Abstract

Concussions in athletes can be brought on by a hit to the head or sudden change in direction of the neck or head. This causes the brain to oscillate in the cranium hitting against the skull. Two common scenarios that result in a concussion in women’s lacrosse were studied: lacrosse ball to head contact and stick to head contact. Current Manhattan College student athletes on the Women’s Lacrosse team were used to obtain data regarding the average velocity of the ball, stick, and players. A pitching machine was utilized to accurately control the velocity of the ball when striking the dummy’s head to obtain the time of impact. The first step of this research is computational, as the collision scenarios were modeled and analyzed from a mechanical point of view. A linear acceleration value was obtained for a wide range of potential impact scenarios between the ball and player. When a linear acceleration greater than 50g is sustained, a concussion is likely to occur. The maximum linear acceleration calculated in this research was roughly 75.46g for ball to head contact and 62.3g for stick to head contact. Therefore, it was concluded that there is a high risk that a player will suffer a concussion in these scenarios. The results highlight the dangers in a gameplay setting, which indicates a potential need for alteration to game play style or regulations.

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