A total of flag football headgear have been rated using the STAR evaluation system. Our impact tests evaluate a headgear's ability to reduce linear and rotational acceleration of the head resulting from a range of head impacts a flag football player might see on the field. Headgear with more stars provide a reduction in concussion risk for these impacts compared to helmets with less stars. Group ratings are differentiated by pre-determined thresholds.
For flag football headgear, we recommend any 4 or 5 star headgear. While there are some differences in impact performance within these groups, other factors such as cost, fit, coverage, and comfort should be considered when purchasing headgear.
infoUnderstanding the rating system
Our ratings are an independent and objective assessment of helmet performance for consumers, free from manufacturer influence.
We rate each flag football headgear based on the results of 36 impact tests in our laboratory. A head-to-head impact system is used to test the headgear. We measure linear and rotational accelerations for each impact, which are correlated to concussion risk.
We test the headgear's front, side, and back at low, medium, and high impact energies. The low impact severity represents common impacts in flag football. The high impact severity represents the types of impacts most commonly resulting in concussions. The medium impact severity falls in between.
Each lab impact is equally weighted. We compute concussion risk from measured peak linear and rotational accelerations for each test. Each risk is multiplied by its weighting factor, summed together to compute an overall score, and then normalized to the sum of bare head results. The resulting STAR values range from 0 to 1, with 1 representing identical performance to the bare head condition. Ratings, denoted by a number of stars, are assigned based on risk reductions described by the STAR values. For example, a STAR value of 0.5 represents a 50% reduction in expected concussion incidence compared to not wearing headgear for the impacts tested.
A lower score indicates better helmet performance.
The score values in these ratings are not comparable to score values in our helmet ratings for other sports. This is because there are differences in test methods, impact conditions, risk calculations, and impact weightings specific to each sport.
Cost shown is the price of the helmet at the time of testing.
*Any player in any sport can sustain a head injury with even the very best head protection. This analysis is based on data trends and probabilities, and therefore a specific person’s risk may vary. This variation is likely dominated by genetic differences, health history, and impact factors such as muscle activation.