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

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"The VSR4 was included to illustrate the benefits of the new technologies from many manufacturers. For example, the Xenith X1 is a very good helmet and provides 55 percent reduction in risk of concussion compared to the VSR4, and that is statistically significant," noted Duma. "In other words, you can cut your risk of concussion in half by switching from the VSR4 to the Xenith X1." The reduction or increase in concussion risk between helmets can be determined by comparing the specific STAR value associated with each helmet.

Many of the 2010 Virginia Tech football team players used VSR4 helmets and had them through spring ball in April 2011. "Once we finalized the numbers, my first call was to our head team physician Gunnar Brolinson and our head team trainer Mike Goforth. We all agreed that we had to change out the helmets immediately," Duma said. "For the fall 2011 season, our players that had VSR4s will be in the Revolution Speed helmets."

To cover the cost of the new helmets, the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences agreed to pay for the newer and better performing helmets. "There is an appreciable cost associated with changing out approximately 40 helmets, but there is no question that we are going to do it," Duma said.

The lowest rating assigned was "NR" meaning not recommended, and that label was given to the Adams A2000 Pro Elite helmet. "The resulting STAR value of 1.7 was significantly higher than all other helmets and several of the impacts resulted in values that are close to the threshold for skull fractures," said Rowson. "For the same price that we paid, there are many other helmets that are much better," he added.

While there are large differences between the top performing helmets and the least performing helmets, the difference between 5-star and 4-star helmets is much less. "Following the earlier example, the Xenith X1 dramatically reduces c
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Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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