Football helmets are designed to help prevent head injuries, but they won’t do players much good if the helmets are easy to dislodge. Not only does a player become vulnerable to injury if his helmet comes off, but he may be damaged by the helmet itself if it’s loose enough to be driven into his head or face. The chin strap secures the helmet to the player’s head to prevent either of those two dangerous scenarios. A chin strap may fasten onto a helmet at either two or four points. Either way, every player should know how to fasten and adjust his chin strap properly before taking the field.
Buckle the top strap on both sides of the helmet to the proper spots above each ear hole, keeping the strap completely inside of the helmet’s face mask.
Pull the helmet onto your head and place the chin strap’s cup under your chin.
Buckle the bottom straps on both sides of the helmet to the proper spots below or behind each ear hole.
Check the chin strap’s fit. The cup should be centered on your chin and should press firmly against your skin.
Make any necessary adjustments by pulling more of a strap through the clasp to tighten the strap, or by taking some of the strap out of the buckle to loosen it. If necessary, take the helmet off, make an adjustment according to your best estimate, then pull the helmet back on and re-test the fit.
Unbuckle the bottom straps when you take the helmet off. Once the straps are adjusted properly, leave the top straps in place.
Your helmet must be in perfect condition, including the chin strap. Never use a helmet if the strap isn’t adjusted properly or if the strap is frayed or damaged in any way.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.