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      UP Youth Football League debuts new helmets

      There's been a lot more publicity about concussions in football the past few years, especially when a group of former National Football League players filed suit against the league for the damage that repeated concussions caused in their careers.

      Here in Michigan, the Michigan High School Athletic Association implemented new rules that removed student-athletes from a game if a concussion is suspected. But what if you could tell if a kid is suffering from a concussion the moment a hit happens.

      The Upper Peninsula Youth Football League in Delta County has purchased ten new high-tech helmets that can alert coaches and officials of a potential problem.Elvis Hood is the president and founder of the UPFL.He says that these helmets cost $300 each.

      â??The helmet is designed to minimize shock to the head, and suppress concussion type hits as a whole,â?? Hood said. â??We also went a step further and we've had installedâ?| a sensor unit that sensors the hits, the impacts that the kids take, and it has a threshold that will warn us if the impact threshold has been met.â??The helmets include sensors that trace the "impacts" within "predetermined thresholds" of contact with the helmet. It alerts the coach if the kid has had multiple "impacts" or one single blow, and it shows where on the player's head that the contact(s) occurred.This will help in diagnosing concussions almost as soon as they happen.Hood says that the league is raising money to buy even more, to offer more protection for the kids. Businesses and individuals can donate or get more information by calling (269) 350-8793, or by visiting the U.P. Youth Football League's Facebook page.

      The U.P. Youth Football Season begins this Saturday morning, Sept. 6, at the Holy Name Catholic School Field.