Opetera Peleseuma, left, and Aidan Jordan of Hutt Old Boys Marist wore patches behind their ears to measure the hits they took during their match in Wellington.
The patches measured the force, direction and rotation of any impact.
WELLINGTON — How much of a beating does a rugby player take during a game?
While players measure that in aches and pains, which cannot be quantified, an amateur club is now trying to take a scientific approach to determine how jarring those hits are and how they might lead to concussions.
The long-term effects of blows to the head and the way concussions are diagnosed has been news not just in rugby, but in the National Football League, boxing and other sports.
In New Zealand, where rugby union is the national game, the Hutt Old Boys Marist club is taking a high-technology approach to the issue.
The club is using electronic mouth guards and patches stuck behind the ear to measure the force, direction and rotation of any impact during a game.
The data are suggesting that players sometimes face the same strain as when two cars collide. L.’s Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers used similar mouth guards last season. M., and he is conducting the research on the rugby blows as part of his second doctorate.
Each mouth guard and patch uses an accelerometer and gyroscope to calculate the exact point of each impact and the G-forces behind it. Doug King, a specialist nurse in the emergency department of a Wellington hospital, is the medic for the Hutt Old Boys Marist, often known as H. Last year he introduced to the club the King-Devick test, a screening that can help determine whether a player has suffered a concussive incident during the game.
A player does an initial test in the preseason to record a baseline score. is taking it a step further, using the King-Devick test in conjunction with the data collected from the mouth guards and patches, which register anything from 10 G’s worth of force or more.
The players are then tested after every game, and if anyone is three seconds slower than his baseline score, he is deemed to have suffered a concussion. An F-16 fighter-jet roll is equivalent to 9 G’s of force, although that is over a prolonged period of time compared with an impact in a rugby game.
Because the test is calculated on an i Pad, it can even be used during a game if a concussion is suspected. A car crash at 65 kilometers, or 40 miles, per hour is about 35 G’s.“The highest G-force recorded was 205 G and the player played the whole game with no signs of cognitive injury post-match,” said King, who began his research into concussion after watching a rugby league player die on the field in 1998 as a result of concussions and cranial bleeding. is totally different to rugby union, but a head is a head.” King always gets the final say on whether a player can return to play after an injury, a concussion or a suspected concussion.