As football play gets more serious, so too do the head hits. Impact-sensing patches tucked behind the ears of 16 University of Virginia football players counted the head knocks that happened during four types of play: helmet-only practices, half-pad (or shell) practices with helmets and shoulder pads, full-pad practices and games. The number of hits increased as play became more intense, scientists report online August 4 in the Journal of Neurosurgery.
The severity of hits was reduced in helmet-only practices compared with the other categories, where it held steady. Head hits, even those not severe enough to cause concussions, can cause brain trouble.
University of Virginia football players experienced varying numbers of head hits in different practice and game scenarios.
Source: B.B. Reynolds et al/Journal of Neurosurgery 2015