By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor
Hobart-Mayfield, LLC has created and patented an impact-absorbing facemask clip, the S.A.F.E.Clip™️ to reduce the g-force of a blow to the face mask while maintaining the integrity of the unit.
Hobart-Mayfield Vice President and CMO Greg Wieczerza, and his partners, CEO Justin Summerville and COO Rich Williams, decided a few years back to take on one of football’s biggest problems: concussions. They sought out to improve the safety features of the outdated plastic or silicone facemask clips by creating a product that reduces g-force at the point of impact to the facemask during a tackle or collision. Studies show that concussions occur in football at forces between 98-103 g’s.
“I’m 65 now, but I remember some of the hardest hits I took were to the face mask,” Wieczerza said. “I’d end up seeing stars.”
The Hobart-Mayfield staff created a facemask clip with a patented visco-elastic membrane housed in a thermoplastic body. The product has shown in independent testing to dampen blows to the face mask before the impact reaches the head/neck. The S.A.F.E.Clip™️ is retrofittable to over 94 percent of current helmet/facemask configurations from all manufacturers with no alterations needed to the facemask or helmet. Other configurations are in development.
“We want to protect players,” Wieczerza said. “If one fewer kid gets injured, we’ve done our job.”
The average high school football player is on the receiving end of 500 head impacts per season.
The Hobart-Mayfield face mask clip results in:
- A 24 percent g-force reduction translational (lateral) motion in a facemask collision over a standard clip.
- A 28 percent g-force reduction rotational motion in a facemask collision over a standard clip.
- A 12 percent g-force reduction rotational in a facemask collision at a 45-degree angle over a standard clip.
*All statistics generated through research by Wayne State University
Patented visco-elastomer is used by NASA, GE Healthcare and Wilson Sporting Goods.
Hobart-Mayfield is providing product development information to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, Core Institute: The Sports Neurology Clinic, Caring4Concussions, National Organizing Committee for Safety in Athletic Equipment, NFL, NCAA, NJCAA, NAIA, NFHS and youth leagues.
The Impact Absorbing FaceMask Clip costs $29.95 for a set of two. For every five clips sold, H-M will put a virtual set into a ClipBank for a needy school. School in need can apply for free clips by completing a certificate of need.