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The Helmet That Could Save Football. (Video)


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http://www.ien.com/product-development/video/20857515/vicis-zero1-helmet-could-save-football

 

technology company may have the solution to concussion prevention.

Although this week brought us Opening Day in Major League Baseball, it’s never a bad time to think about America’s largest revenue-producing sport – football.

More specifically, one of the most prominent challenges facing the $12-billion National Football League is concussion prevention. Although a renewed focus on proper tackling techniques (thank you Coach Braem) will help, the primary focus remains on developing better helmets.

Here’s where Seattle-based Vicis enters the playing field. Careful to depict themselves as a medical technology company instead of a sporting goods manufacturer, Vicis has reportedly spent over $20 million dollars developing a helmet that works sort of like a car bumper-bed mattress combo.

Dubbed the Zero1, it uses four separate layers to slow the forces of impact.

The top layer absorbs impact by deforming the part of the helmet taking the hit – kind of like a car bumper. 

The next layer uses a bunch of columned materials that bend and buckle somewhat like smaller, more reactive mattress springs that help distribute and mitigate the impact.

The third layer, or Arch Shell, replaces the inflatable bladder of traditional helmets with a customized system that matches head measurements with one of three shells.

The Form Liner makes up the final layer, working with the Arch Shell to conform to a player’s head. The ZERO1 offers 60 different sizing combinations in helping to disburse force accordingly. Its’ design also provides a wider field of view in aiding reaction times.

Former NFL players working with Vicis include Tony Dorsett, Jerry Rice and Roger Staubach.

Moving forward, Vicis plans to have the ZERO1 assessed by Virginia Tech’s STAR rating system for concussion protection, which has essentially become the industry standard.

Even as the company awaits these results, it has taken orders and is planning to ship helmets before the 2017 season.

Excess forehead pressure and chinstraps unbuckling were issues during testing, which Vicis claims to have addressed, but the bigger issue is one of price: the ZERO1 comes in at $1,500/helmet. This compares to $400 for a top-of-the line high school helmet.

Vicis acknowledges that the price is beyond high school and youth players and that while they are targeting pro and college teams, the company is also exploring partnerships and fundraising options to make their helmet more widely available.

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I suspect it's too little too late.  The more you learn about CTE the scarier it becomes.  People have been finding it in soccer players now!  Soccer!!

Heading the ball is non zero impact, and it dings harder than one might think... but it's absolutely nothing compared to football, even at the high school level.  So since I very much doubt any helmet is going to reverse Newtons laws of inertia, I don't see how things are going to end well.

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7 hours ago, Fantasy Island said:

60940b_lg.jpeg

You wear this, and you don't lead with your head.

This is correct.

Keep making helmets better and defenders will have no fear and lead with the head and hit even harder, Those old leather helmets prevented players from leading with the head because players probably did not feel protected enough to do so. Players will always adjust to what they are wearing. Back in those days of the leather helmets so many other factors caused head injuries like head slapping at the Line of scrimmage which have since been outlawed. I'm guessing the only issue with a helmet of this style and material would be the difficulty of attaching a face mask. I think the current helmets are a major problem and cause players to play much faster and hit much harder and if they keep improving the current helmet design they will continue going down the wrong path. The entire design needs to be changed . 

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2 hours ago, Jet_Engine1 said:

It will only work if you wear it inside your skull. Brain injuries are generally caused by the Coup-Contracoup mechanism in which the brain impacts the area of the skull at the point of injury, and rebounds to impact the opposite point of the skull. It's more a deceleration/rebound injury. Helmets protect the exterior of the head from blunt injury or fracture.

 

All bunker gear has a label that states, "Firefighting is an inherently dangerous activity". Period. Well, football is also inherently dangerous, but instead of making $70K a year, Football players can earn generational wealth for themselves and their families. If they don't want to risk chronic injury, they can utilize the college scholarship and become educated (also an amazing opportunity granted to Talented players), or simply don't play.

 

But these guys that make a career of the game, become rich and famous, and then cry about their CTE when they turn 60 get no sympathy from me. I face an exponentially greater chance of Cancer because of my occupation. I face going into fires, but I understand that Firefighting is an inherently dangerous activity. And I do it anyway to provide for my family, and because I enjoy the job. 

