MORGANTON – Burke County’s high school football teams this year have a new tool that helps coaches with the impact of hits on players – a helmet by Riddell that alerts the coaches and trainers about possible concussions.
The InSiteTrainingTool helmets have technology, including sensors.
“These smart helmets have sensors that are wirelessly connected to sideline devices that let coaches and trainers know when a player takes a hard hit,” Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam said in the press release. “The player can come to the sidelines and get checked out before going back into the game. But if it’s an extremely hard hit that the helmet measures, the player can get more attention on the sidelines and go through the concussion protocol procedures.”
The web-based, impact monitoring technology records nearly every head impact that occurs and builds data on players and the hits they take. The helmets are equipped with sensors on the front, top, sides and rear and record exactly where and how hard a player takes a hit to the head.
The information gathered goes to a national database to assist with studies on concussions but also gives local coaches an extra tool to help players with prevention techniques.
Coaches can use the information to influence player behavior by helping correct the way they hold their heads. The technology also provides an extra set of eyes for when a coach or trainer may miss a hit.
In the press release, Myron N. Stephens, Sports Medicine Manager for Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge said: “We are excited that Burke County Public Schools is invested in the health and safety of our student-athletes. The new InSite technology sensors located within the football helmets give our team of athletic trainers another tool to use.
“The sensors detect the collisions — not that a player has sustained a concussion — that occurs during practices and games. If the collision is of the 95 percent of that players position (i.e. QB, linebacker, etc.) it notifies our team of athletic trainers with an alert. This can be helpful, especially if we were not able to witness the collision.
“We look forward to the upcoming football season and seeing what this information may give us in regard to the health and safety of our student-athletes.
“Because of this innovative technology, our players can practice and play smarter. The overall goal is to reduce blows to the head and in turn lower the risk of concussions and brain damage. This will not eliminate concussions but will help us better manage them.
“I would like to thank our school board for their insight and willingness to allow our teams to take advantage of this latest technology.”