Hit Count Symposium

If you have a son or daughter in Little League Baseball you probably have heard of a pitch count.  Basically it is a set number of pitches a pitcher can throw in a certain time period.  The reasoning seems simple and sound, in my opinion; to protect the overuse of the arm/elbow.  Sure, there are many coaches out there in the baseball world that know what they are doing and will only throw players when they are fully rested.  On the other hand there a plenty of coaches out there that either don’t know or knowingly put players at risk when it comes to overuse of the pitching arm.

This has a relation to the concussion world; well, Sports Legacy Institute hopes so.  In an effort to be PROACTIVE about issues surrounding concussions and especially the youth players of collision sports SLI has created an initiative to limit, log and research “hits” absorbed.  I have blogged about it here when the initiative began.

Like many things that are new and different, people often dismiss or fail to grasp what is being attempted or cannot see what may be accomplished by doing them.  In regards to the Hit Count, it to is simple; limit the number of hits one sustains while playing sports – collision sports to begin with.

I may not be the worlds biggest advocate for sensor technology as we currently know it, however this approach is different and unique.  It is something that should be paid attention to, if not for the currently proposed reasons, at the very least the research capability.  How can we know if we don’t know.  In other words; how can we measure if we are making a difference with any of our so-called “advances in concussion issues” if there is not something to measure it against.  For a small niche in the medical community that is all about “baselines” and return to “normal” our peers seem to get all squirmy when people want to find this baseline.

The Hit Count most likely will not be the panacea which our culture so desperately wants but this is at least a step in the right direction.  Below you can see the full press release on the Symposium.  I cannot attend on July 15th, but I have been afforded two (2) transferable registrations.  Please contact me if you will be in the area and are looking to attend.  Without further ado:


For Immediate Release —Thursday, June 12, 2014

Media Contact: Chelsea McLeod (781) 262-3324 or cmcleod@sportslegacy.org

Sports Legacy Institute Announces 2014 Hit Count® Symposium to be Held on Tuesday, July 15, at the Boston University School of Medicine to Advance Discussion on Use of Head Impact Sensors in Sports to Prevent Concussions

Co-Chaired by Dr. Robert Cantu and Dr. Gerry Gioia, event will gather researchers, athletic trainers, coaches, parents, athletes, medical professionals, and administrators to explore how Hit Count® Certified sensors can be used to improve brain safety 

(BOSTON) — The Sports Legacy Institute (SLI)—a Boston-based 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to advancing the study, treatment, and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and at-risk groups— will hold the 2014 Hit Count® Symposium on Tuesday, July 15, at the Boston University School of Medicine Bakst Auditorium from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The symposium will be webcast live.

Inspired by Pitch Counts in youth baseball and Step Counts in fitness, the SLI Hit Count® Program was officially launched in January 2014 in an effort to develop a universal and simple method of using sensors to monitor head impacts. Prior to announcing the program, SLI worked with an independent group of expert advisors to set a Hit Count® Threshold, which is designed to be used by any sensor to provide a common method of interpreting impact data. The advisors recommended that every impact exceeding 20 should count as a Hit. Hit Count®Certified* sensors provide a simple way to measure and compare brain trauma exposure between teams, athletes, and sports. GForce Tracker and Triax are the first companies with Hit Count® Certified sensor devices, with more to come.

Symposium co-chairs Dr. Robert Cantu, SLI Founding Medical Director and Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at the Boston University School of Medicine, and Dr. Gerry Gioia, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neuropsychology at Children’s National Health System and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, will bring together national experts on sports concussions, biomechanics, and sensors, along with leaders in sports. A partial list of speakers and panelists includes:

  • Joe Bertagna, Commissioner, Hockey East
  • Stefan Duma, PhD, Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences
  • David Gross, Commissioner, Major League Lacrosse
  • Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, University of North Carolina
  • Blaine Hoshizaki, PhD, University of Ottawa
  • Ann McKee, MD, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Bill Meehan, MD, The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention
  • Chris Nowinski, Sports Legacy Institute
  • John Pizzi, Athletic Director, Riverdale Country School

The symposium will provide the first public forum to explore cutting-edge, practical ways parents, coaches, and medical professionals can utilize sensors to advance athlete safety as well as concussion research. An additional goal is to develop best practices for research so that scientists around the world using sensors can pool data and accelerate learnings.

The event program will include the following modules:

  1. Evidence Base for Limited Brain Trauma Exposure
  2. Hit Count® Program – Threshold and Certification
  3. Current Brain Trauma Exposure Data
  4. Building Meaning to Data: Setting a Research Agenda
  5. Using Hit Count® Sensors: Best Practices

SLI welcomes athletic trainers, parents, coaches, athletes, medical professionals, researchers, public health officials, school and sports administrators, and interested members of the public to attend the symposium. Athletic trainers are eligible to receive CEUs for attending.

Hit Count® Symposium Educational Partners include Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts, CoachUp, BrainLine, PinkConcussions.com, SportsCAPP.com, the Kevin Turner Foundation, the Concussion Blog, StopConcussions.com, and the Brookline Recreation Department.

To learn more, register, or find out how to view the webcast, visit HitCount.org or contact Christine Perocchi at cperocchi@sportslegacy.orgor (781) 819-5707.

*SLI developed a Hit Count® Certification test in cooperation with the University of Ottawa to determine the reliability of the sensors. Sensors must pass the lab-based test to become Hit Count® Certified. There are four categories of certification: Football, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, and Unhelmeted (for sports like soccer). The Threshold and Certification development was sponsored by Battle Sports Science, GForce Tracker, i1 Biometrics, Impakt Protective, MC10, and Triax.

# # #

About SLI

The Sports Legacy Institute (SLI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded in 2007 by Dr. Robert Cantu and Christopher Nowinski to “solve the concussion crisis” by advancing the study, treatment, and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and other at-risk groups. SLI achieves this mission through education and prevention programs, advocacy, policy development, and support of medical research. SLI collaborates with the Boston University CTE Center and supports the VA-BU-SLI CTE Brain Bank. For more information please visit SportsLegacy.orgFacebook, or Twitter.

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