Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Safety Devices for Football Players

Gotta love innovation. The Kerr Collar is being marketed as a way to absorb some of the impact forces during collisions in football.  Here's how it works:
What I really like about this is not just the way it's explained, but the process by which it's promoted/defended/marketed (I do not mean to use those terms negatively at all; it's simply necessary when pitching any product to consumers). Dr. Kerr sums up the anatomical implications quite nicely here.  He clearly has paid close attention to allowing neck extension to still occur (something it's predecessors limited).  This is very important, as you don't want to create an axial load to occur.  Key Point:  Disperse Forces Imposed over a Greater Area.  Check out his site:  It's incredibly self explanatory and about as user friendly of a site as I've seen.  If nothing else, watch it for a fantastic video of a mannequin getting hit. 

Preventing Horse Collar Tackles
Does anyone remember this play a few years back?  Not long ago, the "horse collar" tackle was actually a legal means to bring stop your opponent.  As you can see, it was very easy for the player being collared to suffer a serious injury.  The feet remained planted while momentum keeps the upper ody moving...aNd something's gotta give; be it a ligament, tendons, bones, etc.
Well, a new device has been recently approved for use .  The X Collar  which provides a tear-away component to the outer part of the football pad. It's a nice little snippet, first developed as a science project, which has since evolved into a product which is currently being marketed.  Be sure to check out the schematic design and short video at the end of the article.  Good stuff
 Let's face it, while an opponent might not want to hurt someone, it can be hard to teach them NOT to try and grab any available part of the the opponent in the middle of gameplay.  I love this.  Simple, and likely pretty effective.  We'll see if it catches on.  At less than $30, it can be a nice inexpensive way to help limit this, especially in the beginning or middle levels of football. 

Anybody have any thoughts on the possible limitations or negative consequences of these devices?

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