BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - From practices to equipment, COVID-19 has changed the look of football for this Fall. Schutt Sports announced it has created a splash shield to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the football field.
Instead of wearing a face covering under their helmet, thousands of football players across the nation will soon wear splash shields when out on the field.
“It would be very difficult for a football player to wear a mask on the field for breathing so what we did was come up with a shield that’s disposable and it’s vinyl,” said Greg Barnett, the Southeast Sales Manager for Schutt Sports.
The splash shield connects to a football helmet using velcro straps and helps block droplets from sweat, coughs, and sneezes.
“We’ve tested it. It’s not a cure at all by no means, but it is better than anything we have out there right now and it’s definitely something that’s going to help prevent the spread of the COVID,” Barnett added.
The splash shield was approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations on June 5, allowing players to wear it at practice and in games.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association also approved the safety feature, but it’s not mandatory.
Hoover Head Coach Josh Niblett is now looking into the new piece of equipment as safety is his number one concern.
“It’s all about player safety. With this, I think it’s a great safety precaution, I think it’s something great that Schutt has decided that we needed to take safety to another level,” Niblett said.
The splash shield is disposable and can be worn multiple times and can be cleaned with a normal cleaning solution.