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Premier League expands smart mouthguard study into head impacts

By

Andre Cohen


Premier League expands study into head health impacts in football by equipping 12 clubs with protect integrated sensor mouthguards supplied by a sports technology company based in Wales Sports & Wellbeing Analytics (SWA). The 12 clubs play across the Premier League, English Football League and FA Women’s Super League.

Liverpool and Manchester City has begun equip SWA players protect mouthguards last season. The expanded study will see players from 12 clubs wearing the smart mouth guards during workouts. Sensors in the mouth guards track the frequency of blows to the head as well as the force and direction of each impact.

The data will be used to monitor a player’s training load and inform the Premier League of his future heading guidelines for players. As part of its research with SWA, the Premier League has developed neck strengthening programs for gamers after discovering a potential relationship between neck and shoulder strength and head acceleration.

SWA has developed protect in collaboration with mouth guard manufacturer Opro. PRemiership Harlequins and Gloucester rugby clubs and Welsh rugby club Ospreys are also wearing the mouth guards as part of head impact monitoring studies with SWA. Harlequins rugby player Danny Care previously spoken to SportTechie about what It is learned by wearing protect in the formation.

I don’t get into big collisions, so it was just about running to the line, passing someone, getting hit. The force that had on my neck or on my head, which I wouldn’t call a collision, was mind-blowing to me,” Care said. “Seeing the g-force that some of our big guys were hitting or getting hit with, and the rate of knots that their necks were backing off was mind-boggling, really, how physical the sessions can be.”


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Richard V. Johnson