Date of Award

Summer 8-2017

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Human Performance and Recreation

First Advisor

Scott G. Piland

Advisor Department

Human Performance and Recreation


The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the effect of normal helmet use by athletes from a Division I football team over the period of the first half of a competitive season upon the impact performance characteristics as measured by peak g values obtained through the application of the NOCSAE drop impact testing protocol. The goal of this research is to determine if one half of a season is enough time exposure to result in a significant decrease in a helmet’s performance quality. This study tracks changes in performance in overall function, as well as the function of each individual location on the helmet, by comparing mean peak g during the preseason to the mean peak during the midseason. Due to degradative processes associated with normal end-use of football helmets, differences in the performance of the helmet between the preseason and the midseason may be present. Using standards provided by the National Operative Committee on Standards for Certified Equipment, eleven large Riddell® Revo Speed football helmets were tested for the 2016-17 season. Test results showed that half of a football season was not enough time exposure to affect the overall performance quality of the helmets. However, the Front Boss location showed a significant increase in peak g (decline in performance) and the Rear Boss location showed a significant decrease in peak g (increase in performance), indicating that performance changes from impacts vary according to the location of the helmet.