In the competitive world of sports, head injuries are an all too common occurrence. The manufacturers of sporting equipment are constantly seeking ways to better protect athletes, young and old.
Reebok-CCM Hockey has partnered with startup MC10 on a new “skullcap” that can be worn under a helmet, which contains an “impact indicator”. The impact indicator in the helmet will not only detect a blow to the head, but also how severe the blow is. Many athletes say they are fine after a blow to the head, but the indicator will now show data on whether or not the player should resume play.
As sports-related head injuries are a recognized problem in contact and non-contact sports for athletes of different ages and skill levels, the cap has been designed for all. It provides a visual measurement of force of impact, serving as “an extra set of eyes on the ice – or any other playing field.” The product’s conformable technology is housed inside a thin and breathable mesh skullcap, which fits under any helmet. Philippe Dubé, general manager of Reebok-CCM Hockey, said:
“As one of the leading equipment manufacturers in the world, we are focused on not only improving the performance of amateur and professional athletes, but also doing whatever we can to protect players from possible injury. As we know, head injuries are of the greatest concern today, and there is still much to be learned in this area. This product is a significant step forward in this process and we’re very excited to be able to make it available to consumers for the first time next year.”
Questions: Will the device be able to detect all head injuries? Should it be relied on? Or, should there remain an element of human input?
The answer to that question lies with every player, trainer, parent, coach, AD, administrator, school district, university and/or league. Should there be a absolute standard for which a player is removed from a game? I am sure that each level will have their own set of standards for this.
Regardless, our hats off to manufacturers like Reebok and MC10 for keeping the ball moving forward.