Virginia Tech Responds to NOCSAE Press Release

Yesterday we posted the NOCSAE statement regarding the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings, as with most things in life this is only one side of the story.  NOCSAE is doing what they feel is in their best interest; likewise the rating system and its researchers – namely Stefan Duma – are doing what they thing is good work.

Fortunately for everyone out there this blog reaches far and wide and provides an outlet for openness and comments from all that choose to do so.  As I have stated many times I try to bring a balanced source for information regarding concussions.  With that being said, Stefan Duma reached out to us to clear up some of the information from NOCSAE, from his and the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings.  Below is the email I received from Stefan;  Continue reading

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Speaking of Helmets, NOCSAE Press Release

I was forwarded this NOCSAE press release from a very prominent AT in the NCAA, and although the sender declined to comment, it was his intention to get mine.  I feel it would be good to comment and publish this press release here.  You can find the press release, dated July 3, 2013 HERE.

The purpose of the information provided by NOCSAE was to clear up some perceived and often misunderstandings about the Virgina Tech Helmet Ratings for football helmets.  Like NOCASE, I encourage the research into helmets, the first line of defense against blunt force trauma to the head in collision sports (rodeo included).  However, there are some things that may need explaining.

Now by no means am I taking sides here, I feel Stefan Duma and his cohorts do a tremendous job, as well as the current helmet makers.  I feel that everyone is doing their part to provide Continue reading

It may be Pee-Wee Football but there is nothing Pee-Wee about the hits

PBS will be airing a report today about the hits youth football players take while playing the sport that so many love;

Kids who play football make — and take — hits to the head just as hard as any high school, college or NFL player. That’s what the data show; it’s not partisan, it’s not political and it’s not trying to suck the fun out of recreational sports. Journalist Stone Phillips delved into never-before-conducted research by Virgina Tech that could have a long-lasting impact on how little kids suit up for football.

The report by Stone Phillips will be recounting the work done by the Wake Forest/Virgina Tech researchers, posted here in February.

 

Research From The Now

Virginia Tech and Wake Forest researchers Ray W. Daniel, Steven Rowson, and Stefan M. Duma have published a new research article on impact telemetry on youth football players.  The abstract is as follows;

The head impact exposure for athletes involved in football at the college and high school levels has been well documented; however, the head impact exposure of the youth population involved with football has yet to be investigated, despite its dramatically larger population. The objective of this study was to investigate the head impact exposure in youth football. Impacts were monitored using a custom 12 accelerometer array equipped inside the helmets of seven players aged 7–8 years old during each game and practice for an entire season. A total of 748 impacts were collected from the 7 participating players during the season, with an average of 107 impacts per player. Linear accelerations ranged from 10 to 100 g, and the rotational accelerations ranged from 52 to 7694 rad/s2. The majority of the high level impacts occurred during practices, with 29 of the 38 impacts above 40 g occurring in practices. Although less frequent, youth football can produce high head accelerations in the range of concussion causing impacts measured in adults. In order to minimize these most severe head impacts, youth football practices should be modified to eliminate high impact drills that do not replicate the game situations.

There are some very interesting findings in the abstract alone that need to be noted: Continue reading

Research Resource

Although the information on this blog at times can seem like it is based in opinion, that is truly not the case.  A vast majority of the education and awareness comes from much smarter individuals that spend time in the research field discovering things.  The largest problem with brain injury, especially concussions, is that we do not fully understand the dynamics of the human brain; secondarily we struggle with the exact concept of the injury.  More and more research is “hitting the press”, however it is geared toward/written for an audience that has background in science.

The occasional article will get media coverage that can redefine the information so it can be consumed by the public, similar to what is being done here.  Frankly, the general public (see coaches, teachers, parents, athletes) rarely spends time in the journals for information.  That is what ATC’s, MD’s, DO’s, PhD’s, etc. are for, right?

Recently the Annals of Biomedical Engineering (ABME) ran a special edition compiling 21 different articles as it relates to concussion from various authors.  The information is from a wide variety of perspectives: sports biomechanics, to automobile safety, to military blast events.  The online version of this issue was released earlier this month and it will be in print January 2012.

Here is a list of the articles (with links to abstracts); Continue reading

ESPN Looks At Virgina Tech Study

Gregg Easterbrook, writing for Page 2 on ESPN.com in his Tuesday Morning Quarterback wrote an article about the rating system for helmets that Dr. Stefan Duma presented in late spring.  As we covered it here; explaining that his data was in concert with our observational data on helmets.  In the Easterbrook article titled “Virginia Tech helmet research crucial“;

Now all that has changed. Researchers at Virginia Tech have produced the first brand-by-brand, model-by-model ranking for the likely concussion resistance of helmets. A star-rating system modeled on crash safety rankings for automobiles, the rankings clearly identify the best and worst helmets. Virginia Tech researchers give high marks to these helmets: the Riddell Speed, Riddell Revolution, Riddell Revolution IQ; the Schutt Ion 4D and Schutt DNA; and the Xenith X1. The Virginia Tech researchers give medium grades to the Schutt Air XP and Schutt Air Advantage. The Virginia Tech rankings warn players not to wear these helmets: the Riddell VSR4 and the Adams A2000.

Now the chilling part: the VSR4 — Virginia Tech’s second-lowest-rated helmet — was the most common helmet in the NFL Continue reading