The inertial properties of a helmet play an important role in both athletic performance and head protection. In this study, we measured the inertial properties of 37 football helmets, a National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) size 7¼ headform, and a 50th percentile male Hybrid III dummy head. The helmet measurements were taken with the helmets placed on the Hybrid III dummy head. The center of gravity and moment of inertia were measured about six axes (x, y, z, xy, yz, and xz), allowing for a complete description of the inertial properties of the head and helmets. Total helmet mass averaged 1834±231 g, split between the shell (1377±200 g) and the facemask (457±101 g). On average, the football helmets weighed 41±5% as much as the Hybrid III dummy head. The center of gravity of the helmeted head was 1.1±3.0 mm anterior and 10.3±1.9 mm superior to the center of gravity of the bare head. The moment of inertia of the helmeted head was approximately 2.2±0.2 times greater than the bare head about all axes.

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