A 3-dimensional analysis of face-mask removal tools in inducing helmet movement


Objective: To evaluate the performance of specific face-mask removal tools during football helmet face-mask retraction using 3-dimensional (3-D) video. Design and Setting: Four different tools were used: the anvil pruner (AP), polyvinyl chloride pipe cutters (PVC), Face Mask (FM) Extractor (FME), and Trainer's Angel (TA). Subjects retracted a face mask once with each tool. Subjects: Eleven certified athletic trainers served as subjects and were recruited from among local sports medicine professionals. Measurements: We analyzed a sample of movement by 3-D techniques during the retraction process. Movement of the head in 3 planes and time to retract the face mask were also assessed. All results were analyzed with a simple repeated-measures one-way multivariate analysis of variance. An overall efficiency score was calculated for each tool. Results: The AP allowed subjects to perform the face-mask removal task the fastest. Face mask removal with the AP was significantly faster than with the PVC and TA and significantly faster with the TA than the PVC. The PVC and AP created significantly more movement than the FME and TA when planes were combined. No significant differences were noted among tools for flexion-extension, rotation, or lateral flexion. The AP had an efficiency score of 14; FME, 15; TA, 18; and PVC, 35. Conclusions: The subjects performed the face-mask removal task in the least amount of time with the AP. They completed the task with the least amount of combined movement using the FME. The AP and FME had nearly identical overall efficiency scores for movement and time.



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Journal of Athletic Training


National Athletic Trainers Association

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