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Virginia Tech’s Helmet Lab Has Just Released Ratings for Flag Football Headgear

Russel Wilson and Jerome Wilson in Flag Football, 2012
Jerome Wilson and Russell Wilson in Flag Football, 2012 (Photo: Central Virginia Football Association)

With the popularity of “flag football” skyrocketing across the country, Virginia Tech’s Helmet Lab has just released the industry’s first safety ratings for the headgear, which is increasingly being required by some of the leagues.

It is supposed to be little or no contact, but Brad Gamlin knows better.

“I turned as I was running and someone else turned as they were running and we didn’t see each other and his forehead got me right in the eye socket.”

That didn’t stop him. Gamlin is now owner and Commissioner of the Central Virginia Football Association, boasting 200 teams and about 1,000 players per season, where pads and headgear are optional.

“Even though it is a non-contact sport, there is still the potential for head injury," said Steve Rowson, Director of Virginia Tech’s Helmet Lab, known nationwide for its rating system. “Because of the number of injuries that we are seeing we thought it would be useful to consumers to make informed decisions to have data out there.”

Tech has just released those headgear ratings on what he says is America’s fastest-growing team sport.

This story has been updated to correct the spelling Russell Wilson's name.

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