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Researchers hit virtual heads to make safer games
Date:9/12/2013

bone, facial muscles, and even his cerebrospinal fluid. He looks like he's smiling, although it's not clear he's still smiling when the ball comes at the front and side of his head at between 60 and 120 miles per hour. He is called a 50th percentile male -- or an average guy.

In their study with the softball model, the researchers determined that two softballs that are commonly used for the same level of amateur play have significantly different properties and result in big differences in potential injury. The two balls differed in stiffness by 30 percent. Testing against a virtual head resulted in as much as a 64 percent difference in bone stress, or how badly he was hurt.

"For most impact conditions, bone stress exceeded the assumed bone strength,'' write the researchers.

That means that their virtual head ended up with a serious fractured skull.

The researchers hope that their ball model work can be extended to better understand more subtle but serious collision injuries, such as concussions, as well as lead to improved protective equipment and injury prevention in a number of sports.


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Contact: Lloyd Smith
lvsmith@wsu.edu
509-335-3221
Washington State University
Source:Eurekalert

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