By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Gwinnett football league recommends helmet-mounted sensors for 2014 season

The Gwinnett Football League (GFL), comprised of 18 member associations in Gwinnett County, GA.

Gwinnett football league has endorsed the use of Brain Sentry helmet-mounted impact sensors that alert when an athlete suffers an unusually rapid – and potentially dangerous – acceleration of the head.  The devices, which also help to monitor sub-concussive hits, have been recommended to parents and guardians of players in the GFL for use in the 2014 season.  

With roughly 7,500 players ranging from age 6 to grade 8 and hundreds of volunteer coaches, the GFL is one of the nation’s largest youth football programs. Now with the expected widespread use of Brain Sentry sensors, it will also be one of the safest, 

GFL President Erik Richards said: “With 3.8 annual concussions reported nationally from youth sports activities, it is critical that we are educating parents and coaches on how they can make our local games safer for our players. Brain Sentry sensors will help our coaches identify players with techniques that include excessive head/helmet contact.  The Brain Sentry Impact Counter Plus will be an essential part of our league.” 

Richards added: “It is important for athletes to report concussions because the cumulative effects of repeated concussions can result in permanent intellectual and cognitive changes.  The Brain Sentry sensor will be an outstanding tool for GFL parents and coaches.”

Greg Merril, co-founder and CEO of Bethesda, MD-based Brain Sentry, said, “Athletes don't want to be pulled off the field. They hide symptoms of concussion.  They might not even know they have one, and knowing is critical because many catastrophic brain injuries are the result of second impacts to already concussed athletes. Brain Sentry monitors impacts and helps identify athletes that should be assessed for concussion.”

Merril added: “Our compact sensor measures impact forces, and it’s affordable.  At one ounce it is light.  It’s also waterproof, there is nothing to maintain, and the batteries last all year without charging.”

Brain Sentry’s sensor estimates direction, peak acceleration, and duration of impacts as experienced at the center (CG) of the head.  Brain Sentry’s patent-pending sensor technology includes a micro-electromechanical, tri-axial accelerometer capable of measuring acceleration from any direction. Helmets provide varying levels of impact protection depending on the direction of the hit.  Brain Sentry’s proprietary, DAS™ technology (Directionally Adaptive Sensing) provides a consistent alert level – independent of hit direction or helmet type.  

Brain Sentry sensors are made in the U.S. and easily affix to the outside of the helmet (on the back).  The product senses head impact and serves as an early warning for possible brain injury.

About Brain Sentry:
Brain Sentry has a simple goal: to stop lives from being devastated by sports-related brain injuries.Named a Top Startup of the Year in 2013 by The Wall Street Journal, Brain Sentry is privately held and headquartered in Bethesda, MD. The company was founded by a team of award-winning health-related product developers who have continued to win accolades; the Brain Sentry Impact Sensor was named Best Tech Product of the Year by Baltimore Innovation Week. The official sensor provider for the Arena Football League, Brain Sentry’s initial focus is to provide sensors for the three most popular helmeted contact sports: football, lacrosse, and hockey. Brain Sentry is also developing sensors for biking, alpine, and other helmeted activities. Learn more at www.brainsentry.com

About GFL:
The Gwinnett Football League (GFL) is a recreational youth age-based football and cheerleading program serving residents of Gwinnett County and surrounding areas.  Gwinnett County is located in the Northeast Metro Atlanta area and is home to our member associations.  The GFL is currently comprised of 18 member associations that closely mirror the Gwinnett County school cluster map.  Each year the GFL plays over 1,000 regular season games and typically fields over 200 football and cheerleading squads.  Learn more at www.gwinnettfootball.com