NFL Flag Pasadena emphasizes safety with GameBreaker Headgear
When it comes to flag football, Patrick Williams has seen his fair share of action around one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. As Commissioner of NFL Flag Pasadena and Blue Chip Youth Sports, he’s tasked with leading a league that has been active for roughly 7 years and is growing annually. What does he credit the growth in participation to? An unwavering commitment to player safety.
“We feel that it is our responsibility to provide the youth athletes with the tools needed to play the game that they love safely and lower the chances of any form of head injury or concussion,” he said.
To that end, Williams and his organization have chosen to partner with GameBreaker by mandating headgear for every player that participates in NFL Flag Pasadena, as well as new leagues Blue Chip Youth Sports is launching in the near future.
“The main reason that we mandated headgear within this league and our other five new leagues throughout Southern California, is because player safety is a huge deal within our organization,” Williams said. “Even though our leagues are supposed to be non-contact, we know that players are flying around full speed and there is always the chance of incidental head contact which could lead to a head or brain injury.”
The general belief of why flag football participation has grown dramatically in recent years, is due to concerns of injury when playing tackle football, specifically head injuries. While flag football is not a collision sport, it is still a contact sport and accidental collisions happen all of the time. GameBreaker headgear is a proven way to help mitigate the impact forces participants might incur and ultimately reduce the risk of head injuries. Independently tested and published by the Virginia Tech Helmet Labs, the GameBreaker base model headgear has a 4-Star safety rating and the GameBreaker PRO a 5-Star safety rating.
While mandating headgear that is proven to reduce the risk of injury may seem like common sense, there are always reservations when it comes to making big changes. “The reservations I had were that I did not want to partner with another company who really did not have the athlete’s safety in mind. I was also afraid of a lack of customer service that other headgear companies had provided previously,” Williams noted. “The GameBreaker crew has been outstanding in every aspect and their headgear is far superior to anything else that I have seen on the market today.”
As for the parents and participants, the transition has been extremely positive. “Parents thank me constantly for making the switch to GameBreaker and they feel more at ease knowing that their children are protected and that we, as an organization, care about the safety of our athletes. The players have had positive feedback, always talking about the comfort, feel, look, and protection that the helmets provide.”
Williams takes great pride in the leagues he is in charge of, but is also quick to offer advice to other flag football leagues. “The recommendations that I would make to leagues who are considering mandating headgear in flag football is to make the commitment and do it. There are so many benefits from having GameBreaker headgear for your athletes, that they far outweigh any worries that you may have by mandating headgear.”
Football is an incredible sport that teaches young athletes every year about teamwork, discipline, perseverance, goal setting, time management, and handling success or failure. NFL Flag Pasadena knows that football isn’t the end all be all for the majority of their athletes, so they have decided to protect them on and off the field by mandating GameBreaker headgear and educating their community on the importance of head safety.