US Youth Sports  

Mission To reduce the number of concussions

in youth sports through the education of organizations,

coaches, parents, and participants.



For some reason the server will not allow this site to link to our word press blog. We will manually cut and paste until this problem is resolved. If you feel you need to comment please send us an email and we will post your comments.


US Youth Sports Blog March 25 2012

We were invited to join ASTM International in the discussions for a new standard.


I am writing to you because you have been active in the field of protective sports equipment. I am letting you know that there is an ASTM F08 Task Group which will be discussing a new standard for Women's Lacrosse Headgear meeting in Phoenix on May 9, 2012. I am inviting you to join or to pass this information on to someone who would be more appropriate.

Over time US Lacrosse and others have struggled to create a standard for a woman's headgear that takes into account the unique play, rules and traditions of women's lacrosse. US Lacrosse went to NOCSAE and asked them to develop such a standard.

In January of 2012, NOCSAE informed US Lacrosse that it could not help them other than to suggest that the men's helmet standard be adopted for women?s lacrosse.   At that time, US Lacrosse turned to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F08 Sports Equipment and Facilities Headgear Committee to encourage them to establish a Task Group to help establish a Women's Lacrosse Headgear Standard. As you may know, ASTM has long been recognized as a leader in standards for sports equipment  - and has drafted standards used in hockey, baseball, fitness and track, bicycling and skiing.  They also wrote the standard for women?s lacrosse eyewear. The ASTM  Women?s Lacrosse Headgear Task Group's stated goal is:

To create a standard for women's lacrosse headgear that provides an appropriate level of protection, does not increase the risk of injuries to other players, and maintains the rules, culture and traditions of this unique women's sport.


Our membership was accepted.

Here is the link to the purposed standard


US Youth Sports Blog February 26 2012

Please visit our new web site for more information on our blast mitigating floor mats.

US Youth Sports Blog February 25 2012

We have been very busy the last several months due to our expanded mission statement. We are no longer just focusing on reducing injuries in youth sports but have expanded into reducing injuries for the young men and women of the armed forces.

US Youth Sports Blog July 29 2011 

Well concussion season is here again; high school football camps have started, youth football practices will follow shortly, and the NFL lockout is over.

There has been some recent news about concussions. 75 former NFL players are suing the NFL over concussions, equipment and the alleged cover up by the NFL relative to the long-term risks to players who suffer concussions. One of many allegations in this and other lawsuits is that, for years, the helmet companies have known about the potential long-term risk. There is one current lawsuit against Riddell for defective helmet pads that claims Riddell has known about the pad problem since 2000, yet did nothing. One head injury researcher we correspond with nicknamed the helmet companies "Big Helmet," comparing them to “Big Tobacco” as they all follow the same party line, "our helmets are not designed to prevent concussions, only to prevent skull fractures," as stated in various publications and websites. (They apparently can't even prevent that. Please read the whole blog.) The certification organizations that are, at least, partially funded by "Big Helmet", parrot them saying "our standards are not designed to prevent concussions." We have asked them to change the standards so they would reduce concussions but they refused. One denied there was any connection between concussions and head injuries. What are they afraid of? Further litigation? The medical doctors and researchers who benefit from grants also parrot “Big Helmet:” “helmets don't prevent concussions”. It appears no one wants to bite the hand that feeds them.

One employee of a small helmet company told us to "follow the money." Following the money is easy to certain point. In our opinion, here is how it works, in general.

