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We’re Gonna Crush ’em! Then We’re Gonna Analyze The Data!

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Concussions are a major problem in all contact sports, and the NFL is turning to technology to help understand and prevent these injuries.

A pilot program is being set up in which accelerometers will be placed in the helmets of players to measure the force from these impacts, the Washington Post reports.

The program will also put accelerometers into mouthpieces and earpieces to get a larger data set to the force experienced in different parts of the head.

The biggest problem in understanding exactly what type of hit causes a concussion is the variability. Said Kevin Guskiewicz, a committee member and chairman of the department of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina,

We are currently not where we’d like to be in understanding what an 80-G impact means relative to a 40-G impact. . . . My point has been all along if we don’t start somewhere – like now – we’ll never know,

The data could not only help players learn to better protect themselves, but also lead to the development of better helmets.

There is a helmet which has been in development for about 8 years, called the Gladiator, which reduces force of impact by 20 – 25 percent. Beyond that, however, no new developments are on the horizon.

I love it when sports and physics intersect in a post.