 

Football is an inherently dangerous activity. Play at your own risk. Or don't. But don't make millions, play for 10 years, and then cry that football hurt you. Man the **** up.

 

The change that needs to be made is that the NFL needs to recognize and address the fact that banging into 300 pound dudes that run a 4.8 40 can be bad for you, and take some of their BILLIONS of dollara and provide a decent pension/health care plan for their employees.

Yup.  It's the crash within the crash that causes the concussion.  The brain movement within the skull. The helmet can't stop that. Analogies to the automobile crash. A great external bumper system can minimize the damage in the front end collision. But the people and items in the car are still going to be flung around within it and perhaps thru the windshield unless they have seat belts on. No degree of external protection is going to stop the laws of physics about the internal movement and crash of the brain into the  cranium.

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21 hours ago, New York Mick said:

Use Rugby pads. 

My 15 year old daughter started playing rugby with a couple of her basketball friends. Saw a couple tournetments. Very interesting and peculiar sport. She actually really took to it quick and loves it. A lot of her basketball skills translate well. Plus she grew up playing football in the yard with her two brothers. Don't judge me, somebody had to be the tackling dummy. LOL 

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17 minutes ago, The Crusher said:

My 15 year old daughter started playing rugby with a couple of her basketball friends. Saw a couple tournetments. Very interesting and peculiar sport. She actually really took to it quick and loves it. A lot of her basketball skills translate well. Plus she grew up playing football in the yard with her two brothers. Don't judge me, somebody had to be the tackling dummy. LOL 

It's a great sport. I played till I was 40. I'm paying for it now though. 

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47 minutes ago, New York Mick said:

It's a great sport. I played till I was 40. I'm paying for it now though. 

Her league has some pretty solid safety guidelines. No wrapping and lifting to slam. Wrap and drive through similar to the "heads up" safety program in Highfoorball. No tackling above shoulder or head grabbing while tackling. I noticed during the scrum their heads get squished. Offered buy my daughter a scrum helmet but she easmt interested. Her favorite part is the ruck. She is always first in. She gets to commit all those basketball fouls she always wanted to without it getting called. Pushy by nature that child. 

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15 hours ago, T0mShane said:

If this helmet performs at even 15% of what it promises in terms of increased safety, the NFL should make sure that it gets to every inner city high school program in the country. They won't, but they should.

advertizing for the NFL is way more important then the HS kids ...no ?

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On 4/9/2017 at 3:46 AM, Smashmouth said:

This is correct.

Keep making helmets better and defenders will have no fear and lead with the head and hit even harder, Those old leather helmets prevented players from leading with the head because players probably did not feel protected enough to do so. Players will always adjust to what they are wearing. Back in those days of the leather helmets so many other factors caused head injuries like head slapping at the Line of scrimmage which have since been outlawed. I'm guessing the only issue with a helmet of this style and material would be the difficulty of attaching a face mask. I think the current helmets are a major problem and cause players to play much faster and hit much harder and if they keep improving the current helmet design they will continue going down the wrong path. The entire design needs to be changed . 

^^ "Back in my day we use leather helmets hand crafted  from the Scrotum of the finest longhorn cattle, cleats made by pounding nails through the bottom of combat boots and a jock made of burlap with a tin cup for our junk!"  

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On 4/8/2017 at 10:15 PM, Hael said:

I suspect it's too little too late.  The more you learn about CTE the scarier it becomes.  People have been finding it in soccer players now!  Soccer!!

Heading the ball is non zero impact, and it dings harder than one might think... but it's absolutely nothing compared to football, even at the high school level.  So since I very much doubt any helmet is going to reverse Newtons laws of inertia, I don't see how things are going to end well.

Girls soccer is a super high concussion sport. 

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19 hours ago, Dcat said:

Yup.  It's the crash within the crash that causes the concussion.  The brain movement within the skull. The helmet can't stop that. Analogies to the automobile crash. A great external bumper system can minimize the damage in the front end collision. But the people and items in the car are still going to be flung around within it and perhaps thru the windshield unless they have seat belts on. No degree of external protection is going to stop the laws of physics about the internal movement and crash of the brain into the  cranium.

Exactly.  There was a great explanation of that in the Concussion movie about how rams and other mammals who lead with their heads have, essentially, internal shock absorbers in the skull to protect the brain.  Unless we can start mutating people, it is always going to be an issue.

