Callie On The Job: Schutt Sports - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Callie On The Job: Schutt Sports

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SALEM -- High school and college teams have started football practice for the 2016 season. News 3's Callie Carroll got a little insight to what goes into protecting these athletes in this week's Callie on the Job. 

As we tackle our way into football season, no matter what level you're watching, from youth all the way to professional, one thing is for certain - all athletes will be wearing helmets. And there's a good chance those helmets are made at Schutt Sports in Salem, Illinois.

Director of Marketing Glenn Beckmann says, "We are one of the leading protective equipment makers in the country. We make a lot of equipment, especially for football, that's protective in nature. We're most widely known for our football helmets. We produce hundreds of thousands of football helmets every year, from little kids all the way to the NFL."

Each helmet starts from pellets of resin being pumped into a molding machine where the helmet shell takes its shape. Then, holes are drilled into the helmet and smoothed down. 

Next, the helmets are painted. The options for this process are truly limitless. There are 200 different shades of the color "gold" alone. Once the shell dries, it heads to an assembly line where all the separate components are added. 

Football helmets have two jobs: they absorb direct linear force impact (when two helmets collide) and they protect the skull. Schutt Sports does a number of tests every day, to ensure their product is at the highest standard. One of the tests is issued by the National Operating Committee for Standards of Athletic Equipment (NOCSEA). 

"It's very similar to an egg carton. We've figured out how to take eggs hundreds of miles without breaking the shell, but you can still take that carton of eggs and shake it, and there would be no outside visual damage to the shell but the yolks could be completely scrambled. And until we figure out how to keep that from happening inside a player's head, the helmet's utility toward concussions is limited," said Beckmann.

Schutt Sports says they will continue to find innovative ways to make their product the safest on the market.

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