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Virginia Tech researchers create ratings system to test soccer head gear

It's first independent ratings system of its kind, researchers say

BLACKSBURG, Va.

It's the first independent ratings system of its kind according to researcher Steve Rowson of the helmet lab at Virginia Tech.

“We've been studying how to better prevent head injuries in soccer. Soccer head gear have come on the market. But there isn’t research to show which ones are good and which ones are bad,” Rowson said.

In order to help reduce the number of soccer players who suffer from concussion symptoms, Rowson and a team of researchers decided to test all the soccer head gear that's currently on the market.

“When concussions occur in soccer, there are typically two players going to hit a ball. Rather than hitting the ball, they knock heads,” Rowson said.

“We simulate those head impacts that are most likely to cause a concussion. This way we can see how well the soccer head gear prevent the forces,” Rowson said.

Rowson said this study is able to rate four to five-star head gear.

“A top-performing head gear can reduce concussion risks by 70 percent for impacts that we studied,” Rowson said.

Thanks to this new study, there's now a resource for consumers on Virginia Tech’s website: http://www.beam.tv.edu