More Helmet News: NAERA Provides Update on Reconditioning Recommendations

News on the football helmet front just keeps coming and coming as this all-important product category for team dealers struggles to keep up with changing regulations and perceptions among both the public and the industry itself.

The latest development is a letter sent out to football programs, athletic directors and their schools in late September by the National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association (NAERA) that provided an update on reconditioning and recertification of athletic helmets. The letter, which also addresses lacrosse, baseball and softball helmets, was sent by NAERA executive director Tony Beam, and reads, in part:

“NAERA (National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association), NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) and helmet manufacturers would like to inform you of reconditioning and recertification recommendations for football, lacrosse, baseball and softball helmets.

“NAERA recommends that during every football, lacrosse, baseball and softball season or practice period, every helmet should be cleaned and inspected regularly by a school or organization staff member with knowledge of manufacturer recommendations. We further recommend every helmet should be reconditioned and recertified annually unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer. Only a company licensed by NOCSAE can perform the recertification of football, lacrosse, baseball and softball helmets.

“On January 1, 2017 NOCSAE put into effect standard ND 001 6.1.1:

Helmets intended to be recertified shall have a recertification interval provided by the manufacturer. Certification life is limited to this time period. Helmets not recertified during the stated interval shall no longer be certified. Recertification interval required for warranty validation shall satisfy this requirement.

“What does ND 001 6.1.1 mean for a school or organization? For football helmets, as of this writing, the requirements from all football helmet manufacturers for recertification is a minimum of every other year. If you acquired new helmets in 2017 these helmets will need recertification per this standard.

“Helmets that have a lapsed certification per NOCSAE DOC. 001 may be recertified under most conditions. Always ask a NAERA representative if you have doubts. Remember when a team captain or coach tells the official their team is legally equipped, they need to know that is correct and factual.

“Every state association playing under NFHS (National Federation of High Schools) and NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) rules has adopted the NOCSAE standards for football, lacrosse, baseball and softball helmets. Other state associations may have similar rules; however, most support the helmet manufactures recommendations.

“Please make certain your school or organization is using a reconditioning company licensed by NOCSAE.”

For a list of NAERA members that are licensed by NOCSAE: www.naera.net.