With youth baseball kicking off in the upcoming months across the country, there is an important change coming to helmets that you should know about.
Head protection is an essential topic of conversation in sports right now. With all the head injuries in hockey, football and other contact sports, the sport of baseball can sometimes get overlooked. However, the fact remains that every time a player steps to the plate wearing an improperly fitted helmet, there is a risk of injury. Rawlings Sports is looking to change that with its new RPR System.
The Rawlings Performance Rating “RPR” system for batting helmets was developed over the last three seasons at the company’s state-of-the-art facility in St Louis. It all began with a request from Major League Baseball to make a better fitting, more protective helmet for Major League Baseball players. The Rawlings S100P was born, but even though the helmet could absorb up to a 100 miles per hour of impact, MLB players chose not to wear it as they felt it was more bulky and dense than their preferred model.
At the beginning of the 2013 season, Rawlings released its S100PC to the MLB market. This helmet design was brilliant, and it won the company a 2013 Edison Award for innovation. The S100PC was designed using carbon fiber for both the bill and shell of the helmet. The carbon fiber creates a stiffer design, which allows for more impact with less bulk. It was a total hit with Major League Baseball, and in 2013 the league and its players’ association (MLBPA) mandated that all players wear the S100PC or S100P on the field of play. Minor league baseball also stepped up, mandating that all of its players wear the S100P on the field of play.
The reason this is so important is because it sends the message (and reminds us) that head injuries do not stop on the football field or hockey rink. They can happen anywhere. Ask Adam Greenberg, who lost his pro career after being hit in the head by a pitch. Rawlings is taking the steps to be the head protection experts and help limit the amount of head injuries on the diamond.
In 2014, the Rawlings RPR system is bringing safer and better fitting helmets to the baseball diamonds in your hometown. Rawlings has developed a baseball helmet line for youth, high-school & collegiate players that exceeds the current NOCSAE standards (which equates to a 68 mile-per-hour pitch speed). The new RPR-approved helmet line from Rawlings will feature helmets approved for pitch speeds up to 70, 80, 90, and even 100 mile-per-hour speeds. This new safety platform from Rawlings has spurred on the “KNOW YOUR SPEED” campaign, which communicates to players, coaches and parents that if you know the speed of opposing pitchers, you can purchase the helmet that matches your level of play.
Rawlings Recommends that you “KNOW YOUR SPEED” or use the guidelines below:
S70 = Peewee & BelowS80 = Bantam & BelowS90 = Collegiate, High-School & Below
S100 = Pro & Collegiate
As the official helmet of Major League Baseball & Baseball Canada, Rawlings is taking head protection very seriously. In 2010, Rawlings also brought a line of football helmets to market that brought industry-leading fit and protection to the football field.
Look for the new Rawlings RPR-approved helmets at a store near you, or check out www.rawlings.com for more information.