USA Today brings us a story of the NFL testing accelerometers to possibly measure the hits actual NFL players take during an actual NFL game. Currently the sensors are being tested before being actually put on a football player. It's a pretty engrossing read that we'll take apart after the jump.
As part of their testing, the hits are being delivered to the helmet by a compressed-air-propelled ramrod - No, not Car Ramrod. The dummy the helmet is mounted on is a Hybrid III headform - just suffice to say it's a dummy with sensors that measure impacts. The headform has a rubber mold made of urethane covering it to simulate the head and face, and a nylon stocking over the ensemble simulates hair.
The helmets used in testing are the Riddell Revolution and Riddell Revolution Speed, both equipped with Riddell's HITS system - or Head Impact Telemetry System. The mouthguard being tested is the X2IMPACT, also with its own sensor system.
Once the system is verified that it actually measures what it is supposed to measure, and does so accurately, the plan is to begin incorporating the system into about 180 players, eventually spreading to the entire league.
On the plus side, it's nice to see they're continuing to take concussions seriously, and I don't mind that they're taking their time to verify the stuff works. On the minus side... the guy overseeing the study, Kevin Guskiewicz, UNC's director of sports-related brain injury research, found in a similar study in 2007 that a wide spectrum of impacts led to concussions and "it may be difficult to establish a threshold for concussive injury that can be applied to all football players."
What do you guys think?