A youth wants to play a contact sport. The parent then may have to buy a helmet with a certification logo on it as may be required by a team/league or governing body of that sport the player is going to play. The retail store selling the helmets make money, the helmet manufacturer makes money, and the certification organization makes money. The sporting organization the player is playing for may require membership in the governing body of that sport to be able to play. The sporting organization and the governing body make money from the membership fees collected to be able to play. Some of the governing bodies provide and/or “sell” insurance to cover the player should they get injured. The insurance companies make money. If the player does get hurt the medical doctors make money and the insurance companies still make money due to actuarial tables. However most, if not all, certification organizations are non-profit organizations, although one has an exceptionally large staff for the relatively low number of players in that sport, so they provide grants to doctors and researchers to study sports injuries including concussions. There appears to be very little interest in providing grants to research and improve the equipment. The doctors and researchers make money. (A director of a certification organization recently had a brother receive a portion of a $1.1 million grant to study concussions from said certification organization.) We can find no evidence of the certifying organizations ever recalling, decertifying or requiring re-certification of a helmet model that has failed during use or where research would suggest a failure during use. Once a helmet model is certified it is either certified for life or, depending upon the certification organization, until it is due for re-certification, even if documented failures have occurred! A couple of examples: 1. Earlier this year a lacrosse player received an open skull fracture from a lacrosse ball impact to the lacrosse helmet. 2. Late last year an ice hockey player was injured from a helmet cage failure. Both helmets clearly failed the certification test requirements but are still being sold and are certified for play today.

It appears that there is no real monetary incentive to any of the above parties to reduce concussions or toughen helmet standards, and it appears that parents and players have no choice but to use underperforming equipment.

Are there solutions? Absolutely!

Can helmets be designed to reduce concussions? Absolutely!

Is someone finally going to take the first step? Yes, and that will be us: US Youth Sports.


US Youth Sports Blog June 22 2011

We have been busy on a new project for months. We have posted a new page on our web site Safer Pool Decking. This came about after a life guard slipped and fell at a local pool, breaking her tail bone, while attempting a save. (The child in distress was not injuried.) This is the second life guard we know about that has been injured in a slip an fall incident. While teh SPD is only 1.4" thick through extensive R&D and testing we were able to attain a Gmax < 150 from a 6.5' fall and Gmax < 200 from an 8' fall.

David Millar


US Youth Sports Blog May 12 2011

We were side tracked by another chin strap design issue. The current 4 point bicycle helmet chin strap. We have posted a PDF on the web site and it can be viewed on the MISC page.

David Millar

US Youth Sports Blog May 4 2011

The ice hockey super helmet standards have been put on hold due to helmet retention standards issues. There is currently some debate as to what the retention standard should be. There are currently no helmet retention standards for football helmets, but NOCSAE has agreed to incorporate them into a future standard. There are no chin strap standards for football or lacrosse helmets, and helmet stability and retention standards are only tested on at a single point on ice hockey and lacrosse helmets. We are now working on helmet retention because no matter how good a helmet, is if it does not stay on your head it is worthless. The build of the ice hockey super helmet is coming along nicely with the completion of the male mold. The next step may be to commission the build of a second generation ultra helmet with what we have learned due the helmet retention standards issues.

Some other good news is that the national sporting goods chain we mentioned on April 22 is also looking into using the CDC's concussion awareness materials in their stores. We also received a request from a parent of an ice hockey player who had received his 5th concussion in 3 years. We have posted our response on our MISC page.

David Millar


US Youth Sports Blog Apr 22 2011

It has been a very busy but productive week. While we were finalizing the helmet standards it came to our attention that there were no chin strap standards for football or lacrosse helmets, no retention testing, roll off/stability, of football helmets. The ice hockey standard is extremely low. It does not matter how tough the impact standard or how good the helmet is if it does not stay on your head. We contacted the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, NOCSAE, and they agreed and stated "I think future version of the NOCSAE standard will likely have a roll off and retention or helmet stability test".  The second issue that came to our attention was that a large nation wide franchise chain of second hand sporting equipment was selling used helmets that were no longer certified for play. Football, Lacrosse, Ice Hockey, and Baseball helmets that either had an expired certification sticker, certified to a previous standard, or it had been more than 5 years since they had been reconditioned. The chain has agreed to better training of it's franchisees.  "we do have stringent policies on Used helmet purchasing for our franchisees, obviously we still have work to do educating our franchisees and their staff on the proper processes in buying Used helmets in any sport. I will take this up with our training department immediately to ensure our franchisees and their staff improve their implementation of our Used Buying Policies & Procedures".  

It will be a few more days until we finalize the Ice Hockey Super Helmet Standard.

