Rules And Regulations For Football Visors - We Ball Sports

Rules And Regulations For Football Visors

Are you ready to hit the field wearing a football visor? Learn more about what rules and regulations apply to these protective eyewear pieces!

Football visors are a common piece of personal protective equipment that football players wear to protect their eyes from dirt, dust, and debris. Football helmet visors come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles and may be custom-made to perfectly fit the player's helmet. It is important for football players to understand the rules and regulations regarding visors so that they can stay safe while playing on the field. Let’s take a look at the different rules and regulations that are in place surrounding football visors!

Types Of Visors

There are many types of football visors that are used in football, such as:

Clear Visors

Clear visors are the most common type and are prized for their transparent nature. They primarily protect players' eyes from dust, debris, and potential eye injuries while providing a clear line of vision. Clear visors are popular among football players who want both protection and an unobstructed view of the field.

Tinted Visors

Tinted visors offer sun-glare reduction and add a touch of style to a player's gear. These visors are typically used during day games when the sun is at its brightest. For example, many quarterbacks and defensive backs opt for tinted visors to reduce their potential for sun-blindness.

Polarized Visors

Polarized visors provide enhanced glare reduction, making them a favorite among certain player groups who face adverse light conditions. These visors are designed to optimize vision under challenging circumstances.

Safety Standards For Football Visors

There are certain safety standards that football visors must meet before they can be used in a game. To achieve certification, the visor must undergo several tests to ensure it is strong enough to resist impact and protect the eyes of players from potential injury.

Material Requirements

Football visors must be constructed with shatterproof materials, such as polycarbonate. This material is known for its superior impact resistance and optical clarity. Additionally, visors must be tested to meet the performance requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). Meeting these material standards is essential to ensuring both player protection and clear vision during the game.

Tinting And Clarity

Regulations dictate the permissible levels of tint and clarity in visors to safeguard player visibility and safety on the field. These standards are essential to maintaining a level playing field for all players. The tint must be within the range of 75% to 90% visible light transmission (VLT). Clarity should remain at or above 85%.

Anti-Scratch Coating

Visors are subject to a lot of wear and tear, making it essential to have an anti-scratch coating. This coating ensures players have clear vision during play, preventing obstructions and distractions that could lead to missed opportunities or injuries on the field. The anti-scratch coating also helps keep visors looking their best, avoiding the need for frequent replacements. Additionally, this coating is more cost-effective than replacing scuffed visors and can even help with the longevity of a visor’s life span.

UV Protection

UV protection standards are in place to safeguard players from harmful sun exposure during games. This is crucial, especially during day games in sunny conditions. UV protection ensures players will never have to worry about being exposed to the sun’s rays during play, reducing the likelihood of skin damage and other forms of discomfort. Many visors now come with a built-in coating that provides UV protection, making it much easier for players to reap the benefits of this important safety feature.

Rules And Regulations

The NCAA, NFL, and National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) all have rules in place regarding the use of football visors. Generally speaking, all players are allowed to wear a clear or lightly tinted visor, regardless of position. However, helmets with dark-tinted visors are only allowed if the player requires corrective lenses or has a medical condition that necessitates the use of sunglasses. Additionally, any visor must be NFHS-approved and adhere to their color specifications.

NFL Regulations

Starting with the 1998 NFL season, the National Football League began regulating the types of helmet visors that might be worn, banning tinted visors. To wear a tinted visor on the field of play, a player must present the league with a doctor's certificate and gain approval from the league office, according to Section 4 of Article 3a of NFL rules. 

Players are allowed to wear clear visors without needing approval from the league. However, if an NFL official observes a player wearing an unauthorized visor, they will inform the player during the next change of possession. The player must remove the prohibited visor from their helmet before rejoining the game. If a player, previously warned about a visor violation, returns to the field without removing the visor, or is spotted wearing the unauthorized visor on the sideline, they may be taken out of the game and could face additional penalties from the league.

NCAA Regulations

The NCAA has established specific rules and guidelines regarding football visors, aimed at ensuring fairness and safety in college football. These regulations align with the same criteria for legal visors. NCAA-compliant visors must be transparent without any tint, and they must be constructed from molded or rigid materials. If a player is found using an unauthorized visor, their opponent's team will be granted a timeout, and the player with the non-compliant visor will be temporarily taken out of the game. They can only return once they've replaced their visor with one that meets NCAA standards

High School Football Regulations

High school football also enforces regulations on the use of football visors, focusing on the safety of young athletes. These rules tend to be stricter than NCAA guidelines. Visors used in high school football must be completely clear, with no tint or added substances. They should be crafted from rigid and molded materials without any metal components. Additionally, all high school players are required to keep their helmet chinstraps secured throughout the game to prevent visor detachment during play. If a player is spotted without a chinstrap or wearing an illegal visor, they'll be asked to sit out for one play until they've replaced it with one that adheres to all high school regulations.

Youth Football Regulations

Youth football leagues understand that the safety of their players is paramount and have created a set of regulations aimed at protecting young athletes. These rules are often stricter than those found in the NCAA and other higher levels of play. For example, youth players must wear clear, non-tinted visors made from rigid molded materials that don’t contain any metal elements. It is also mandatory for all high school players to wear their helmet chinstraps during games to prevent the visor from coming off during tackles or other contact plays. Failure to comply with these regulations will result in a one-play suspension until the correct equipment has been put on.

Usage Of Football Visors As A Face Shield

There are also certain areas where face shields (visors) are becoming more widely used. As the number of contact sport-related head injuries is on the rise, football visors have become increasingly popular among players of all ages for added protection.

Medical Clearance

Obtaining medical clearance for using football visors is essential, especially for players with specific health conditions. The evaluation process is crucial for player health and safety. For instance, the increased visibility that a face shield offers can help some players with vision impairments or other medical conditions.

Player Choice And Personal Preferences

Players have the freedom to choose visors for helmets based on their personal preferences. Rules and guidelines accommodate player comfort while maintaining safety standards during gameplay. A face shield gives players the choice to use more protection if necessary or desired.

Team Regulations And Rules

Teams may also set their own specific rules and regulations regarding visors on helmets, such as a mandatory face shield for all team members. These regulations are set in place to provide equal safety standards for everyone involved in the game.

Find The Right Visor For You From We Ball Sports! 

When you purchase a visor from WBS, you can trust that the product is designed for your safety and comfort. Our visors are designed to provide a secure fit while meeting all team and league regulations. With our range of sizes and styles, it’s easy to find the right one for every player. WBS visors give players the safety they need while allowing them to customize their look. Any football player can choose from different colors and designs to show off their style.

Browse our selection of football visors today to find the perfect fit for you. With WBS, we make sure that each player is protected with quality equipment every time they play. Don’t leave your football team unprotected—get the right gear from WBS!

Sports Equipment & Apparel Expert

Nehemiah Mitchell

About the Writer

Nehemiah is a former Division 1 football athlete who competed at Vanderbilt University. With over a decade of extensive sports experience, he now serves as the CEO of We Ball Sports, one of the rapidly emerging sports apparel retailers.