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Used Football Faceshields Susceptible to Breaking on Impact

Game-worn football faceshields are more susceptible to breaking when subjected to high-velocity impact than are new faceshields, according to recent research. In the study, Ohio State University researchers used an air cannon to hurl baseballs at new and used polycarbonate faceshields. All of the new shields withstood the strongest impact tested, which was designed to match the force of a kick to the face. More than a third of the game-worn faceshields fractured in response to the testing, which included lower forces of impact as well. In a related survey of college football equipment managers, the researchers found that 98% of football programs allow faceshield use, while only 18% of the players wear a shield. Of the programs that responded, only 21% require the use of a faceshield for players with poor vision in one eye. Half of the respondents reported that their school had established a replacement policy for the shields.

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© ASM International 2011

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