Concussion in Women’s Soccer: A Prescriptive Analysis of Force Loading During Heading

Robinson, James Michael (2016) Concussion in Women’s Soccer: A Prescriptive Analysis of Force Loading During Heading. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Dwight Waddell and Matthew Morrison from Electrical Engineering, University of Mississippi.


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Women’s soccer has the highest incidence of concussion among female sports. However, there has been relatively little research investigating the immediate and cumulative effects of soccer heading on brain injury, especially among youth. In an effort to better understand concussion in the often-underserved population of women high school soccer players, we investigated, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the nature of force loading during heading of a soccer ball. Data was collected from the Oxford High School Women’s Varsity Soccer Team using X2 Biosystems’ xPatch, which measures force loading magnitude and direction with six degrees of linear and rotational freedom using a 3-axis gyroscope and a high-G 3-axis accelerometer. Analysis included skill set differentiation, baseline assessment of heading skill, live-play data collection, and comparative analysis of player-by-player technique. Heading type impact data was analyzed to find if a correlation exists between the types of header (passing, shooting, clearing) and force loading. The distance, velocity, and angle of the incoming ball were varied to examine how players alter form in response to changes in these variables. In addition, form and force-loading data was contrasted for headers performed while stationary versus headers performed while moving. Player-by-player analysis included differentiation of position (defender, midfielder, forward) to assess if correlations could be made regarding form/force loading and player position. The overall goal was to provide prescriptive analysis and recommendation of form in relation to force loading of soccer headers with minimum training obtrusiveness and maximum player benefit. This study serves as a broad overview of the varying types of headers and the relations between those header types, player profiles, and heading impact profiles. As such, no definitive conclusions were made. This study does, however, show that useful quantitative and qualitative correlations can be made and evaluated in regards to heading and impact profile.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Robinson, James Michael
Student's Degree Program(s): B.S. in Engineering
Thesis Advisor: Dwight Waddell and Matthew Morrison
Thesis Advisor's Department: Electrical Engineering
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QC Physics
Q Science > QP Physiology
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Depositing User: Mr. James Robinson
Date Deposited: 25 May 2016 16:45
Last Modified: 25 May 2016 16:45

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