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  • Author: Bethany J. Wilcox x
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Joseph J. Crisco, Michael J. Rainbow, Joel B. Schwartz and Bethany J. Wilcox

The purpose of this study was to examine the batting cage performance of wood and nonwood baseball bats used at the youth level. Three wood and ten nonwood bats were swung by 22 male players (13 to 18 years old) in a batting cage equipped with a 3-dimensional motion capture (300 Hz) system. Batted ball speeds were compared using a one-way ANOVA and bat swing speeds were analyzed as a function of bat moment of inertia by linear regression. Batted ball speeds were significantly faster for three nonwood bat models (P < .001), significantly slower for one nonwood model, and not different for six nonwood bats when compared with wood bats. Bat impact speed significantly (P < .05) decreased with increasing bat moment of inertia for the 13-, 14-, and 15-year-old groups, but not for the other age groups. Ball-bat coefficients of restitution (BBCOR) for all nonwood were greater than for wood, but this factor alone did not correlate with bat performance. Our findings indicate that increases in BBCOR and swing speed were not associated with faster batted ball speeds for the bats studied whose moment of inertia was substantially less than that of a wood bat of similar length.

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Joseph J. Crisco, Laura Costa, Ryan Rich, Joel B. Schwartz and Bethany Wilcox

Girls’ lacrosse is fundamentally a different sport than boys’ lacrosse, and girls are not required to wear protective headgear. Recent epidemiological studies have found that stick checks are the leading cause of concussion injury in girls’ lacrosse. The purpose of this study was to determine stick check speeds and estimate the head acceleration associated with direct checks to the head. In addition, we briefly examine if commercially available headgear can mitigate the accelerations. Seven (n = 7) experienced female lacrosse players checked, with varying severity, a NOSCAE and an ASTM headform. Stick speed at impact and the associated peak linear accelerations of the headform were recorded. The NOCSAE headform was fitted with four commercially available headgear and similar stick impact testing was performed. The median stick impact speed was 8.1 m/s and 777 deg/s. At these speeds, peak linear acceleration was approximately 60g. Three out of the four headgear significantly reduced the peak linear acceleration when compared with the bare headform. These data serve as baseline for understanding the potential mechanism and reduction of concussions from stick impacts in girls’ lacrosse.

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Joseph J. Crisco, Bethany J. Wilcox, Jason T. Machan, Thomas W. McAllister, Ann-Christine Duhaime, Stefan M. Duma, Steven Rowson, Jonathan G. Beckwith, Jeffrey J. Chu and Richard M. Greenwald

The purpose of this study was to quantify the severity of head impacts sustained by individual collegiate football players and to investigate differences between impacts sustained during practice and game sessions, as well as by player position and impact location. Head impacts (N = 184,358) were analyzed for 254 collegiate players at three collegiate institutions. In practice, the 50th and 95th percentile values for individual players were 20.0 g and 49.5 g for peak linear acceleration, 1187 rad/s2 and 3147 rad/s2 for peak rotational acceleration, and 13.4 and 29.9 for HITsp, respectively. Only the 95th percentile HITsp increased significantly in games compared with practices (8.4%, p = .0002). Player position and impact location were the largest factors associated with differences in head impacts. Running backs consistently sustained the greatest impact magnitudes. Peak linear accelerations were greatest for impacts to the top of the helmet, whereas rotational accelerations were greatest for impacts to the front and back. The findings of this study provide essential data for future investigations that aim to establish the correlations between head impact exposure, acute brain injury, and long-term cognitive deficits.