Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 97–105 | Cite as

Football Helmet Drop Tests on Different Fields Using an Instrumented Hybrid III Head

  • David C. Viano
  • Chris Withnall
  • Michael Wonnacott


An instrumented Hybrid III head was placed in a Schutt ION 4D football helmet and dropped on different turfs to study field types and temperature on head responses. The head was dropped 0.91 and 1.83 m giving impacts of 4.2 and 6.0 m/s on nine different football fields (natural, Astroplay, Fieldturf, or Gameday turfs) at turf temperatures of −2.7 to 23.9 °C. Six repeat tests were conducted for each surface at 0.3 m (1′) intervals. The Hybrid III was instrumented with triaxial accelerometers to determine head responses for the different playing surfaces. For the 0.91-m drops, peak head acceleration varied from 63.3 to 117.1 g and HIC15 from 195 to 478 with the different playing surfaces. The lowest response was with Astroplay, followed by the engineered natural turf. Gameday and Fieldturf involved higher responses. The differences between surfaces decreased in the 1.83 m tests. The cold weather testing involved higher accelerations, HIC15 and delta V for each surface. The helmet drop test used in this study provides a simple and convenient means of evaluating the compliance and energy absorption of football playing surfaces. The type and temperature of the playing surface influence head responses.


Protective headgear Recreation and sport Concussion Helmets Sport equipment 


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. Viano
    • 1
  • Chris Withnall
    • 2
  • Michael Wonnacott
    • 2
  1. 1.ProBiomechanics LLCBloomfield HillsUSA
  2. 2.Biokinetics and Associates Ltd.OttawaCanada

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