New helmet ratings system announced by Virginia Tech focuses on concussion risk

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White football helmet on the field

A new diagnostic system, developed by Virginia Tech professor of biomedical engineering Stefan Duma, could provide coaches and athletic directors with more accurate predictions of the likelihood of concussions according to which helmet football players wear, according to E Science News.

The system, which measures collisions at varying impact energies and at 120 different locations varying by player position, is the culmination of eight years of research.

“Our goal was to develop a thorough test matrix that would provide consumers with valuable biomechanical data in order to make educated decisions about which helmet to purchase,” said Duma as quoted by the news outlet. “The results clearly show that the newer technologies across all manufacturers are significantly better at reducing the risk of concussions compared to the older models.”

The system tested many models of football helmets currently available to the public, and in use by the NFL. The only helmet which scored five points was the Riddell Revolution Speed. The lowest-scoring helmet tested was the Adams A2000 Pro Elite, which was graded as not recommended.

Widespread implementation of the system could inform purchasing decisions for coaches and athletic administration professionals in order to minimize risk to players. For those pursuing sports administration degrees, this data may help shape the future of professional sporting equipment.

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