Uncovering Clues About Concussions in High School Football Players

Steven Broglio, Ph.D., A.T.C., director of the University of Michigan’s Neurotrauma Research Laboratory and assistant professor at the U-M School of Kinesiology, has been conducting research on the number of hits sustained by a high school football player and is reporting staggering numbers.

Using helmet sensors, Broglio found that the average player sustains more than 650 impacts per football season, though some players experience more than 2,000 hits. A concussion will occur with a hit that measures about 90 to 100 g-force, which Broglio reports as a head smashing against a wall at 20mph.

Another interesting note about is his finding that concussions don’t seem to occur as a result of the “snowball” effect—that is, lots of smaller hits don’t equal a concussion. Rather, all it takes to sustain a concussion is a single, solid hit.

Michigan is one of the few states remaining which has not passed youth concussion protection legislation.

Take a look at the video from the University of Michigan News Service to see Broglio’s helmet sensor and how the hits were measured.

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