Dalhousie Tigers

Dalhousie Tigers Football Invests in Player Protection with New Smart Helmet Impact Monitoring Platform

Tigers become first university in Canada using analytics in player protection with Riddell’s InSite Training Tool

Halifax, NS – The Dalhousie Tigers football program has taken another step in player safety by investing in Riddell’s InSite smart helmet technology.

The Riddell InSite Training Tool (ITT) is the latest innovation in head impact monitoring technology, enabling the Tigers with a unique opportunity for athlete protection. Dalhousie is the first university in Canada to use this technology. The technology, a set of sensor pads, has been built into Riddell’s SpeedFlex helmet for the Tigers, a top of the line helmet model worldwide.

The new Riddell SpeedFlex smart helmet alongside the Tigers 2018 championship trophies. (Mark Kays Photography)

Riddell’s ITT technology utilizes smart helmets that monitor and record nearly each head impact on an individual player, to build player-specific impact profiles. InSite-equipped helmets alert medical staff on the sideline with actionable information from significant single and multiple impacts sustained in practices and/or games.

If a hit, or multiple hits, is above Riddell’s precalculated threshold level, an alert is sent and an athlete is removed from play. A player can then be assessed for a concussion by medical professionals on the field, allowing for heightened player safety. Tigers Football is proud to partner with Wag Physiotherapy and Dalhousie Sports Medicine as our on-field medical team. The sports medicine fellowship program led by orthopedic surgeons Dr. Ivan Wong and Dr. Catherine Coady provides the Tigers with physicians on the field for all home games.

Head Coach Mark Haggett says “We take the health of our players very seriously. Football is a fast, physical, violent game.… We want to give ourselves every possible tool to help us keep them safe.”

“If we’ve got 65 guys on the field and we’re competing in practice, all eyes can’t be everywhere at all times. These monitors take the guesswork out of it,” he added in yesterday’s CBC news article.

The impact data from all helmets are then inputted into an online platform where coaching staff can identify opportunities during training that may decrease head impact exposure. The ITT tool analyses the magnitude, location, and impact load of each player, position group, and the team over time. The data will allow Tigers coaching staff to modify practice plans, drills, and rest periods to optimize the health of Dalhousie student-athletes.

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“Now, more than ever, it’s our responsibility as football coaches, trainers and administrators, that we embrace new technological advances that enable us to proactively protect our athletes, making sure they can continue to enjoy the game of football,” said Jim Wilson, Chairman for Dalhousie Football.

“Being the first university in Canada to purchase Riddell’s InSite Training Tool, we are following through on our commitment, offering our staff and players real and useful data that we believe will continue to make the game smarter.”

Team president Casey Jones was an offensive lineman for the Tigers for four years before joining the coaching staff in 2017. Now entering medical school at Dal this Fall, he sees the potential for research with this data to improve concussion analytics. As he said in a recent CBC article, “With this new initiative we’ll be able to kind of circumvent [serious concussions] before they get to that point, hopefully.”

The Tigers are proud to partner with Prodigy Sports in purchasing the Riddell InSite system and helmets.

The Tigers are currently raising funds to help pay for the helmets, and are half-way to their goal of $40,000. You can read more and donate at this link.

As football evolves toward a smarter, more intelligent game, ITT provides next-level intelligence that can assist coaches and staffs in improving the game, keeping Dalhousie student-athletes’ protection their number one priority.

For more information on Riddell’s InSite Impact Response System, please visit www.Riddell.com/InSite.