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2 hours ago, SMC said:

Exactly.  There was a great explanation of that in the Concussion movie about how rams and other mammals who lead with their heads have, essentially, internal shock absorbers in the skull to protect the brain.  Unless we can start mutating people, it is always going to be an issue.

I think you're all dismissing this too readily.  Stuntmen jump off of buildings, but they don't get hurt because they land in a big air bag, and decelerate over some distance.  The deceleration force is what causes the damage.  And that force is directly affected by the distance in which they decelerate.  So if the helmets are bigger, or more specifically if there's more give, so that the head can decelerate consistently over a longer distance, it *will* reduce the internal force / damage.

 

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On 4/9/2017 at 3:46 AM, Smashmouth said:

This is correct.

Keep making helmets better and defenders will have no fear and lead with the head and hit even harder, Those old leather helmets prevented players from leading with the head because players probably did not feel protected enough to do so. Players will always adjust to what they are wearing. Back in those days of the leather helmets so many other factors caused head injuries like head slapping at the Line of scrimmage which have since been outlawed. I'm guessing the only issue with a helmet of this style and material would be the difficulty of attaching a face mask. I think the current helmets are a major problem and cause players to play much faster and hit much harder and if they keep improving the current helmet design they will continue going down the wrong path. The entire design needs to be changed . 

This has been parroted by so many, yet is so utterly false.  Not picking on you or your opinion, fact is, I've heard this from many of the football talking heads and lots of fans.  Its the sort of thing that, if you say it enough, becomes accepted, without any research or evidence. From history.com: "In what the Chicago Tribune referred to as a “death harvest,” the 1905 football season resulted in 19 player deaths and 137 serious injuries."  

Per Time.com, "That risk is a problem that has lurked on the football field since the end of the nineteenth century. "Football killed 40 boys and young men during the 1931 season," TIME reported in the Dec. 14, 1931, issue. "To approximate that record of deaths it is necessary to go back to 1905 when more than a score of players died and President Roosevelt stopped the roughness of play." 

The injuries and fatalities due to head injury are far lower (very far) than existed in the early days of leather helmets.  It's not close.  

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4 hours ago, thshadow said:

I think you're all dismissing this too readily.  Stuntmen jump off of buildings, but they don't get hurt because they land in a big air bag, and decelerate over some distance.  The deceleration force is what causes the damage.  And that force is directly affected by the distance in which they decelerate.  So if the helmets are bigger, or more specifically if there's more give, so that the head can decelerate consistently over a longer distance, it *will* reduce the internal force / damage.

 

The stuntman jumping off a building into a big air bag isn't being protected from concussions.  He's being protected from splatterring himself all over the sidewalk.  

The brain and skull are essentially jello in a glass jar.  Reams of bubble wrap will protect the jar from breaking if you drop it, but nothing is going to stop the jello from smacking against the glass when the jar hits the floor. 

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1 hour ago, sirlancemehlot said:

This has been parroted by so many, yet is so utterly false.  Not picking on you or your opinion, fact is, I've heard this from many of the football talking heads and lots of fans.  Its the sort of thing that, if you say it enough, becomes accepted, without any research or evidence. From history.com: "In what the Chicago Tribune referred to as a “death harvest,” the 1905 football season resulted in 19 player deaths and 137 serious injuries."  

Per Time.com, "That risk is a problem that has lurked on the football field since the end of the nineteenth century. "Football killed 40 boys and young men during the 1931 season," TIME reported in the Dec. 14, 1931, issue. "To approximate that record of deaths it is necessary to go back to 1905 when more than a score of players died and President Roosevelt stopped the roughness of play." 

The injuries and fatalities due to head injury are far lower (very far) than existed in the early days of leather helmets.  It's not close.  

are you actually trying to claim that the type of helmet can alter the FACT that internally, the brain smashes into the skull no matter what helmet you are wearing?  Before the advent of the modern helmet of course there were more injuries.  The modern helmet is terrific at preventing external injuries to the head and face.  But the fact remains that with any fast impact collission, no matter how well the outside is protected (i.e. your car's exterior safety design), does NOT change the fact that if you are not seatbelted in, you will be flying through the interior of the car no matter how good your external protection is.  This is a FACT, not opinion.  It's physics.  Just ask Isaac Newton or any concussion specialist.  Better helmets are a good thing and will reduce the impact to the skull, but the speed of the hit will not change the speed of the brain's interior movement within your skull, and when it hits the cranium, that's a concussion.

