Monthly Archives: August 2014

Triax Becomes First Company to Gain Hit Count® Certification for Soccer, Football, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse and Other Sports

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 ( 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.”

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NFL’s Chief Marketing Officer Talks Concussions

The Wall Street Journal blog, CMO Today, recently interviewed Mark Waller, who for the past five years has been the chief marketing officer of the NFL. One of the questions centered on how the league deals with concerns about concussions, especially with regard to children.2012-12-16 11.24.44

“It’s no different than any other product, or category, or sport, or anything else,” Waller said. “There’s a set of consumer and environmental issues that you have to deal with and take into consideration. We spend an inordinate amount of time on youth football development and “heads up” football and how to teach kids to play the game better and safer. We spend a huge amount of time thinking through their mothers and how best to make sure mothers have the information to decide [if] they should let their kids play football, and what are the risks and rewards of doing that. We spend a lot of time on the rewards side of football: the values, teamwork, hard work, integrity, and depending on other people. I wouldn’t want to lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day, 70 percent of the population of this country loves football.”

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Riddell and TGen Team Up with Arizona State University’s Football Program to Further Genetic Research into Athlete Concussion Detection and Treatment

Riddell, a leader in football helmet technology and innovation, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a leader in cutting-edge genomic research, have announced that the Pac-12’s Arizona State University and its Sun Devil football program will again participate in a genetic research study designed to advance athlete concussion detection and treatment.

Now in its second year, the joint research project will combine molecular information and head impact data from Sun Devil football student-athletes to identify whether the effects of sub-concussive hits are identifiable. The researchers will monitor the players’ changing molecular information throughout a season of typical head impact exposure associated with football practice and games. Representatives from the Sun Devil medical team and TGen will collect the molecular samples from the participating athletes, all of whom volunteered to partake in the study.

“This partnership represents another dynamic and innovative step toward ensuring that the health and well-being of our student-athletes remains our most important goal,” Vice President for Arizona State University Athletics Ray Anderson said. “Sun Devil Athletics continues to serve as a pioneering force in this important issue and is proud to participate in this world-class research study for the second consecutive year with two outstanding industry trendsetters in Riddell and TGen.”

Arizona State’s preferred helmet and protective equipment provider, Riddell, has again deployed its Sideline Response System (SRS) to obtain real-time head impact data from Arizona State football student-athletes. Riddell SRS provides researchers with a wide range of valuable information on the frequency and severity of head impacts a player receives during games and practices. Data gathered from the system will be combined with genetic information from players that experience concussion, with the objective of helping physicians diagnose concussion and better identify when a player might be expected to recover and return to the field.

“Player protection has become an essential part of football, and this cutting-edge partnership sets ASU apart from not only the rest of the conference, but every collegiate football program in the nation,” ASU Head Coach Todd Graham said. “We are not only looking out for our student-athletes while they are enrolled at ASU, but for the rest of their lives. You become a part of the brotherhood once you put on the maroon and gold, and that doesn’t end at graduation.”

Riddell will also utilize the player head impact data collected from the ASU and TGen research partnership to inform the development of new football helmets and further refine updates to smart helmet technologies like Riddell SRS and its recently launched Riddell InSite Impact Response System.

“We’re impressed by the enthusiasm exhibited by our partners, Arizona State University and TGen, as we enter the second season of our important research collaboration,” President of Riddell Dan Arment said. “They have matched our level of passion for football, and we are all committed to better protecting those that play the sport we love. We are left encouraged following the first year of our project and look forward to continuing on the path towards advancing concussion detection and treatment of athletes.”

The researchers at TGen are exploring whether the effects of sub-concussive hits are identifiable through blood-based molecular information. Their findings could prove pivotal to the game of football and other sports. Similar to last season, during this phase of the study the TGen faculty and staff are on the sidelines collecting samples and data. A baseline sample was collected from all participating players prior to their pre-season workouts. Since then, the researchers have followed the team through their daily workouts and will continue throughout the season.

Through the collection of samples over various points in time and the data generated by Riddell SRS, the goal is to identify the genomic changes in athletes exposed to routine head impacts during practice and games, athletes with diagnosed concussions that recover on both a routine time scale, and athletes with persistent symptoms following concussion that require additional treatment.

“As the mother of a young son who has played football, I’m keenly aware of the need to improve the current standards in place today for dealing with this issue,” said TGen Associate Professor Dr. Kendall Van Keuren-Jensen, whose technique for studying the collected samples drives this unique partnership. “As a researcher whose daily work looks for ways to determine the early warning signs of head injury, I get to see first hand how committed Arizona State University and Riddell are to student-athlete safety, and their determination to improve the game at all levels.”

Following the season long campaign, the researchers will gather post-season data and begin the analysis process with their colleagues at Barrow Neurological Institute and A.T. Still University. During this process, TGen will work closely with Barrow, whose B.R.A.I.N.S. (Barrow Resource for Acquired Injury to the Nervous System) program treats patients who have sustained a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury. The Barrow data will provide the researchers with additional concussion data and allow for comparison between data sets.

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