David Millar 


US Youth Sports Blog Apr 18 2011

We have set the design criteria and testing standards for the Ice Hockey Super Helmet project. The helmet will have to pass CPSC test standards (2 meter drop on flat steel and 1.2 meter drop on hemispherical anvils) along with NOCSAE projectile test standards. We have also added SI maximums to the CPSC impact standard. The new standard will require an increase in drop height to a minimum of 1.2 meters (4.8 meters per second) and add a steel curbstone anvil simulating a impact to the edge of the boards or glass in ice hockey. It requires the SI to be         < 350 on the 1.2 meter impacts. It  also states that the radius and volume of the helmet not exceed current helmets. We will publish the complete standards within the next week.

David Millar    


US Youth Sports Blog Apr 5 2011

On Feb 25th we asked US Youth Soccer to provide concussion training and use a concussion awareness program. We are happy to announce that on Mar 31st US Youth Soccer teamed up with the CDC for the heads up concussion awareness and training program! This will bring one the attendees at our last board meeting some consolation. His daughter has suffered 5 concussions playing youth girls soccer and is no longer medically cleared to play any sports.

David Millar


US Youth Sports Blog Mar 22 2011

US Senator Tom Udall has called for helmet reform and given the manufactures 9 months to make helmets safer or it will be turned over to the CPSC. (A big round of applause to Sen Udall!) The legislation still does not address old helmets certified to prior standards or requiring coaches concussion training.  Also in the news, a recent helmet study from the University of Toronto has alluded to the fact that body checking may not be the cause of concussions in youth ice hockey, but it may be caused by impacts with the ice, boards, and other objects. (It may be the helmets.)

David Millar


US Youth Sports Blog Mar 11 2011

We have not received a response from US Youth Soccer or US Soccer about their lack of concussion training and awareness progam. We also attended a board meeting of a local youth ice hockey club this past week. The board of the youth hockey club, that has between 400 and 500 youth USA Hockey members, stated that they will not diagnose concussions, they will not sit out players that may show symptoms of concussions, and they will not check the players equipment to make sure it is safe and not dangerous to play with. I contacted USA Hockey about this and they do not have a concussion policy, just recommendations. Another interesting development is that in certain states high school athletes are governed by state athletic associations that have concussion guidelines and return to play rules. However ice hockey is exempt because it is governed by USA Hockey. A high school football player requires a Dr's note to return to play after a concussion in football but the same player does not need one after a concussion in hockey??? 

David Millar


US Youth Sports Blog Feb 25 2011

I have completed the research and it does not look good. I have posted the helmet analysis on a separate page on the web site. During the research I found several areas for concern. The first one was that the Hockey Equipment Certification Council was formed by members of the then US Amateur Hockey and the ASTM F08 sports committee. They then wrote the specifications for ice hockey helmets and certification standards by committee. They then made it mandatory for all ice hockey helmets to be tested to only their "minimum standards" (quoted from Safety in ice hockey vol 3). The call for improvements in the helmets to reduce the risk of injury has been largely ignored by the HECC and USA Hockey for the last 11 years due to the appearance clause written into the helmet standards by the committee. When does appearance out weigh safety? I had sent the HECC a letter in Dec 2010 asking them to adopt tougher testing standards for the certification of hockey helmets to reduce TBI's (concussions). I received a reply Feb 8 2011 from their counsel stating that equating concussions with TBI's was inaccurate. A concussion is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). They are graded on the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS). AIS 1 would be a mild concussion, AIS2 would be a moderate concussion, AIS 3 would be a serious concussion, AIS 4 would be a severe concussion. If the people running the Certification Council don't know this it's no wonder youth ice hockey has almost the same concussion rate as the NHL. 23 concussions per 1000 athlete game hours for the youth verses 29 per 1000 athlete game hours for the NHL. 

David Millar


US Youth Sports Blog Feb 24 2011


We had an excellent dialog with USA Football. They offer coaching certification and concussion awareness training for coaches. It has come to our attention that most youth football programs below the high school level do not have certified coaches or concussion awareness programs. We at US Youth Sports would strongly recommend that parents ask their child's league to join a program like USA Football.


