New ratings announced as five new football helmets meet highest marks

BLACKSBURG, Va., May 19, 2014 – Virginia Tech has updated its adult football helmet ratings, which are designed to identify key differences between the abilities of individual helmets to reduce the risk of concussion. All five of the new adult football helmets introduced this spring earned the five-star mark, the highest rating awarded by the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings™.  Read more

Extensive Study on Concussions in Youth Sports Finds ‘Culture of Resistance’ for Self-Reporting Injury; Not Enough Evidence to Support Claim That Helmets Reduce Concussion Risk

WASHINGTON — Young athletes in the U.S. face a “culture of resistance” to reporting when they might have a concussion and to complying with treatment plans, which could endanger their well-being, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. The report provides a broad examination of concussions in a variety of youth sports with athletes aged 5 to 21. Overall, reported concussions rates are more frequent among high school athletes than college athletes in some sports — including football, men’s lacrosse and soccer, and baseball; higher for competition than practice (except for cheerleading); and highest in football, ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, soccer, and women’s basketball. Concussion rates also appear higher for youths with a history of prior concussions and among female athletes.  See full press release

A Wearable Alert to Head Injuries in Sports

HARD knocks to the head are a constant concern in contact sports — and not just in football or boxing, where recent attention has focused. Millions of girls and boys play hockey, soccer, lacrosse and other sports where blows to the head from collisions and falls are part of the game, even in youth leagues and on high school teams.

Head injuries can come from a single jarring impact during a game, or from a series of smaller jolts. But in the midst of play, many blows aren’t necessarily easy to spot by coaches, physicians or parents in attendance.

A crop of new lightweight devices that athletes can wear on the field may help people on sidelines keep better track of hits to players’ heads during games and practice sessions. The devices, packed with sensors and microprocessors, register a blow to a player’s skull and immediately signal the news by blinking brightly, or by sending a wireless alert.     Read more