Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
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Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

Postby irc » 26 Sep 2010, 6:19pm

An Australian study finds that padded helmets make no difference to head injury rates for rugby players.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19127196

Looks like a fairly small study but low speed collisions on a soft surface would be expected to be where helmets might make a difference. No wonder they make little difference in road cycling with hard surfaces and high speed collissions.
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Cunobelin
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Re: Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

Postby Cunobelin » 26 Sep 2010, 8:43pm

Only evidence that helmets work is sound, valuable and counted, evidence like this that casts any doubt on their absolute efficiency should be ignored and sidelined.

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Re: Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

Postby MartinC » 27 Sep 2010, 2:25pm

Cunobelin wrote:Only evidence that helmets work is sound, valuable and counted, evidence like this that casts any doubt on their absolute efficiency should be ignored and sidelined.


I'm sure it will be. IIRC correctly the medical studies from boxing and American football were of the opinion that gum shields gave worthwile protection from blows to the head (by allowing the neck muscles to contribute to dampening head movement). Headway don't seem to want to promote their use though.

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Re: Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

Postby Richard » 27 Sep 2010, 3:23pm

Maybe I'm mistaken but I thought the primary purpose of padded headwear for rugby players was to prevent abrasion type injuries such as cauliflower ears in the scrums and rucks/mauls; not to protect against impact injuries.

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Re: Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

Postby Si » 27 Sep 2010, 3:27pm

I believe that when American Football helmets became mandatory the number of deaths rose, mainly down to the increased number of broken necks. Of course, there is a world of difference between a gridiron helmet and a cycling helmet, but it is a good example of how the 'common sense' assumption that helmets always equal safety should not be taken on face value.

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Re: Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

Postby Richard » 27 Sep 2010, 4:00pm

I'd also take polite issue with the wording of the post - rugby helmets do work, as do cycling helmets; but not on every occasion.

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Re: Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

Postby Cunobelin » 27 Sep 2010, 7:05pm

MartinC wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:Only evidence that helmets work is sound, valuable and counted, evidence like this that casts any doubt on their absolute efficiency should be ignored and sidelined.


I'm sure it will be. IIRC correctly the medical studies from boxing and American football were of the opinion that gum shields gave worthwile protection from blows to the head (by allowing the neck muscles to contribute to dampening head movement). Headway don't seem to want to promote their use though.


I was many years ago involved imaging patients for blood supply to the brain as part of a research project. This compared boxers to a control population - after even a few fights boxers showed areas of decreased blood supply due to the damage caused by blows to the head, in other words causing brain damage!

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Re: Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

Postby Tonyf33 » 29 Sep 2010, 2:24am

Firstly, it isn't a helmet it is a 'headguard' & they aren't like cycle helmets, they are very close fitting & cover the whole of the head bar the face area.
I never had to wear one when I played league & it is certainly more common in union but AFAIK it was to stop soft tissue damage, deflect shock impacts & stop re-opening previous soft tissue wounds/cuts on the head.
from what I remember the IRB (the onion lot) have a MAXIUMUM allowable thickness on the field of play(10mm I just looked up) The reason they aren't really thick is that they have the potential to injure other players.
To be fair I think sometiumes it is seen as a comforter, look at petra Cech the ex Chelsea goalkeeper after he took that knock to his head.

Given the nature of rugby and propensity of bone against bone & high impacts multiple times in a short timescale it could be said that wearing one would make far more sense than in cycling.

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Re: Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

Postby Si » 29 Sep 2010, 9:01am

have a MAXIUMUM allowable thickness on the field of play


Is that what seperates rugby players from soccer players? :twisted:

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Re: Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

Postby Tonyf33 » 29 Sep 2010, 6:21pm

Si wrote:
have a MAXIUMUM allowable thickness on the field of play


Is that what seperates rugby players from soccer players? :twisted:

What 10mm of foam (or whatever is inside the fabric)? I wouldn't know, 2 completely different sports with massively differing rules regarding contact. Rugby is a direct physical contact sport, the contact in soccer is indirect (in its purest form it is a non contact sport).

In relation to your comment on Gridiron, you need to define what period you are talking about?
The wearing of headguards didn't become compulsary until the 40's at the pro level & these headguards were still made of leather. Gridiron didn't get a man made material outer shell helmet until the 1950's and these were actually quite dangerous because certain aspects of the design were poor (not the actual impact bit though)

The increase in attributable deaths/serious injuries was down to changes in technique that allowed more of the head area to be used to bring an opponent down (the bar on the front is one example) so it wasn't the actual crash impact design that was at fault it was the rules that were in force at the time.
The rules regarding contact to the head were not changed until 1976 when direct head shots were banned, the reduction in injuries since that period went down dramatically.

You can make no comparison to helmet use in a full on contact sport in its early inception (The late 1950's which is what I would call a true helmet) to the cycle helmet. One works in terms of reducing high impact shocks to the head, one does not.

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Re: Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

Postby Si » 30 Sep 2010, 10:31am

Tonyf33 wrote:
Si wrote:
have a MAXIUMUM allowable thickness on the field of play


Is that what seperates rugby players from soccer players? :twisted:

What 10mm of foam (or whatever is inside the fabric)? I wouldn't know, 2 completely different sports with massively differing rules regarding contact. Rugby is a direct physical contact sport, the contact in soccer is indirect (in its purest form it is a non contact sport).

In relation to your comment on Gridiron, you need to define what period you are talking about?
The wearing of headguards didn't become compulsary until the 40's at the pro level & these headguards were still made of leather. Gridiron didn't get a man made material outer shell helmet until the 1950's and these were actually quite dangerous because certain aspects of the design were poor (not the actual impact bit though)

The increase in attributable deaths/serious injuries was down to changes in technique that allowed more of the head area to be used to bring an opponent down (the bar on the front is one example) so it wasn't the actual crash impact design that was at fault it was the rules that were in force at the time.
The rules regarding contact to the head were not changed until 1976 when direct head shots were banned, the reduction in injuries since that period went down dramatically.

You can make no comparison to helmet use in a full on contact sport in its early inception (The late 1950's which is what I would call a true helmet) to the cycle helmet. One works in terms of reducing high impact shocks to the head, one does not.


Sorry, I think you've totally missed the meaning of what I was saying, it was simply a crap joke regarding the compatritive mental abilities of football and rugby players and nothing to do with helmets what so ever - please resume the thread ignoring my post. Apologies for any confusion.

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Re: Rugby Helmets Don't Work Either

Postby Tonyf33 » 30 Sep 2010, 10:02pm

Si wrote:Sorry, I think you've totally missed the meaning of what I was saying, it was simply a crap joke regarding the compatritive mental abilities of football and rugby players and nothing to do with helmets what so ever - please resume the thread ignoring my post. Apologies for any confusion.


it's okay, I got it :lol: I just wasn't sure which side you were denigrating so I just thought I'd throw some light on the helemt subject.
It is interesting that even in those early days the helemts worked to lessen the shock to the skull from two men colliding at speed.
When you look at the technology in N F L helmets today cycle helmet manufacturers could go a long way in making improvements that might actually make them do the job they were intended for. No matter what there should always, always be a choice.



<mod: post edited - for some reason the auto spam trapper doesn't like the term NFL so I changed it to N F L>