Date of Award

12-2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Kinesiology

First Advisor

Peter McGinnis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joy Hendrick, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jeff Bauer, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe selected performance characteristics of the Full 90 Select soccer head guard. More specifically the ability of the Full 90 Select head guard to attenuate the impact force of a size 5 soccer ball traveling at 8.67 m/s measured after a single impact, after repetitive impacts, and after the head guard had been soaked in water. The soccer ball was dropped onto a force plate or onto the head guard mounted onto the force plate. A video camera recorded the ball drop and impact at 120 images per second. The peak impact force transmitted through the head guard to the force plate was measured. Data from the digitized video recording was used to compute the impact velocity of the ball. The performance of the soccer head guard was also evaluated using impact tests specified by the NOCSAE standards for certifying lacrosse helmets. In these tests the head guard was mounted onto a head form, dropped from heights of 30, 48, and 60 inches, and the peak resultant acceleration and severity index was measured. The head guard significantly decreased the impact force of the dropped soccer ball both in the wet and dry conditions and after repetitive impacts. The severity index and resultant accelerations measured during the NOCSAE tests exceeded the maximums established by NOCSAE and the head guard did not pass these tests. It was concluded that soccer head guards may be a way of reducing head injuries in soccer but more testing needs to be done to evaluate the performance of these head guards during minor and severe impacts. Consequently, the overall performance of this head guards was effective in attenuating the multiple impacts and well as impacts while wet, Yet when the head guard was subjected to more severe impacts while on a head form it showed minimal effectiveness in protecting against severe head injury.

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