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The Helmet That Could Save Football. (Video)


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8 hours ago, RutgersJetFan said:

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.

I have not read much on the subject but its a way I have felt for some time. It would be interesting to see the impact such a move would have on the pro game and how its played.

I played football throughout my youth including HS football and when I played with my friends at an earlier stage and we played tackle football with no equipment at all you could see a drastic difference, we were much more timid without all the gear and helmets. There were very few diving tackles or hits in general and its slowed us down to the point you were dragging your opponent to the ground rather than using so called proper technique. You then have to ask the question... Will that take some of the excitement out of the game ? Because I'm pretty sure it will change the game by a large margin.

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14 hours ago, RutgersJetFan said:

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.

I met DeMaurice Smith at a conference at the end of March.  Seemed like a great guy.  His son has a college scholarship and he's not playing football.  That is a growing problem.

Parents are directing their kids to other sports.

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6 hours ago, Smashmouth said:

I have not read much on the subject but its a way I have felt for some time. It would be interesting to see the impact such a move would have on the pro game and how its played.

I played football throughout my youth including HS football and when I played with my friends at an earlier stage and we played tackle football with no equipment at all you could see a drastic difference, we were much more timid without all the gear and helmets. There were very few diving tackles or hits in general and its slowed us down to the point you were dragging your opponent to the ground rather than using so called proper technique. You then have to ask the question... Will that take some of the excitement out of the game ? Because I'm pretty sure it will change the game by a large margin.

Probably yeah, and my guess is when it does it becomes politicized like everything else does nowadays. But the reality of this issue is not complicated at all; if high school kids do not play football, the sport will die. Meaning it's an issue almost 100% dependent on parents. Have to preemptively solve that before it's too late.

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5 minutes ago, SMC said:

I met DeMaurice Smith at a conference at the end of March.  Seemed like a great guy.  His son has a college scholarship and he's not playing football.  That is a growing problem.

Parents are directing their kids to other sports.

Every survey done on this winds up being between 30-50% with respect to parents letting their kids play or not. That's very bad. Good for baseball and basketball, and even MMA and soccer, but bad for football.

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14 hours ago, RutgersJetFan said:

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.

Lacrosse is a strong challenger to football in high school already. The number of kids that played freshman football and lacrosse then stopped football to play lacrosse from siphmore year on is pretty significant. I know it only one area but I imagine it's happening in most places. Especially affluent areas. Lacrosse is hockey type expensive to have a kid play. 

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12 minutes ago, RutgersJetFan said:

Every survey done on this winds up being between 30-50% with respect to parents letting their kids play or not. That's very bad. Good for baseball and basketball, and even MMA and soccer, but bad for football.

My two closest friends have sons about the same age as mine (12-13).  One friend's son and my son play basketball while the other friend has his son in football.  When the group of friends and spouses  found out about the other friend putting his son in football, we were aghast.  It's that visceral for parents.

5 minutes ago, The Crusher said:

Lacrosse is a strong challenger to football in high school already. The number of kids that played freshman football and lacrosse then stopped football to play lacrosse from siphmore year on is pretty significant. I know it only one area but I imagine it's happening in most places. Especially affluent areas. Lacrosse is hockey type expensive to have a kid play. 

Spot on, Crusher.  That's what DeMaurice Smith's son is doing.  You see that alot where families can afford the equipment.  Otherwise it's basketball or soccer.

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17 hours ago, thshadow said:

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.)

 

 

 

The brain is not just a hunk of jello though it's jello in a stone case. The relevant "distance in which it stops" is not the distance few inches between the skin and the outside of the plastic helmet.

It's the millimeter distance between the outside of the jello and the inside of the stone. 

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2 hours ago, SMC said:

My two closest friends have sons about the same age as mine (12-13).  One friend's son and my son play basketball while the other friend has his son in football.  When the group of friends and spouses  found out about the other friend putting his son in football, we were aghast.  It's that visceral for parents.

Spot on, Crusher.  That's what DeMaurice Smith's son is doing.  You see that alot where families can afford the equipment.  Otherwise it's basketball or soccer.

Both my sons played fototball as you know. Wouldn't be surprised if and when I have  grandsons they don't.  I can certainly see it going in that direction. Nothing wrong with baseball, lacrosse, basketball and rugby.  

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17 hours ago, RutgersJetFan said:

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. 

 

it should also be noted that Rugby players suffer neck breaks and skull fractures at a much higher rate. Guys end up as quads playing rugby all the time. 

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1 hour ago, bitonti said:

The brain is not just a hunk of jello though it's jello in a stone case. The relevant "distance in which it stops" is not the distance few inches between the skin and the outside of the plastic helmet.

It's the millimeter distance between the outside of the jello and the inside of the stone. 

That's not right though.  The stone case doesn't instantly stop.  It "gradually" stops over a couple of inches, depending on how big the "crumple zone" is in the helmet.  So the brain (can) stop over a couple of inches plus a couple of millimeters.

Note I'm not saying I want that to happen to *my* brain, but that's what happens.

Maybe the key point - and the challenge in making the helmet - is to decelerate consistently over the entire distance.  Obviously a crumple zone made out of cardboard wouldn't do anything, as it would cause (absorb) a tiny bit of deceleration on initial impact, but there would still be a big sudden one at the end.  Similarly, a crumple zone made of concrete would have the opposite effect.  You need a material / design which decelerates a "medium" amount...

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On 4/10/2017 at 5:38 PM, 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.

As an EMT and football coach who's Heads-up certified and Rutgers certified am fully aware of the cause of concussion. It's three strikes...the first impact, the impact of the brain inside the cranium and the impact of the brain as it rebounds inside the skull.  The modern day Helmet absorbs some of the initial impact due to its plastic she'll and inner padding, particularly the floating or "she'll off" design. This reduces the secondary impacts. Research is available.  Riddell is the leader and they've done quite a bit of research and development.  Further, head injuries are not only concussion related. Fractured skulls, crushed orbital bones, broken teeth and punctured ear drums all can come as a result of impact to the head, even incidentally as when a knee strikes the head during a block or tackle. So, thw modern day helmet is massively superior to the old leather skull cap. It's not close. The drawback is that though the initial impact is lessened, players are less likely to avoid head contact, so rather than a massive brain hemmorage or fractured skull, it becomes more of a "death by a thousand cuts" situation. Still it ls preferable to the old days by a lot. 

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9 hours ago, sirlancemehlot said:

As an EMT and football coach who's Heads-up certified and Rutgers certified am fully aware of the cause of concussion. It's three strikes...the first impact, the impact of the brain inside the cranium and the impact of the brain as it rebounds inside the skull.  The modern day Helmet absorbs some of the initial impact due to its plastic she'll and inner padding, particularly the floating or "she'll off" design. This reduces the secondary impacts. Research is available.  Riddell is the leader and they've done quite a bit of research and development.  Further, head injuries are not only concussion related. Fractured skulls, crushed orbital bones, broken teeth and punctured ear drums all can come as a result of impact to the head, even incidentally as when a knee strikes the head during a block or tackle. So, thw modern day helmet is massively superior to the old leather skull cap. It's not close. The drawback is that though the initial impact is lessened, players are less likely to avoid head contact, so rather than a massive brain hemmorage or fractured skull, it becomes more of a "death by a thousand cuts" situation. Still it ls preferable to the old days by a lot. 

agreed!  I appreciate the detail, thanks.

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