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Virginia Tech updates football helmet ratings, 5 new helmets meet 5-star mark
Date:5/13/2014

ugh the analysis of more than 2,700 laboratory tests.

"The Institute of Medicine released a recent report on concussion in sports that found our helmet rating system to be a theoretically grounded approach on how the injury mitigation properties of helmets could be assessed," said Stefan Duma, the Virginia Tech Harry C. Wyatt Professor and department head of biomedical engineering, and project leader.

The research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, which Duma said is being directly used to reduce player injuries. The impact of Duma's research has been noticed: The NFL has placed a poster of the helmet ratings system in its 32 locker rooms to educate players on helmet safety. Duma expects all future football helmets to be five-star rated.

"Consumers care about safety, and as a result, helmets that are rated poorly are not selling," he added. "This is going to continue to drive helmet design."

Added Steven Rowson, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech: "This is remarkable progress for helmet safety in football. Not only are consumers using the ratings to purchase helmets, but manufacturers are using our rating system to design new helmets to achieve five stars.

"Our tests are representative of the impacts that players experience on the field, so helmets that perform well in our tests are going to perform well on the field, making the sport of football safer," said Rowson, who developed the STAR system and testing of the helmets.

Duma and Rowson confirmed this in a peer-reviewed study investigating concussion rates in collegiate football players by helmet type and published in the

Contact: Steven D.A. Mackay
smackay@vt.edu
540-231-4787
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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