Erin Hanlon and Cynthia Bir published their research on validating the HITS (head impact telemetry system) in collecting data for soccer playing. The HITS system is normally associated with sports like Football and Boxing since both already have a helmet for which to design a sensor system. Soccer poses additional challenges since the head is also a vital part of the sport itself. The two authors of the paper set out to test collision types including the ball hitting the head and multiple head collisons, all from various angles.
The two authors were able to justify statistically that the headband / HITS system was able to accurately collect head acceleration readings during the course of play. This particular study interested me because I had not heard about HITS. While growing up I had played a fair amount of soccer and I remember the warnings against heading the ball and the damage that such an action could cause. It seems empowering and helpful that the effects of the acceleration on the head can be measured for soccer to determine whether these warning are justified and therefore to improve the safety of the sport, or to put the rumor to rest.
Hanlon, Erin and Cynthia Bir. Validation of a Wireless Head Acceleration Measurement System for Use in Soccer Play. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 2010, 26,
424-431 © 2010 Human Kinetics, Inc
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