For several years, there has been considerable public discussion about head injuries and head protection in soccer.
ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) has adopted a product performance standard for soccer headgear. You can review the standard at http://www.astm.org/.
No headgear or other protective equipment can prevent all injuries, so headgear is not being suggested by anyone as a way to make soccer totally safe. However, the NFHS encourages players, parents, coaches and other interested persons to assess the fact that headguards satisfying ASTM standard F2439-06 for soccer headgear are available. Further, they should take the opportunity to decide for themselves if headgear is something they would see as beneficial.
Note the ASTM standard does not address head to ball impacts, rather head to hard surface impacts such as head to head, head to ground and head to post, which are believed to be the primary mechanism in most soccer concussions.
Attached is a list of some soccer headguards that, according to the manufacturers, meet or exceed the ASTM soccer headgear standard. Please be aware that the NFHS is not recommending or endorsing any particular brand of headgear, or headgear in general. We are forwarding this information to inform members of the high school community about a matter they may find of interest.
The NFHS has been informed that the following products satisfy the test and performance requirements of the ASTM standard for headgear used in soccer.
Inclusion of a product on this list does not signify endorsement or recommendation by the NFHS. As we are made aware of other products that satisfy the standard, we will add them to the list.
The products on this list are allowable under NFHS rules as long as the product is in its original configuration and has not been modified.