Wadsworth High School uses smart helmets to track hits, alert coaches

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WADSWORTH, Ohio - Smart helmet technology that monitors head impacts is being used to reduce concussions at some Northeast Ohio schools.

The Riddell InSite Training Tool uses sensors beneath padding inside football helmets to track impacts and send instant alerts about hard hits to coaches and trainers, who can evaluate the affected player.

The smart helmet system also generates reports about the extent of all impacts, where they occurred and which players were hit.

“We're doing everything in our power to make sure that, not only, we've changed the way we work from a practice perspective,” said Justin Todd, Wadsworth High School head football coach. “We're doing everything from a precautionary standpoint to make sure, if a big hit occurs, that it registers with us and we know to take proper care of it.”

Wadsworth began using InSite in helmets in 2015 and is among about 40 football programs statewide using the Riddell technology.

Each InSite unit costs $100, in addition to the cost of the helmet. Todd said Wadsworth has been purchasing a dozen helmets equipped with the technology each year, totaling about $5,000 annually.

“There's a certain expense, but obviously we all know there's no cost when it comes to protecting your kids,” he said.

Todd said more than half of the school’s players have the smart helmets, and it plans to continue buying additional helmets annually until all players have helmets equipped with the technology.

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