Virginia Tech University has recently released their STAR (Summation of Tests for the Analysis of Risk) Ratings for Hockey Helmets. This unbiased 3 year independent study uses a rating sytem based on collection of millions of data points. The engineers at Virginia Tech have revolutionized the Football Helmet industry since publishing their results in 2011.
Helmets were originally designed to prevent catastrophic skull and spinal injuries and not to prevent Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) commonly reffered to as a concussion. All sports participants can potentially suffer a Concussion, even with the best of protection. Better helmets lower head acceleration therby loweing the risk of injury but No Helmet is Concussion Proof.
Based on the results that can be seen here hockey helmet technology is lacking when compared to Football helmets. None of the helmets tested were awarded a coveted 5 star (Best) rating, in fact none of them recieved a 4 STAR (Very Good), and only one helmet was rated a 3 STAR (Good) rating. A 2 STAR rating was given to 6 helmets, 1 STAR was given to 16, and sadly 9 of them were awarded a ZERO STAR - Not Recommended rating.
Similiar results were noted in the initial football helmet testing done in 2011, prompting the helmet manufactures to go back to the drawing boards and redesign the helmets. This years crop of football helmets have 8 helmets with the 5 STAR rating.
It is important to note that the cost of the helmet has no corrolation to it's STAR rating. The highest rated Hockey helmet is the Warrior Krown 360 with a 3 Star rating, it retails for $79.99. While some of the helmets that were rated 0 or 1 STAR cost over $250.
- Rowson B et al. Hockey STAR: A Methodology for Assessing the Biomechanical Performance of Hockey Helmets. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2015 DOI:
- Concussion Considerations