New study tracks perils of water polo head injuries
Water polo athletes take note: A new study by University of California, Irvine researchers maps out the frequency of head injuries in the sport and reveals which positions are the most vulnerable.
“For years, water polo’s head trauma risks have been downplayed or overshadowed by football-related brain injuries,” said study co-author James Hicks, professor and chair of UCI’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. “Our data quantifies the extent of the problem and sets the stage for additional research and possible rule changes or protective gear to improve water polo safety.”
During the study, players wore caps embedded with electronic sensors. Over time, every participant got bopped in the head by balls or rival players, but some fared worse –occasionally far worse – than others.
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