of the models being worn provided only “marginal” protection from concussions.
Duma has said he hopes the general public, including high school players, coaches and parents, will use the rating system to make informed decisions about which helmets to buy.
Last year, one manufacturer called the rating system flawed.
“We find this type of ranking concept to be detrimental to consumer understanding, and detrimental to the development of superior helmets,” said Vincent Ferrara, founder and CEO of Xenith, when the first results were announced.