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McDavid Applauds the New NFHS Rules Changes

Date: 2/22/11

Change is inevitable in sports, but positive change is always a welcome sight. The recent rule changes by the National Federation of State High School Associations are another step forward in the protection of student-athletes around the nation.
While the NFHS continues to improve its brand, so too does Chicago based sporting goods company McDavid Long known as the industry leader in protective performance apparel, McDavid will now be able to work hand in hand with high schools across the country, providing athletes continued support and protection on the field.
For the past few years, McDavid has been working closely with the NFHS on the definition of its rules as it pertains to thigh guards and pads.  The original NFHS football ruling stated that "when a hard surface was present", thigh pads had to be covered by 1/4" of foam on front and 3/8" on back. Now, the NFHS has changed the rules saying the detailed specifications for thigh guards were deleted because they were not necessarily applicable to newer technologies. McDavid’s HexPad Technology is representative of such new technology driving the evolution of what sports equipment have gone through in recent years in order to provide athletes with lightweight and breathable protective padding to increase overall performance.
"Our HexPad Thudd shorts have been met with some resistance from dealers and coaches that said it did not meet the NFHS rules," Rey Corpuz, director of marketing for McDavid said. "That's why we launched the 7555 HexPad short with hard-shell thigh guard. After three years of working with the NFHS on this rule, they finally made a change that removes the gray area surrounding the previous verbiage of the rule. This will be huge for our penetration in areas that resisted the evolution of products through technological innovation."
The McDavid HexPad Hard-shell Thigh Guard is made of the same quality foam as the patented HexPad found in other HexPad specific products. This foam formulation is lightweight, durable and will not fall apart in the wash, unlike other products on the marketplace.  
Protecting Athletes From Head to Toe
Football is the No. 1 participatory sport for boys at the high school level with more than 1.1 million athletes taking the field in the 2009-10 school year. In addition, there are more than 1,300 girls who played football in 2009-10.
Now that the NFHS has changed its stance on the thigh pads, companies like McDavid will be able to provide more innovative products to improve and enhance a football player's ability and protection.
"It will allow us to look at protection issues and think progressively as opposed to dismissing innovations due to current rules," Doug Wisner, marketing product manager for McDavid said. "We expect dealers and coaches to gravitate towards the Thudd Short as it provides protection without restriction of movement and conforms better to the thigh allowing players a better range of movement."
McDavid will continue to provide both the HexPad Thudd shorts and the 7555 HexPad short, but now athletes will have a choice of which to wear on the field.  The HexPad technology will continue to set the standard for changes in the game, from increasing player performance, to influencing the way rules are written.
The traditional Thigh Guard Shorts offers similar protection to the Thudd Short.  This style of protection has been on the market for a long time and may be chosen by players who do not find themselves in position to be tackled.  The protection is on the same scale as the Thudd short and in a style many players have been used to wearing for their playing careers.
Skill players will take advantage of the HexPads that will help them retain their speed and agility while lineman may like the fact that they do not have to rely on the curvature of the traditional thigh guard; in essence, turning to the HexPad for a better fit and better protection.
"Every position has certain protection needs and for positions such as running back, full back, and linebacker where hits come from all different directions, the Extended Thigh option provides protection where a standard hard thigh guard cannot," said Wisner, "Other skill positions such as WR or DB, where speed is extremely important, the flexibility and body conformation creates a sleek style and allows for easy movement.  A player receives the same protection on the Thudd short that their hip and tailbone currently receive."
"Due to the design and construction of the Thudd shorts, the padding is pliable and conforms to the curvature of a player’s thigh.  This allows a player better movement and ensures the protection wraps around the thigh opposed to laying on top of the thigh," said Wisner. "Since the Thudd incorporates HexPad which we use to protect shoulder, ribs, spine, tailbone, and hips, the athlete's thighs will be protected as well if not better (due to the larger design and wrap option) as the traditional Thigh Guard Short."

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