GSU sports HITS helmets

Photo by: Andy Morales

Will Cheney

With fall practice beginning, the Georgia Southern University football team is donning new equipment to help better protect players from the effects of concussions.

GSU is currently the only team in Georgia that has adopted the Riddell Helmet Impact Telemetry System (HITS) which measures and records every hit to the head the player receives during practice and games.

With funding from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, GSU has equipped 40 helmets with the HITS system.

There are several sensors inside each helmet that detect a hit to the head and measure the severity of the hit. If a hit on a player’s head reaches a certain threshold, a pager worn by the head athletic trainer will receive a notification.

“If I get a message saying a player took a hard hit, I’m going to be keeping a close eye on that player,” head athletic trainer Brandy Clouse said in a news release. “If that player displays any unusual behavior, I’m coming over to do a clinical evaluation to make sure that he’s not trying to hide it or downplay the hit and that it’s safe for him to continue playing.”

Each impact will also be noted and implemented into game video so coaches, athletic trainers and researchers can better evaluate the hits.

“We want to do everything we can to prevent out student athletes from suffering a head injury,” GSU President Brooks Keel said in a news release.