Comparison of branded rugby headguards on their effectiveness in reducing impact on the head

Erin R. A. Frizzell, Graham P. Arnold, Weijie Wang, Rami J. Abboud (Lead / Corresponding author), Tim S. Drew

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Abstract

Aim: To compare the available brands of rugby headguards and evaluate their impact attenuation properties at various locations on the cranium, with regard to concussion prevention.

Methods: Seven different branded headguards were fitted onto a rigid headform and drop-tested in three different positions. An accelerometer measured the linear acceleration the headform experienced on impact with the ground. Each test involved dropping the headform from a height that generated 103.8 g on average when bare, which is the closest acceleration to the upper limit of the concussion threshold of 100 g. A mean peak acceleration for each drop position was calculated and compared with the bare baseline measurement.

Results: Each headguard demonstrated a significant decrease in the mean peak acceleration from the baseline value (all p≤0.01). Overall the Canterbury Ventilator was the most effective headguard, decreasing the impact force on average by 47%. The least effective was the XBlades Elite headguard, averaging a force reduction of 27%. In five of the seven headguards, the right side of the headwear was the most effective at reducing impact force.

Conclusion: Overall, the results indicate that it would be beneficial to wear a headguard during rugby in order to reduce the impact forces involved in head collisions. There was also a clear difference in performance between the tested brands, establishing the Canterbury headguard as the most effective. However, only one model of headguard from each brand was tested, so further research evaluating all other models should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000361
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2018

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Football
Head
Mechanical Ventilators
Skull
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Keywords

  • concussion
  • head injury
  • headguard
  • rugby

Cite this

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abstract = "Aim: To compare the available brands of rugby headguards and evaluate their impact attenuation properties at various locations on the cranium, with regard to concussion prevention.Methods: Seven different branded headguards were fitted onto a rigid headform and drop-tested in three different positions. An accelerometer measured the linear acceleration the headform experienced on impact with the ground. Each test involved dropping the headform from a height that generated 103.8 g on average when bare, which is the closest acceleration to the upper limit of the concussion threshold of 100 g. A mean peak acceleration for each drop position was calculated and compared with the bare baseline measurement.Results: Each headguard demonstrated a significant decrease in the mean peak acceleration from the baseline value (all p≤0.01). Overall the Canterbury Ventilator was the most effective headguard, decreasing the impact force on average by 47{\%}. The least effective was the XBlades Elite headguard, averaging a force reduction of 27{\%}. In five of the seven headguards, the right side of the headwear was the most effective at reducing impact force.Conclusion: Overall, the results indicate that it would be beneficial to wear a headguard during rugby in order to reduce the impact forces involved in head collisions. There was also a clear difference in performance between the tested brands, establishing the Canterbury headguard as the most effective. However, only one model of headguard from each brand was tested, so further research evaluating all other models should be considered.",
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Comparison of branded rugby headguards on their effectiveness in reducing impact on the head. / Frizzell, Erin R. A.; Arnold, Graham P.; Wang, Weijie; Abboud, Rami J. (Lead / Corresponding author); Drew, Tim S.

In: BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine, Vol. 4, No. 1, e000361, 25.10.2018, p. 1-7.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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