‘It’s about safety’: Helmet shortage delays football season for some

Fox 8 News (Cleveland, OH)

August 15, 2022

Collinwood High School football players will not rush the field Friday for their first game of the season due to a lack of helmets.

“We only have about 20 kids on the team right now, but all my helmets are out,” said football Coach Greg Wheeler. “Only had about 30 helmets to begin with all of my helmets are out being reconditioned right now.”The ongoing shortage of football helmets is creating problems as the season is scheduled to get underway.“Well they were disappointed, but they understood they know they can’t do anything without helmets, and we do preach safety first,” said Wheeler.In July, Glenville High School head football coach Ted Ginn Sr. said they were facing a shortage of helmets as well as shoulder pads for the team of about 70 players. Weeks later he said the team is still short on equipment.An Akron Public Schools spokesperson said they are also facing challenges, the slow delivery of footballs, soccer balls and volleyballs.

Riddell, a sports equipment company said in late July, that it was no longer accepting new orders for the 2022 season and would deliver all existing reconditioning orders by the first week of August, with most new helmets and shoulder pads shipping by the end of August.

A company spokesperson said their previous statement issued was still relevant when asked for an update.Coach Wheeler said shortly after canceling the first game of the season against Akron North he got good news, reconditioned helmets are expected to arrive sometime this week. He said they used a mix of vendors including Riddell and couldn’t immediately recall which helmet vendors were providing the service.“It’s about safety, it’s about the kids, I’d rather them miss a game or two than try to rush something or use something that we shouldn’t be using in order to get them to go out there and play,” he said.

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