Head trauma in sports, especially contact ones like football, is a major concern for athletes. That’s why UW has teamed up with the NFL to conduct research on head injuries right here on campus.

“So the purpose of the project is to measure on-field head impacts sustained by University of Wisconsin football players with instrumented mouth pieces. “

“This is just a regular mouthguard. The company that actually makes this is just a standard custom manufacturer. The unique part is this layer of sensors that kind of wrap around the very front piece of the mouthguard. So that is the equipment that allows us to measure the head and neck movements.”

The Badger Athletic Performance Laboratory conducting the research is working alongside UW trainers that diagnose concussion in players.

That’s by far the most significant concern that we have is making sure that we can properly diagnose and assess them for concussion.”

“And that’s why these studies are so important because we’re trying to develop a baseline and gather data so we can potentially predict who might be at risk for long-term effects of concussion.”

UW football players will continue to wear these mouthguards for the rest of the season in practice as well as the bowl game. The research will pick up again in the spring when players suit up and practice right here in the early months of 2022.

“It may be years down the road before we see some significant changes, but the more data that we collect, the more we can learn about these types of things.”

For the Badger Report, I’m Kelsey Tehan