Concussion in Professional Football: Helmet Testing to Assess Impact Performance—Part 11

  title={Concussion in Professional Football: Helmet Testing to Assess Impact Performance—Part 11},
  author={Elliot J. Pellman and David C. Viano and Chris Withnall and Nicholas Shewchenko and Cynthia Bir and P. David Halstead},
OBJECTIVE:National Football League (NFL) concussions occur at an impact velocity of 9.3 ± 1.9 m/s (20.8 ± 4.2 mph) oblique on the facemask, side, and back of the helmet. There is a need for new testing to evaluate helmet performance for impacts causing concussion. This study provides background on new testing methods that form a basis for supplemental National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) helmet standards. METHODS:First, pendulum impacts were used to simulate… 

Concussion in Professional Football: Performance of Newer Helmets in Reconstructed Game Impacts—Part 13

With newer football helmets, there was a trend toward 10 to 20% lower risks of concussion in reconstructed National Football League game collisions, however, a few designs and cases showed increased responses.


Although efforts are underway to reduce impact acceleration through helmet padding, further study is needed of head kinematics after impact and their contribution to concussion, including rapid head displacement, z-axis rotation, and neck tension up to the time of maximum strain in the midbrain.

Comparison of Laboratory and On-Field Performance of American Football Helmets.

Analysis showed that NFL-prohibited helmet models exhibited a significantly higher odds of concussion relative to other helmet models, indicating that helmets which exhibited reduced impact severity in the laboratory tests were also generally associated with lower concussion rates on-field.

Comparison of impact performance between youth and varsity football helmets

  • D. W. SprouleS. Rowson
  • Medicine
    Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part P, Journal of sports engineering and technology
  • 2017
The age group the helmet is intended for did not have a significant effect on the impact performance of the helmet in linear acceleration, rotational acceleration, or concussion correlate, and these data serve as a reference point for future youth-specific helmet design and helmet standards.

Evaluation of the Biomechanical Performance of Youth Football Helmets

Youth football helmets currently undergo the same impact testing and criteria as varsity helmets, although youth football players differ from their adult counterparts in anthropometry, physiology,


A concussion model was developed to simulate the high velocity of impact and rapid head ΔV of concussions in National Football League players and can be used to evaluate immediate and latent effects of concussion and more severe injury with greater impact mass.

A Review of On-Field Investigations into the Biomechanics of Concussion in Football and Translation to Head Injury Mitigation Strategies.

New advances in head impact sensor technology allow for biomechanical measurements in helmeted and non-helmeted sports for a more complete understanding of concussion tolerance in different demographics, which will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms of injury and human tolerance to head impact.

Impact test comparisons of 20th and 21st century American football helmets.

The authors do not advocate reverting to leather headgear, but they do strongly recommend instituting helmet safety designs and testing standards, which encourage the minimization of linear and angular impact doses and injury risks in near- and subconcussive head impacts.

Impact Performance of Modern Football Helmets

Of the 17 helmet models, four provided a significant reduction in head responses compared to 1990s helmets, and one had significantly poorer performance.

Change in Size and Impact Performance of Football Helmets from the 1970s to 2010

The additional size and padding of the best 2010s helmets provide superior attenuation of impact forces in normal play and in conditions associated with concussion than helmets of the 1970s–1990s.



Concussion in Professional Football: Location and Direction of Helmet Impacts—Part 2

The location, direction, and severity of helmet impacts causing concussion in the National Football League have been defined from analysis of game video and laboratory reconstruction and define the circumstances in which helmets need to reduce head injury risks in professional football.

Concussion in Professional Football: Biomechanics of the Striking Player—Part 8

In the NFL, striking players line up their heads, necks, and torsos to deliver maximum force to the other player in helmet-to-helmet impacts, and even though neck responses exceeded tolerances, no striking player experienced neck injury or concussion.

National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment football helmet certification program.

All new football helmets available for use in high school and college football have now been certified by the NOCSAE standard and the wearing of such helmets is mandatory for college players in 1978 and high schools in 1980.

Concussion in Professional Football: Injuries Involving 7 or More Days Out—Part 5

The most vulnerable players for 7+ days out with concussion were quarterbacks and the secondary in professional football, and a greater fraction were given drug or medical therapies with prolonged days out.

Mechanisms of Cervical Spine Injury During Impact to the Protected Head

It was found that very little could be done with energy-absorbing material in the crown to reduce spine strain due to a crown impact and static loading can be a useful predictor of failure site under dynamic conditions.

Biomechanics of the human chest, abdomen, and pelvis in lateral impact.

A proposed new biomechanical head injury assessment function - the maximum power index.

A new hypothesis is propounded that the threshold for head injury will be exceeded if the rate of change of kinetic energy of the head exceeds some limiting value and a functional relation is proposed, which includes all six degrees of motion and directional sensitivity characteristics.

An Assessment of Compressive Neck Loads Under Injury-Producing Conditions.

Injury reference curves for axial compressive forces on the neck were derived from impact tests of a spring-loaded tackling block on football helmets. Results suggest that helmets, especially those

Significance of relative movements of scalp, skull, and intracranial contents during impact injury of the head.

High speed cinephotography is used to analyze blows to the head by linear and rotating impactors in the dog, Rhesus monkey, in human cadavers, and skull models to deduce relative movements of the intracranial contents.

Experimental skull deformation and brain displacement demonstrated by flash x-ray technique.

This technique appears to provide a means for extending existing knowledge of the mechanisms of concussion and relative mot ion or displacement of the brain during the m o m e n t of impac t of a b h m t blow to the head.