Crescent High School’s football team in Anderson County is using high tech helmets to monitor impact levels during practices in an effort to keep players safer.

These “InSite Training Tool” helmets are made by Riddell, and use data from about 5 million impacts collected since 2004 to create impact profiles for each player and provide on-field alerts. Coaches hope it can be used as a tool to help lower chances of players suffering concussions.

The technology senses impact on the front, top, rear, left and right of each helmet. It will detect and assess the level of each impact, and alert trainers or coaches on the sidelines holding a handheld device whenever a level of impact is above normal for that player’s position and competition level. That way they can assess the player for head injuries and possible concussions as soon as the impact occurs.

According to a recent CDC study, 40% of high school athletes who have suffered a concussion say their coach was unaware of their symptoms.

Coaches can also access a summary of impacts during each practice or game to determine if a player is absorbing impact too often or in a way that makes them more susceptible to concussions and injuries.

Riddell says the helmets are not diagnostic devices, but coaches like Sheldon Evans at Crescent High School say it’s been a valuable training tool since their football program bought 70 new helmets for the football team this past Spring. He says he’s been using it to correct unsafe tackling techniques in certain players.

“Say he takes 5 high level impacts in the inside every day during that time,” he says. “We need to do one or two things; we need to make sure he gets his head out of the game and is not putting his head down to absorb the contact or we need to take him out and put another running back in there…it’s just a coaching tool… to plan practice better.”

In the Upstate, football programs at Wofford College and York Comprehensive High School also use those helmets.