Characterization of Concussive Events in Professional American Football Using Videogrammetry

Ann Biomed Eng. 2020 Nov;48(11):2678-2690. doi: 10.1007/s10439-020-02637-3. Epub 2020 Oct 6.


Sports concussions offer a unique opportunity to study head kinematics associated with mild traumatic brain injury. In this study, a model-based image matching (MBIM) approach was employed to analyze video footage of 57 concussions which occurred in National Football League (NFL) games. By utilizing at least two camera views, higher frame rate footage (> 60 images s-1), and laser scans of the field and helmets involved in each case, it was possible to calculate the change in velocity of the helmet during impact in six degrees of freedom. The average impact velocity for these concussive events was 8.9 ± 2.0 m s-1. The average changes in translational and rotational velocity for the concussed players' helmets were 6.6 ± 2.1 m s-1 and 29 ± 13 rad s-1, respectively. The average change in translational velocity was higher for helmet-to-ground (n = 16) impacts compared to helmet-to-helmet (n = 30) or helmet-to-shoulder (n = 11) events (p < 0.001), while helmet-to-shoulder impacts had a smaller change in rotational velocity compared to the other impact sources (p < 0.001). By quantifying the impact velocities and locations associated with concussive impacts in professional American football, this study provides information that may be used to improve upon current helmet testing methodologies.

Keywords: Biomechanics; Concussion; Helmet; Kinematics.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry*
  • Adult
  • Brain Concussion* / pathology
  • Brain Concussion* / physiopathology
  • Brain Concussion* / prevention & control
  • Football / injuries*
  • Head / pathology
  • Head / physiopathology
  • Head Protective Devices*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • United States
  • Video Recording*