The goal of this pilot study was to evaluate the number of head acceleration events (HAEs) based on position, play type, and starting stance.
Prospective cohort study.
Postcollegiate skill development camp during practice sessions and 1 exhibition game.
Seventy-eight male adult North American football athletes.
A position was assigned to each participant, and plays in the exhibition game were separated by play type for analysis. During the exhibition game, video data were used to determine the effects of the starting position (“up” in a 2-point stance or “down” in a 3- or 4-point stance) on the HAEs experienced by players on the offensive line.
Main Outcome Measures:
Peak linear acceleration and number of HAEs greater than 20 g (g = 9.81 m/s2) were measured using an xPatch (X2 Biosystems, Seattle, WA).
Four hundred thirty-seven HAEs were recorded during practices and 272 recorded during the exhibition game; 98 and 52 HAEs, the greatest number of HAEs by position in the game, were experienced by the offensive and defensive linemen, respectively. Linebackers and tight ends experienced high percentages of HAEs above 60 g. Offensive line players in a down stance had a higher likelihood of sustaining a HAE than players in an up stance regardless of the type of play (run vs pass).
Changing the stance of players on the offensive line and reducing the number of full-contact practices will lower HAEs.