The Science of Player Safety
Protecting the head with more than helmets
“Every athlete is different,” Fraser says. “A blow that results in a concussion for one person is just a routine hit to another player. In football, players experience thousands of impacts over their careers that don't lead to injury.”
Relatively little historical data exists for researchers to build on, since SRC in sports only began to draw widespread attention in the last 15 to 20 years, Fraser says.
To collect new data on how and when SRCs occur, Fraser and the Texas State football team are using accelerometers — headbands with embedded sensors that measure the force and duration of impacts and the speed and direction of players’ head movement.
“The heart of our mission is to have all of the research we do be clinically relevant. We want our work to directly benefit the athletes, coaches and athletic trainers,” Fraser says.
From the Center for Disease Control:
- Up to 45 million American youth participate in organized youth sports and recreational activities.
- Across all age groups, experts estimate there are 1.6 million sports-related concussions per year.