Sports Medicine - Open
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Background: Rugby league is a full-contact collision sport with an inherent risk of concussion. Wearable instrumented technology was used to observe and characterize the level of exposure to head impacts during game play.
Purpose: To verify the impacts recorded by the x-patch™ with video analysis.
Study design: Observational case series.
Methods: The x-patch™ was used on eight men’s semi-professional rugby league players during the 2016 Newcastle Rugby League competition (five forwards and three backs). Game day footage was recorded by a trained videographer using a single camera located at the highest midfield location to verify the impact recorded by the x-patch™. Videographic and accelerometer data were time synchronized.
Results: The x-patch™ sensors recorded a total of 779 impacts ≥ 20 g during the games, of which 732 (94.0%) were verified on video. In addition, 817 impacts were identified on video that did not record an impact on the sensors. The number of video-verified impacts ≥ 20 g, per playing hour, was 7.8 for forwards and 4.8 for backs (range = 3.9–19.0). Impacts resulting in a diagnosed concussion had much greater peak linear acceleration (M = 76.1 g, SD = 17.0) than impacts that did not result in a concussion (M = 34.2g, SD = 18.0; Cohen’s d = 2.4).
Conclusions: The vast majority (94%) of impacts ≥ 20 g captured by the x-patch™ sensor were video verified in semi-professional rugby league games. The use of a secondary source of information to verify impact events recorded by wearable sensors is beneficial in clarifying game events and exposure levels.
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