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Again, if you're saying that a helmet's design doesn't make a difference, that's not correct.  It's simple physics.  If the brain is jello, and you drop it on a pillow, or you drop it on a concrete floor, the force of impact will be reduced with the pillow.  It's because of the distance in which it decelerates.  

At the risk of being too technical (though this is just high school physics):

F = ma
a = 1/2 * (v^2 / x)

So if your head is traveling at some velocity v, and it decelerates to a stop, the force of the deceleration is inversely proportional to the distance in which it stops.  If you double the distance, you halve the force.

That's how crumple zones work in cars.  The size of the crumple zone is extra space in which to decelerate, which dissipates the force of the collision.

A helmet could certainly have a "crumple zone" (though it can also be elastic, so it doesn't have to be permanently deformed with an impact).  If you double the size of this "crumple zone", you will halve the force of the blow.

Obviously, even running and cutting sharply will cause your brain to slosh around.  But helmet design (and size) can definitely decrease the forces, and presumably reduce CTE.  (Who knows if it can "cure" it, however.)

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dcat said:

are you actually trying to claim that the type of helmet can alter the FACT that internally, the brain smashes into the skull no matter what helmet you are wearing?  Before the advent of the modern helmet of course there were more injuries.  The modern helmet is terrific at preventing external injuries to the head and face.  But the fact remains that with any fast impact collission, no matter how well the outside is protected (i.e. your car's exterior safety design), does NOT change the fact that if you are not seatbelted in, you will be flying through the interior of the car no matter how good your external protection is.  This is a FACT, not opinion.  It's physics.  Just ask Isaac Newton or any concussion specialist.  Better helmets are a good thing and will reduce the impact to the skull, but the speed of the hit will not change the speed of the brain's interior movement within your skull, and when it hits the cranium, that's a concussion.

what he also does not say in his post is that in those days players were doing things that are now outlawed in the NFL like head slapping and god knows what else. 

The only thing that will reduce concussions is by slowing down the speed of the game.

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1 hour ago, Dcat said:

Better helmets are a good thing and will reduce the impact to the skull, but the speed of the hit will not change the speed of the brain's interior movement within your skull, and when it hits the cranium, that's a concussion.

I think you're saying that you think the helmet will not affect the movement of the brain inside your skull.  That's clearly not true.  Bang your head against a wall, or bang it against a padded wall - and it should be obvious that one does more damage than the other.

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1 minute ago, thshadow said:

I think you're saying that you think the helmet will not affect the movement of the brain inside your skull.  That's clearly not true.  Bang your head against a wall, or bang it against a padded wall - and it should be obvious that one does more damage than the other.

this is a bad example compared to whats going on in the NFl when some impacts are players running at speeds of 20 + MPH and colliding ...call me when you throw your head aganst a wall at that speed if you can.

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14 minutes ago, Smashmouth said:

this is a bad example compared to whats going on in the NFl when some impacts are players running at speeds of 20 + MPH and colliding ...

The force is proportional to v squared - so yes, increasing the speed *greatly* increases the force involved.  Better helmets will still reduce that force - but it's quite possible that it won't make a significant difference in concussions / outcomes.

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8 minutes ago, thshadow said:

The force is proportional to v squared - so yes, increasing the speed *greatly* increases the force involved.  Better helmets will still reduce that force - but it's quite possible that it won't make a significant difference in concussions / outcomes.

thats why the leather helmet theory seems to be a good one. Obviously it does not have to be leather it could be any material, but it will reduce the possibilities of players leading with the head and hitting with full force since they will be more protective of their heads . 

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38 minutes ago, Smashmouth said:

thats why the leather helmet theory seems to be a good one. Obviously it does not have to be leather it could be any material, but it will reduce the possibilities of players leading with the head and hitting with full force since they will be more protective of their heads . 

It's a bit more than theory at this point. Book's been out on this one for a while. Rugby players suffer far less from head injuries and it's because of technique and being disincentivized to lead with your head.

bitonti and I have been talking about this for a while. If football is still around in 30-40 years it's going to look a lot different than it does now. They are going to have to change things if they want to survive. The college and pro levels of the sport are dependent on parents enrolling their kids and that is happening at an astronomically lower rate right now.

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