Concussions in soccer are a growing concern.
To test whether headgear may help, a National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment-funded study run by Dr. McGuine’s team at the University of Wisconsin examined approximately 2,700 U.S. high school players over two years. The team tested five different protections with differing properties: half of the players wore headgear, the other half did not.
The peer-reviewed study did not find significant benefits when the results of the various products were lumped together. However, the supplementary data revealed wide differences among the individual products. Specifically, players who wore the Storelli ExoShield Head Guard experienced an average 50 percent lower risk of concussions. When accounting for gender, there was a 60 percent decrease for females, and concussion rates for this cohort dropped from 6.5 percent to 2.7 percent.
The Storelli ExoShield was the only product to lead to a statistically significant reduction. These results should be followed by more research and encourage soccer administrators to seriously consider headgear as a means of reducing concussions.
SOURCE: National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, [email protected]