02/06/2010  |  
Posted in Sports Dentistry
Football protection has come a long way!

It's widely thought that a change in the rules of football led quickly to the need for better protective equipment. In 1888, the college football annual rules convention voted to allow tackling below the waist. Players and coaches soon viewed pads as essential for the game. However, helmets were the last thing to be accepted. The leather football helmet has its origin more than 100 years ago first worn in an 1893 Army-Navy game. An Annapolis shoemaker created the first helmet for Admiral Joseph Mason Reeves, who had been advised by a Navy doctor that he would be risking death or “instant insanity” if he took another kick to the head. Helmets were not a mandatory piece of equipment in college ball until 1939 and they were not made mandatory in the National Football league (NFL) until 1943.

Modern day helmets are far safer than the old-style “leatherheads” of the 1900's. Back then, helmets only functioned to cover the ear from any injuries, ignoring the teeth, jaws and mouth. Today's football helmets are marvels of modern technology. They can be climate-controlled, equipped with radios, extra-padding and shock-absorbing face-masks. They can even monitor health by providing feedback each time a player is hit; all the while supplying superior protection for the head, mouth and jaws.

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