Player safety has emerged as a major concern within the sport of football, as have concussions and the number of hits that players take during their given careers. Texas football’s equipment staff is trying to stay ahead of the curve of monitoring player safety by using cutting-edge technology inside players’ helmets to monitor the hits that they take.
In a video featuring UT head athletic trainer, Anthony Pass, he shows off the Riddell helmets that the Longhorns use. The helmets are equipped with a set of sensors that record the hits taken by players during practice in terms of G-Forces, location, direction, and severity. One of the even cooler parts about the technology is that the data from the hit is then sent to a handheld sensor, which is used by the training staff.
“If that hit’s hard enough and the magnitude is great enough, it’ll give me a signal on my handheld device that ‘Hey player X has sustained a hit.” Pass explains. “If that hit was there [on the side of the helmet] but the magnitude wasn’t as high typically a college player would get, I won’t see that.”
The technology for this, the Riddell InSite Impact Response System, has actually been around since 2013. Plenty of teams have experimented with similar technology, like the Riddell SpeedFlex helmet which includes the InSite technology, but Texas is the first to use this version.
Repetitive hits are also monitored by the helmet’s sensors. This sensored helmet is really cool, and it’s encouraging to see a major powerhouse program like Texas taking player safety, as well as head injuries, seriously.