The Sports Legacy Institute (SLI), a non-profit concussion education, advocacy and research organization, has announced that sports technology company Triax’s SIM device is the first head impact sensor device to pass every Hit Count® Certification category. The Triax SIM device can track an athlete’s Hit Count® in helmets for football, ice hockey, and men’s lacrosse, as well as for unhelmeted sports like soccer and women’s lacrosse, according to SLI.
“The Sports Legacy Institute has led the creation of the Hit Count® Program, including a Certification that parents, athletes, coaches, schools and sports leagues can rely on to select a head impact sensor system. At Triax, our first priority is to help protect athletes,” said Dale Hollingsworth, co-founder and CEO of Triax. “We are very proud to be the first system to gain Hit Count® certification for ALL the sports that SLI assesses. Triax has worked closely with leading researchers into concussion in sports to create a wireless sensor system that is highly effective yet affordable, convenient to use and comfortable to wear. We are confident that providing coaches and parents with an accurate Hit Count® will be a critical step in creating the safest possible environment for athletes.”
Inspired by Pitch Counts in youth baseball and Step Counts in fitness, the SLI Hit Count® Program is a simple, actionable way for parents and coaches to reduce risk of concussion by monitoring head impacts, and then minimizing head impacts through data-driven behavior change. Hit Count® Certified devices allow parents and coaches to track Hits, defined as impacts exceeding 20g’s of linear acceleration. Certified devices have passed a test developed with the University of Ottawa’s Neurotrauma Impact Laboratory, under the leadership of Dr. Blaine Hoshizaki, to assess the accuracy of sensors at the 20g Hit Count® threshold. The test does not assess the accuracy of sensors at other thresholds.
Tracking an athlete’s Hit Count® creates opportunities to change behavior through identifying improper techniques, as well as provides feedback to help coaches modify practice schedules to keep their team Hit Count® low. Hit Count® data will soon be accompanied by a Hit Count® score, which will tell athletes and coaches how their Hit Count® compares to their peers, according to SLI.
“Research using sensor devices has revealed that each year in the United States, over 1.5 billion impacts to the head occur in youth and high school football players,” said SLI Founding Executive Director Chris Nowinski. “Studies show most hits are unnecessary and occur in practice. By utilizing Hit Count® Certified devices as a teaching tool for coaches and a behavior modification tool for athletes, we could eliminate over 500 million head impacts next season, and the countless concussions those Hits would have caused.”
The Shipley School (Bryn Mawr, PA) has purchased Triax sensors for all their Upper School contact sport athletes and will be monitoring each team and athlete’s Hit Count®. “We are committed to the safety of our students. By embracing this new technology, we believe we can prevent concussions by minimizing the number of Hits, as well as improve our ability to recognize concussions by monitoring significant impacts. Knowing Hit Counts will allow us to make data-driven decisions on how to more safely teach and practice sports, as well as provide better individualized coaching,” said Shipley’s Head of School Steve Piltch.
Triax (TriaxTec.com) is only the second company to pass the Hit Count® Certification and the first to pass for all four sports categories. “Head sensor devices involve complex technology, and some sensors on the market today may not be accurate,” said Dr. Blaine Hoshizaki. “Hit Count® Certification, the first and only sensor certification in the marketplace, gives the consumer and research scientists the confidence that the sensors are accurately measuring 20g impacts, providing simple and actionable data.”