That's because Virginia Tech researchers have studied adult football helmets and recommended the safest brands for the Hokie football team to wear.
Now, that same research is being applied to pee-wees.
"This is a youth helmet," Stefan Duma, director of the Center for Injury Biomechanics, as he held a youth Riddell Revolution helmet. "And the interesting thing is that this is essentially the same size, shape and padding structure as what the Virginia Tech football players wear."
But the way youth football players get hit is drastically different from the way varsity college athletes hit. So youth helmets were outfitted with sensors to record data, which shows how hard, how often and how many times youth players are hit.
"The surprising part was that these kids play pretty hard and they run fast and you start to see hits in the 40-50-60 G range, which is a little bit higher than we'd expected," said Duma of his research with the Auburn Eagles youth football team.
Now that the Center for Injury Biomechanics has the data, researches can start testing different helmets on the market and seeing how well they protect against concussions.
"This is the first step towards making better youth helmets," said Duma of his research.
The research will eventually lead to a ranking system of the youth helmets on the market, similar to the five-star star rating system in the National Impact Database for adult helmets.