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School District Monitors Potential Concussion Cases
Football Technology
technology pix
Riverbank varsity head football coach Kit Jory, right, reviews a report with Impact Technician Trish Ayala during half-time of the Sept. 9 game against Valley Christian Academy. New technology included in this years helmets for the Bruins includes a Collision Alert System that allows the team to monitor the cumulative effects of impacts to players heads. Ric McGinnis/The News

The Riverbank Unified School District implemented a new program at Friday night’s home football game, aimed at preventing serious injuries to its varsity football players.

Varsity football head coach Kit Jory said it’s the next step in keeping his kids safe on the field.

“Now that we have had time to calibrate the system, it was much more efficient in identifying potential safety risks to players due to head trauma,” he explained.

The equipment was available at a previous home game earlier this season, but was not set up properly.

Jory thanked the school district for “making a substantial financial investment and a strong statement about their priorities in keeping our players safe” by utilizing the technology.

The new varsity helmets the district purchased have a Concussion Alert system.

Jory said the GForce system is top of the line in delivering the data necessary for monitors, coaches and medical trainers to make informed decisions regarding player safety and the possibility of hidden injuries.

The system delivers multiple streams of data, not only on locations, level and number of impacts, but also on other factors which cannot always be obvious when observed visually.

This additional information, such as a player’s activity level and physical responsiveness, get immediately compared to the same metrics, both before and after the impact.

“This results in immediate notification of results of an impact, such as sluggishness or decreased motor skills,” Jory said. “When you combine the multiple data points, it delivers immediate alarms and allows the monitor of the system to report a potential issue to a coach so a player can be removed from the field and evaluated to prevent repetitive impacts that can compound potential injuries.”

In addition to the sensors and transmitters included in the new helmets, the equipment includes a laptop with the special software and a WiFi USB ‘dongle,’ about the size of a thumb drive, plugged into the computer.

Jory said all coaches and players appreciate the district’s investment in the extra safeguards for the RHS football program.

“In a partnership with Schutt, the system is the newest technology and vastly surpasses the Ridell Insight System, which was purchased by Modesto City Schools,” Jory pointed out. “Our system is the best digital alert system on the market, while I would consider the Insight System to be extremely ‘analog.’ RUSD’s investment in the GForce Concussion Alert System should be recognized as a message that they are committed to the safety of our student-athletes and to the rebuilding of Riverbank football into a competitive program.”

Schutt Sports is a company that develops football, baseball, and softball equipment based in Litchfield, Illinois. Its football helmet lines are the only ones to have TPU Cushioning in the helmets, which is the same material used by the United States Armed Forces for fighter pilot and paratrooper helmets.