The sight of a player walking out to bat in Cricket wearing a piece of protective headwear is established practice. However, this was not always the case, players only started to wear protective headwear during the 1970’s after a series of serious injuries to players.  The early helmets are unrecognisable compared to  today’s better developed and tested systems.

Today, cricketers from all over the world opt to wear protective headwear. Despite the obvious strides in helmet safety in recent decades, injuries to wearers remain prevalent.  A proportion of these have been attributed to the ball breaching the gap between the peak and the faceguard (grille) or the faceguard being forced onto the face by the ball.  Both of which can result in damage to the skull and/or soft tissue. A number of recent high-profile examples of such incidents has pushed the issue to the forefront of public consciousness. These types of incident are becoming increasingly unacceptable from within the cricketing community.



In 2013 an investigative study driven by the International Cricket Council (ICC) with the intention of researching new test methods for ensuring safety in cricket helmets was initiated.  This was undertaken in collaboration with Loughborough University, a number of medical experts and the helmet manufacturers themselves. This resulted in the redevelopment of the British Test Standard (EN BS 7928); which includes a new projectile testing methodology. The standard is intended to help identify whether or not the ball passes between the helmet peak and the faceguard as well as the ability of the faceguard to withstand an impact and not compress onto the wearer’s face.

Prior to joining the Progressive team in 2013,  Dr James Jones was involved in this testing, helping Dr Harland and Dr Halkon, of the Sports Technology Institute at Loughborough University, to develop the new Standard – with specific attention given to the projectile testing.

The amended standard now utilises a compressed air cannon to launch a projectile (cricket ball), at realistic impact velocities.  These can range from 25-31m/s (56-69mph); speeds which are considered to be comparable to fast bowlers once the ball has bounced. Impacts are generated at a number of different locations around the front and side of the helmet including the grille, peak and shell. The intention of the additional testing scenarios is to reduce the likelihood of injury within the professional and amateur game.


Since the new standards inception, Progressive Sports have been working with a number of leading helmet manufacturers to help test their prototypes in line with the new safety standard. We are able to offer projectile tests, utilising a compressed air cannon to fire a ball at varying locations on a rigidly fixed headform and impact attenuation tests in which a headform and helmet are dropped onto a rigidly fixed anvil (emulating a ball strike to the helmet shell). Analysis of high-speed video camera footage can then be used to determine whether or not penetration and/or facial contact occurred.

This service has proved invaluable for all of the manufacturers that have utilised it, informing on potential design alterations. Our services have been particularly useful for clients as a final check before helmets are processed and sent for official inspection by certified bodies.

If you would like any more information of testing protective equipment in cricket, please contact


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"We have worked with Progressive for over 2 years and Ross, James and Olly are a great team to work with in sourcing protective materials, testing their properties and to help design the final product. They are also a joy to work with.

Peter Wright

Managing Director

Gunn & Moore

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Progressive Sports Technologies maintain a highly skilled research and development team, at-hand to support your project requirements, large and small.

Progressive Sports Technologies Ltd
Loughborough University Sports Technology Institute
Loughborough Science & Enterprise Park
1 Oakwood Drive
LE11 3QF
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)1509 564809
Fax: +44 (0)1509 564820

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