A new study using data from devices inside the helmets of high school players confirms that hits with other players are especially damaging. “Impacts to the head that resulted from contact with another player were of higher magnitude than contact with other surfaces, such as the ground,” said study author Julianne Schmidt, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Georgia. “We also found that running a long distance before colliding with an opponent resulted in higher-magnitude head impacts compared to running a short distance,” she said.
The researchers suggest that officials consider ways to reduce collisions between players that put the head in danger, especially those involving players who have run longer distances. Schmidt also suggested using rules or coaches to reduce collisions that occur after players run a long distance. The study was published online July 18 in the journal Pediatrics.