Middle school football team takes part in Virginia Tech helmet study
POSTED: Sunday, September 2, 2012 - 12:00pm
UPDATED: Sunday, September 2, 2012 - 12:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The Titans of Virginia's Blacksburg Middle School are hoping to help reduce the impact of hard hits this football season.
They will be assisting researchers at Virginia Tech.
"We want to know for these age groups, how often how hard, and what directions are they hit during normal course of play," said Stefan Duma, Head of the School of Biomechanical Engineering and Science at Virginia Tech.
Duma and his team of researchers fit each player with a set of $1,000 sensors inside their helmets, which provides the data they need.
The team hopes the tests will help them design the safest helmet for middle school aged children.
Blacksburg Middle is one of six schools across the Commonwealth and North Carolina that are part of the study.
"That's the best thing in the world we can do. If we can help build a better stronger safer helmet, that's just a plus for everybody," said head coach Wayne Surface.
"Everything about the child is different than an adult. A pediatrician will tell you that children are not small adults. And there are several reasons for that. It gets into the neck size, the head size, how the head forms, how the brain forms," said Duma.
So while college and professional athletes have already been given a helmet rating system, and many have opted for safer head gear, Duma hopes this study will give teens a safer option as well.