Helmet Visors That Are Illegal To Use During Football Games

By Alex Mercer

November 2, 2018

Football visors have been around since the 1980s, but current rules made completely tinted visors illegal. In the NFL, players can wear dark-tinted visors. In college and high school, dark-tinted visors are illegal.

All visors are at the referee and training staff’s discretion whether or not they can be worn. Now, allowing a dark-tinted visor is mainly for concussions and injury reasons.  

For unconscious players, the training staff will need to see through the tint of the visor. The medical team had a tough time looking through the visor, never mind looking under it.  

However, specific visors are legal. This article will show you what visors are illegal in football.

Why Do Football Players Use Visors?

Football players use visors to:

  1. Protect eyes from any physical harm (poked, scratched, or gouged)
  2. Adds a protective layer for eyes that are sensitive to light
  3. Improve the style of the helmet

Protect Eyes From Any Physical Harm

Have you ever been at the bottom of a pile during a game, and the opponent reaches in your face mask? Ever lost a contact lens from getting poked in the eye?

Visors can help protect against these situations. Most visors sold today are easy to attach to helmets. Typically, plastic clips or zip ties can secure a visor from being knocked off or dislodged from a helmet.

Eyes Sensitive To Light

It’s common for players to get a doctor’s note so they can wear a dark-tinted visor.

This helps reduce the sensitivity of light in players’ eyes when they are trying to catch the football.

It’s important to note that a referee may rule against the doctor’s note if he feels that it’s not safe for the player to wear. Referees may argue that if a player goes unconscious, the athletic trainers need to be able to see inside the helmet.

Improve The Style Of The Helmet

As mentioned above – plain and simple, it looks cool! Knowing you’re the best running back on the team with a tinted visor and you’re all swagged out, boosts your confidence. If you’re a wide receiver torching a corner all game, and he can’t stop you, staring him down with a tinted visor adds to the effect.

See Our Complete List Of Helpful Football Articles Here

Types Of Football Visors

Smoke Grey Visors

All black tint has been ruled out of any high school and college play. Gone are the days of Willis McGahee and Ed Reed in college with the dark visors on the field.  

smoke visor

The all-black visor look was intimidating, but it also helped players block out the bright lights if their eyes were sensitive to light.

Below is a visual reference of the smoke grey visor.

oakley visor

Companies like Oakley, Under Armour, and EliteTek have smoke-grey visors that are legal and easy to assemble.  

Polarized/Mirror Visors

Polarized visors are commonly used to reflect the sun or the bright lights – similar to how a baseball player or golfer would wear sunglasses.  

Polarized/mirror face masks have become wildly popular over the years. Professional athletes (such as Le’Veon Bell) wear polarized visors.

The reflective tint will often match the team’s primary or secondary colors. These face masks have a bright color reflective, reflecting both the sun and other emitted lights.

polarized visor

Team Color Visors

Blue and green visors have also increased in popularity in football. Players can now match their team colors to specific tints in the visor.

Team color visor

The rules still apply, as noted above, as players can wear specific tints based on their league rules and the referee’s discretion.  

Words/Images On The Visors

One of the newest players in the visor game is 2G visors. These visors are slick. We had one custom-made for getting Hyped.

All you do is pick which style you want and send it to them. We used zip ties to lock it into place, and it was good to go.

Get Hyped Visor

Their website mentions that these visors are only legal for All-Star Games or practices.

Legal Football Visors In Football

We dug through nearly a hundred different types of visors and compiled a list that was easy to assemble, cost-worthy, and, more importantly, legal.

We do want to make a note that all visors are at the referee’s discretion. If he deems it illegal, it will have to be taken off.  

EliteTek Clear Football Shield

Elitetek football shield


Football visors that are illegal are the completely blacked out ones.

The black tint doesn’t allow training staff or referees to see through. This creates a problem for trainers to see your eyes if an injury does occur.

We recommend you check with your coach and league officials before purchasing a dark-colored face shield.

Related Questions

What Are Football Visors Made Of?

Football visors are made of polycarbonate plastic, which provides a clear and protective view for the player.  

How Do I Clean My Football Visor?

Football visors should be cleaned with soap and warm water. Reapply the soap and water until it’s spotless. It’s important to check the clarity of the visor before it’s reapplied back to the helmet.  

How Do I Install A Football Visor?

Football visors typically come with clips, which can be screwed on and off to securely lock in the face mask. Players who lose the clips may also use zip ties to fasten the visor into place.  

Which one is your favorite? Is there a visor you’d recommend?

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

Our work has been featured on platforms like Mashable.com, SVG.com, and XXL.com.

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