Saturday, 01 July 2017 11:35

Guardian Caps: What’s the Impact?

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Seth E. Jenny, Wardell Rouse , Ashlie Seibles
Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC, USA

Abstract

Reported sport-related concussion rates have dramatically increased recently. In response, the Guardian company has emerged as a leading manufacturer of soft-shell helmet covers. The “Guardian Cap” is a foam padded covering that fits over a helmet that aims to reduce the impact of collisions and lessen the chance of a concussion. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived effectiveness of using Guardian Caps in preventing concussions in youth and high school football players. In addition, this study also examined reported coaching strategies used in the attempt to reduce concussions with these athletes. United States high school and youth football stakeholders (e.g., coaches, athletic directors, youth football presidents, etc.) completed an online survey containing Likert-based and open response questions focusing on the main research goals. On average, participants reported a 40.5% decrease in concussions per year after transitioning to using Guardian Caps with their youth or high school football players. However, 16.2% of participants would not recommend the use of Guardian Caps, citing concerns such as helmet warranty worries, helmet bulkiness, product malfunctions, and expense. Moreover, several additional methods participants’ used in an effort to keep players safe from concussions are also discussed. Findings may assist youth and high school football coaches and athletic directors in making informed equipment and coaching decisions regarding player safety focusing on reducing concussions with their players.

Keywords: concussion, football, CTE, tackling, head injury, SIS

Category: Original Research

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