Date of Award

12-2006

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Bioengineering

Advisor

Benson, Lisa

Abstract

The risk of head injuries in the sport of soccer has recently become a topic of concern, particularly with youth players whom may suffer long-lasting or even permanent effects from a severe head injury. In response to these worries, headguards have been developed specifically for use in soccer. These headguards have been studied using crash test dummy heads mounted with various electronic instruments - accelerometers, gyroscopes, etc. The headgear-mounted dummy heads have been struck with various objects (soccer ball, another dummy head, pole, etc) to test for changes in head acceleration response.
Testing of soccer headgear has previously been limited to dummy head models. The current study was designed to complement the dummy head tests by using soccer players to conduct testing in game-like scenarios. Players were fitted with a soccer headguard (brand: Full90 Performance Headguard) and asked to head soccer balls. To measure the effectiveness of the headguard, it was wrapped in pressure-sensitive film. After heading, the film could be removed and scanned into a computer for image analysis. The changes in pressure recorded by the film would reveal the effectiveness of the headgear during these heading scenarios.

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