Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Researchers report data on head impacts in college football

Credit: Maggie Rowland/The Dartmouth
Joseph Crisco, Brown professor of orthopaedics and director of the bioengineering laboratory, and Russell Fiore, Brown’s head athletic trainer, have measured the frequency and location of head impacts in college football, position-by-position. Defensive linemen take the most hits; quarterbacks are the only players to be hit mostly from behind. Crisco, Fiore, and their collaborators report their findings in the Journal of Athletic Training.

Using special helmets equipped with accelerometers, researchers at Brown, Dartmouth and Virginia Tech tallied up significant blows to the head among players on their football teams during the 2007 season. The most battered player sustained 1,444 hits during practice and games. The study also reported on the direction of the hits and the number of hits by player position, leading to insights including that quarterbacks are hit from behind more than from any other direction.

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