David Millar


US Youth Sports Blog Jan 10 2011

A little background on standards, ice hockey equipment, and certification; the certification of ice hockey equipment is handled by the HECC, Hockey Equipment Certification Council Inc. It is a non-profit created at the request of USA Hockey in 1978. Its mission is to seek out, evaluate and select standards and testing procedures for hockey equipment for the purpose of safety certification. Its purpose can be viewed on its website. The HECC has selected ASTM standard F1045 for hockey helmets and F513 for hockey eye and face protective equipment. Why is this important? It is the least demanding helmet standard of any contact sport in the US. The ASTM itself has called for an upgrade to this standard for over 12 years. Who writes the ASTM standards? They use a consensus process from volunteer committees so why don't the volunteers change the standards?  Please email us if you know the answer, we don't know.  

F1045 calls for a hockey helmet to be drop tested from 39" on an elastomer (rubber) pad (I don't know about you but when was the last time ice hockey was played on a rubber pad?) and the reading in helmeted  head form cannot exceed 300g's upon impact. This might be fine if you are only 39" tall with your skates on and you fall down while playing, but not for someone who is 5'10". Several hockey helmets were drop tested on a steel anvil from a height of 34" and one of the models had a peak g force of 423g's, almost a sure probability of concussion.

 Football and lacrosse helmets are drop tested from 60" on the same pad and cannot exceed 215g's. They are played on nice soft grass fields, not rock hard sheets of ice.

The US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory has set the peak g's for helicopter pilots to 150g's at the ear cup and crown areas and 175g's at the headband of its flight helmets. This was set in the mid 1980's for adult males to be able to escape a crashed helicopter and evade the enemy without any symptoms of concussions. As we now know youth, especially females, are much more susceptible to concussions and concussions occur in the NFL with impacts as low as 68g's.

More to follow.

David Millar


US youth Sports Blog Jan 7 2011

It is 2011 and we have decided to make it our mission to reduce concussive head injuries in ice hockey this year. Why ice hockey? Football is getting all of the attention, it has about two million youth players verses ice hockey's 400,000 youth players in the US,  the media coverage, Senator Tom Udall asking the FTC to investigate helmet manufactures, and the NFL's concussion awareness program. So we figured ice hockey with more than three times the number of concussions per player as football[1] would be a good place to start.

David Millar

[1] Conservative management of sports injuries c2007



US Youth Sports Blog Jan 5 2011

US Youth Sports asked the USA Hockey, the NCAA, and US Lacrosse to ban the use of hard shell elbow pads in youth sports pursuant to NHL rule 12-3. NHL Rule 12.3-All elbow pads that do not have a soft protective outer covering of sponge rubber or similar material at least 1/2" thick shall be deemed dangerous equipment.

David Millar

Updated: Jan 10 2011 USA Hockey responded to the Jan 5 2011 request. Kenny Rausch, USA Hockey?s Manager, Youth Ice Hockey "I have been on that side for years. I will bring it up in our next rule/development meeting." 


US Youth Sports Blog Jan 3 2011

Who are we and how did we get started? We are a grass roots organization concerned coaches, players, parents and sports enthusiasts who like to watch youth sports, see the children progress and play safe. While I was observing my son during the 2009 2010 youth hockey season, the 2009 youth football season and the 2010 lacrosse winter, spring, summer seasons there seemed little to be concerned about. A few injuries were sustained by the youth players on his teams, but nothing excessive or out of the ordinary. The 2010 football season came, 2 players on his team suffered concussions, and one suffered a broken arm, in the regular 8 game season. That was 2 concussions for a 15 player team with less than 80 player hours, higher than one would expect. The 2010 2011 youth hockey season came and in the first 8 games 3 players suffered concussions, one with a facial injury, and 1 player suffered a broken hand. This is on a team of 13 players and one goalie. That was 3 concussions in 52 player game hours. I knew something couldn't be right with these numbers so I started to do some research on concussions in youth sports and started this organization. I will continue to blog and let you all know what I find.

David Millar