Preventing head injuries in youth soccer
Football gets a lot of attention when it comes to concussion risk, but head injuries can happen in any sport. Virginia Tech, with the world’s largest injury biomechanics program, is leading research that will help protect players.
The Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, led by Stefan Duma and Steve Rowson, has made groundbreaking strides in preventing sports-related brain injury by evaluating protective gear. Using data from Virginia Tech athletes and simulated impacts recreated in the lab, Duma and Rowson have created a rating system that ranks adult football helmets on a five-star scale based on how well they reduce concussion risk.
This publicly-accessible information gives players the tools to make informed choices and drives innovation in the industry: When the team released the first ratings in 2011, only one helmet got five stars. Today, 16 do.
Now, the team behind those studies is embarking on a new project: testing protective headbands worn by youth soccer players.
Soccer is hugely popular around the world; there are millions of registered youth players in the U.S. alone. Knowing which bands offer the best protection will help parents and coaches be more confident that these players are safe on the field.
Your donation will help purchase headbands for the team to test in the lab. That research will yield unbiased, independent ratings slated for release later this year, and benefit soccer players worldwide.
Thank you for your support!