Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Trenton Gould

Advisor Department



This research study focused on the descriptive head impact biomechanics of collegiate American football players. The purpose of this study was to determine if there were statistical differences in the frequency, peak linear acceleration, and peak rotational acceleration between player position and impact location on the helmet during practice sessions. There were 31 players from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Division I football team that participated in the study. Participants were divided into four groups based on position: defensive skill, defensive line, offensive skill, and offensive line. The Head Impact Telemetry (HIT) System was incorporated with the Sideline Response System to wirelessly acquire and record head impact biomechanics. Median values and [Interquartile ranges] of 23.3 [16.4-36.1] g and 1047.2 [693.3-1547.8] rad/s2 were found for this sample. Of the 8,555 impacts recorded during practice sessions, significantly more impacts occurred to the front of the helmet than any other location [χ2 = 2710.886, p= 0.001]. More impacts were sustained by the defensive line and defensive skill players than expected [χ2 = 1962.444, p=0.001]. Higher linear acceleration values were seen at the top of the helmet and by offensive and defensive line players. However, high rotational acceleration values were sustained at the front of the helmet. Although there was significant difference in the rotational acceleration values and player position, no between group differences were found in the follow up test. A relationship was seen between impact location and player position. This study found that despite the notable dangers, impacts to the top of the helmet still result in the highest linear acceleration. This research could lead to future studies such as determining the significance of participation type on the results and if the distribution of players in the group had any impact on the results.

Included in

Biomechanics Commons