The University of Texas football program uses helmets with sensors that determine the level and intensity of a hit.
The University of Texas football program has garnered much attention since hiring new head football coach Tom Herman last November. Aggressive recruiting and promoting new player lockers has helped Herman make plenty of headlines since his arrival in Austin. But one of his most recent tweets displayed his team’s strong commitment to player safety, using innovative technology from helmet manufacturer Riddell.
Last month, Herman posted a two-minute video on his Twitter account featuring Head Football Athletic Trainer, Anthony Pass. In the video, Pass discusses the Riddell Insite Impact Response System, which tracks and records major head collisions received during games and practices. According to Pass, Texas is the first Power 5 school to integrate the technology into every player helmet. The Longhorns began using Riddell’s product before the 2016 season.
“Within each helmet, there is a set of sensors,” Pass said. “When this helmet takes a hit, the sensors record it. The sensors determine what level of hit it was.”
Along with the sensors in each helmet comes a handheld device, which receives information from those sensors.
The Insite system is designed to determine the force or direction of a hit, as well the repetition of hits taken to specific areas of the helmet. This technology uses an advanced head impact exposure metric called HITsp, which analyzes and combines the linear and rotational acceleration, duration and location of a hit into a single measurement. With this data, trainers and coaches can identify and manage concussion symptoms to avoid serious injury.
“We are 100% monitored both in practice and in games,” Pass said. “By doing that, I feel we are achieving our mission of protecting those athletes and can really help us manage those concussion injuries.”