A key part of an American football helmet is the visor which is attached to the face mask part of the helmet, and protects the eyes (sometime called an eye-shield). Visors aren’t required, but they are a good additional extra, that’s worth purchasing for many reasons: safety, ease of play, and to prevent the other team from ‘reading’ potential next moves.
This article will discuss types of football visors, consider who you’re purchasing a visor for, things to look out for when purchasing a visor, installing the visor, and the benefits of a visor.
Visor Materials, Styles and Designs
Most visors are made of polycarbonate, which is light. The visor is a curved piece of plastic that will cover the eye area. There are many well-known brands of visors that you can purchase, these include: Nike (which has a wrapped lens that gives clear view with no distortion, it includes shock dampening attachments to reduce damage, it’s universal and will fit most helmets. It comes with clear instructions about how to fit it). Under Armour (which has a universal fit, which can be attached to most helmets without any tools, and has quick release clips, some use APVX material – which makes it light, clear and less likely to crack) and Oakley (which uses High Definition Optics – HDO, which means that players have a clear view, and no distortion. Its tinted visors come in 20, 45 and 60 percent. The tint (polarized) blocks different UVA, UVC, and UVB rays and harmful blue light). It’s possible to buy clear, smoked and tinted visors that come in a wide range of shades: amber, blue, metallic silver and golds, black, polarized and even rainbow. Tinted visors can be useful when daylight is starting to reduce.
Depending on what age-range you’re purchasing the visor for, may determine what colour tint you buy. If it’s a student of High School or a Pee Wee league (under the age of 12yrs) then you’d need to buy a clear visor, this is so that the coach can ensure easily by looking at a person’s face and eyes whether they’re conscious if injured. Check with your league handbook as to what is allowed. Some of the big leagues don’t allow tinted visors for the same reason. However, if players have any eye-issues then they may have special permission to wear a tinted visor.
You’ll want to consider how well the visor fits onto the helmet and how it feels when wearing it. Once you’ve purchased it, it’s best to try it out at a practice game, before the real thing, so you can get used to wearing it. It’s worth ensuring your visor has anti-glare, so that this doesn’t bother you when you’re trying to play. Looking for a middle-of-the range priced visor can be worth doing, so that you’re not just buying the cheapest that lacks quality, or the most expensive that would really suit a professional player.
Many visors come in a universal design, so that they’re able to fit most helmets and facemasks, but it can be sensible to take yours along when you buying a visor, just to make sure; as some visors are specific to certain facemasks. Many helmets have a specific model number, so it’s worth making a note of that too. Many visors have been designed so that they don’t fog-up when you get hot or from your breath. They’re shatter-proof which is important, because if your visor cracks they’re not legal to play in. They reduce glare (from sunlight, instead of sunglasses that may fall off, and stadium lights) and are resistant to scratches, giving good visibility to the wearer.
How To Install A Visor
Installing a football visor should be relatively easy. With some you may need a screwdriver, if you don’t have the quick release clips. You may need to undo screws to release the facemask, so that you can get the best fit possible. You don’t have to take the facemask completely off, but have it so you can move it around. On your visor unscrew the quick release clips. It’s a quick installation process. Slide the visor under your facemask to get the correct fit, and so that it’s aligned correctly. Ensure the end hole is lined up between the facemask bars. Re-tighten your facemask, and line up the quick release clips with the hole in the visor, and tighten the screw part. Go as tight as you can with the screws so that the visor doesn’t move around. It should take less than 4 minutes to fit.
Benefits of Wearing Visors
The benefits of wearing a visor are that it would prevent injury to the eyes, such as from a ball, or from another player’s feet or fingers. Some visors can act instead of glasses to help vision, but unlike glasses that could get knocked off during a game, the visor is likely to stay in place. This makes a visor, a crucial bit of American Football kit, that it’s well worth investing in.