Pylon 7on7 Football is dedicated to ensuring our athletes can participate and compete at the highest level while focusing on safety of the athletes.
As the creator and pioneer of Club 7on7 Football, Pylon has always been at the forefront of innovations and advancements to make the sport better for all of our participants.
To that end, we take great pride in the fact that we were the first 7on7 organization in the world to require softshell headgear. Since that time, we’ve witnessed the proliferation of counterfeit headgear, headbands, bicycle helmets and rugby scrum usage. These products do not carry a safety rating that meet the standards set forth by the Virginia Tech Helmet Laboratory. In addition, these products and their providers do not carry proper liability insurance coverage.
As we continue to emphasize and place a premium on player safety, we are now adopting more stringent rules and regulations surrounding soft shell headgear.
GameBreaker is the inventor and pioneer of the soft shell headgear market and has been a valued partner to Pylon and 7on7 clubs around the world. They are the only company that offers both 4 Star and 5 Star Virginia Tech safety rated headgear at a reasonable price while also carrying product liability insurance that exceeds our requirements.
Effective immediately, the following headgear will be mandated to be worn by all participants at all Pylon events as recommended by Virginia Tech's helmet standards. There will be no exceptions to this rule, as player safety is paramount.
Virginia Tech recommends only 4 and 5 Star rated helmets to be worn during play. Additional factors considered are the external components such as metal buttons, hard plastic pieces, exterior hard shells or a head coverage of less than 95%.
The following helmets are the only helmets which meet our safety standards:
- Adidas Force PRO Softshell Headgear
- GameBreaker-PRO Soft Shell Headgear
- GameBreaker Multi-Sport Soft Shell Headgear
VIGINIA TECH HELMET LABORATORY TESTING
“There’s a risk of injury in any sport, but protective equipment can reduce that risk significantly,” said Steve Rowson, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics and the Virginia Tech Helmet lab’s director. “Our job is to get independent, evidence-based information out there to players, coaches, and parents, so that they can choose the equipment that’s most effective…”
The most common head injuries in 7-on-7 football are when two opposing player’s heads collide when both are going for the ball or when players are attempting to break up a pass or make a tag.
Gamebreaker headgear is designed to reduce the impact force from contact that may be generated by contact such as head to head, -knee, or -shoulder.
Virginia Tech Helmet Lab created a custom impactor used to test headgear under head-to-head conditions which are known to be associated with the highest risk of concussions in soccer*. The test consisted of two NOCSAE head and neck configurations representing the average male. Headgear was positioned on the heads and impacts were made to the side and back of the head at three different velocities. Each test was performed twice on each sample headgear. The same test was conducted on bare heads (without headgear) to be used as the control scenario. Results of the headgear were compared to the results of the bare head impacts which determined the final STAR rating.
* Virginia Tech Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics laboratory performs testing for tackle football helmets which the NFL, NCAA and NFHS use based on NOCSAE standard requirements. Pylon is one of the first organizations in the United States to mandate a soft shell helmet for its athlete’s protection. Helmets must meet the following requirements/standards. As of publishing this standard, only Gamebreaker softshell helmets have a 4 star and 5 star rated helmet by Virginia Tech Labs.