Essendon, Blues and maybe Dogs to trial Hird-backed mouthguard

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James Hird is helping with a high-tech mouthguard.

James Hird helps with a high-tech mouthguard.Credit score:Picture: Jason South

Collingwood additionally has been in discussions with the mouthguard firm, however is much less doubtless to make use of the machine than the Dons, Blues and Bulldogs. The corporate is hoping that there shall be 4 golf equipment within the trial.

Whereas the AFL has deemed the mouthguard secure to be used by gamers, the league has restricted it to analysis functions. Membership docs can’t use the machine to make scientific judgments about whether or not a participant is concussed, or the extent of a concussion.

The expectation is that it is going to be used throughout the premiership season. Its use is not going to be obligatory.

Hird has not been concerned in discussions with the AFL concerning the mouthguard, however Hit IQ – which hopes to determine the machine in the US, the place concussion is an enormous subject in American soccer – has indicated to the AFL that the previous Bomber is helping the corporate with the mouthguard.

The Nexus A9 mouthguard.

The Nexus A9 mouthguard.

The mouthguard has been backed by the AFL Gamers’ Affiliation, which is eager to realize as a lot information as attainable about head-high collisions and hopes that the machine is usually a instrument for enhancing participant security.

Golf equipment have beforehand experimented with sensors that have been taped behind the ears of gamers to carry out an analogous operate to the mouthguard.

The proponents of the mouthguard hope that, as a result of it’s fitted within the mouth, it’s going to give a extra correct measure of the affect of collisions to the cranium.

If the mouthguard is discovered to be efficient as a instrument for measuring the affect of head blows, it may grow to be a diagnostic instrument for membership medicos, who’re more and more acutely aware of the dangers of concussions – a difficulty that grow to be extra seen, as previous gamers equivalent to ex-Bomber and Cat John Barnes and ex-Demon and Kangaroo Shaun Smith say that they’re troubled with well being issues that arose from concussions of their taking part in days.

Hird isn’t believed to be an investor, at this stage, in Hit IQ, whose chief government has led the discussions with the golf equipment, the AFL and the AFLPA. Hird has taken a low profile because the Essendon medication saga ceased in 2016, though he stays involved with key Essendon folks and has been mentoring younger midfielder Kyle Langford.

Jake Niall is a Walkley award-winning sports activities journalist and chief AFL author for The Age. He writes information, commentary and evaluation on a wide range of different sports activities.

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