Dallas, TX The Untied Youth Football League, (UYFL) announced a new commitment to safety today, requiring softshell helmets to be worn during all their certified “NONCONTACT” competitions, including flag and 7on7 passing league events, beginning in the fall of 2016. The league also named Rocksolid LLC as the organization’s official helmet supplier.
With teams across the country, the UYFL is one of the nation’s largest youth football organizations, and the first to take a leadership position on safety by mandating that competitors in their noncontact events wear softshell helmets. The UYFL went even further than merely mandating helmet use, laying down helmet standards to help ensure athletes’ protection. Currently, only Rocksolid softshell helmets meet their criteria for flag football and 7on7 helmets.
Helmets must include specific design features to meet the UYFL softshell helmet standard, including: ● At least 20mm thick precompressed foam ● Complete jaw bone coverage, extending town to cover the connection point on the mandible ● No tiein system at the back of the helmet, as this can leave the back of the head exposed ● An interior ventilation system with airflow vents that allow to pass completely through the helmet ● Have prior approval by the UYFL before being used in a game
The popularity of “noncontact” football such as 7on7 and flag has soared recently. Once simply an off season relative of the 7on7 drills seen in conventional football practice, games were largely found in football hotbed states like California, Texas and Florida. They’ve since blossomed to the point competitions are held regularly throughout the country. Many of the country’s most elite players use 7on7 contests to improve their play, and increasingly to showcase their talents for college recruiters. Others just play because they enjoy it, and it gives them a way to taste football in the offseason.
As the name suggests, 7on7 is played with 7 players per side, and in most competitions is passing only. Running backs must catch a pass before advancing the ball. In addition to the running back, there is a quarterback and 5 receivers. Defenses have defensive backs and linebackers. Neither side fields a line, and there is no pass rush in most cases.
7on7 and flag football’s increased popularity and competitiveness has resulted in greater injury from collisions between heads, body parts, and the ground. Even incidental contact can cause significant damage, forming the basis for the UYFL’s new safety requirement.
The specific reasons behind the organization’s decision are as follows: ● To help protect against SURFACE level and SOFT TISSUE injuries that occur from inevitable and unintentional collisions. ● To enhance the experience for our flag leagues, as players get to feel like “real football players”. We feel this completes the uniform. ● As opposed to a real helmet, this does NOT promote contact. ● To take every measurable step to help prevent injuries for the players. ● Acclimate the flag and 7 on 7 players for the season or time when they are playing in full contact gear.
The UYFL didn’t stop with headgear or noncontact events, also recommending the softshell protection system (soft shoulder pad/soft helmet) DURING the regular football season for some practices to alleviate some of the intentional collisions during a normal game week and allow players to recover longer from games.
The organization aims for players to reduce the number and effect of head impacts during practice, raising the standard of care during the football season. An increasing number of high school and college football programs are finding removing hard shell protection in practice significantly decreases the number of head contacts in both practice and games. Substituting softshell helmets helps protect players from incidental head contact injuries, while also reducing the injury causing head collisions.
Rocksolid has arranged special pricing for UYFL member organizations, and the company will be involved in UYFL ‘s new league play also. UYFL is about to implement 7 on 7 and full flag programs, including national championships at all levels including adult, to be officially announced soon.
Rocksolid LLC got its start designing and making the first soft shell helmet specifically designed for football, the RS1. They’ve recently incorporated the helmet into a complete softshell protection system, with their new softshell shoulder pads.
Formed by 2 exNFL players, linebacker Joey LaRocque and QB Caleb Hanie, with the express goal of protecting players and enhancing the game, Rocksolid has been leading the charge for possible game saving safety changes.
For more information go to liverocksolid.com or email email@example.com
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