Assessing the validity of a helmet fit checklist in a sample of youth football players

M. R. Lininger, S. W. Yeargin, R. M. Hirschhorn, J. Mensch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dynamics of American youth football make it critical to ensure that helmets are appropriately fit to decrease the risk of injuries. Currently, there is only one researcher-developed checklist to determine helmet fit, and psychometric testing is lacking; therefore, the aim of this work was to determine the validity of the checklist. The 13-item checklist was used to measure helmet fit in 267 youth football players prior to the start of the season. Using a Principal Components Analysis to assess validity, a 5-component model was found explaining 58% of the available variance. These results suggest that a single, summative score should not be used for this checklist; rather five scores should be calculated for each component (stability, snugness, size, integrity, and accessory). A more practical and valid tool to assess fit, such as a sub-sectioned chronological American football-specific checklist, can better assist coaches/administrators responsible for helmet fit and player safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-367
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Sports Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023


  • Principal components analysis
  • instrument
  • psychometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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