Date of Award
Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)
Bryan J. Pfister
The American 7s Football League (A7FL) is a semi professional football league that does not use helmets or pads. The theory is that the game is safer without helmets and pads because players feel more vulnerable and use a different tackling technique to protect themselves. Rather than lowering and leading with their head when the players tackle, as many helmeted football players do, A7FL players primarily use their arms to wrap the opponent up. A7FL players were given Vector mouth guards designed by Athlete Intelligence to wear. These mouth guards have built in tri-axial accelerometers to record impact data, which can be extracted as linear acceleration, rotational acceleration, and rotational velocity. Data was collected from the 2016 and 2017 A7FL seasons. Data was also gathered from subjects performing daily activities such as heading a soccer ball, sitting down, and getting hit in the head with a pillow in order to compare the A7FL data to a baseline. Additional data was gathered using a drop tower to check the consistency of the mouth guard. All data was analyzed using MATLAB. Results show that A7FL impacts were similar to that of a high school football team, and the average peak accelerations were similar to the daily activities recorded.
McGeever, Stephen, "Head impacts in the A7FL" (2018). Theses. 1576.