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Virginia Tech announces football helmet ratings for reducing concussion risk
Date:5/9/2011

es. A total of three new helmets were purchased for each model and tested to determine the STAR, an acronym for the Summation of Tests for the Analysis of Risk value. The STAR value is the calculated incidence of concussion for one season of full participation at a collegiate level.

"We utilized over one million measured head impacts to quantify the impact exposure and concussion risk for the development of the STAR equation," said Steve Rowson, assistant professor at Virginia Tech in SBES. Rowson is responsible for the helmet testing and developed the methodology as part of his Ph.D. dissertation. "We perform the impacts using the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment drop test configuration because our data shows that it closely replicates on-field football head impacts."

The STAR value combines exposure with concussion risk as measured from the head acceleration results from this standards committee's style impact tests. Each helmet is tested at four impact locations (front, back, side, and top) at five different impact drop heights ranging from 12 inches to 60 inches.

"A unique aspect of the STAR system is that it weights each impact height to a corresponding number of impacts a player would see through the course of one season at that severity level. Depending on how the helmet performs, a risk is associated with each impact height," Duma said.

A manuscript detailing the methodology has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by the Annals of Biomedical Engineering. http://www.springer.com/biomed/journal/10439

At the lower end of the ratings are several helmets that are currently in use. With a marginal rating of '1-star' the Riddell VSR4 is the second lowest rated helmet. Although it is currently being used by collegiate and NFL players, it is not currently sold to the public. The VSR4 helmets tested w
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Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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