Topics in Exercise Science and Kinesiology Volume 2: Issue 1, Article 9, 2021. Heavier facemask reinforcement has been shown to impair reaction time. While overbuilt facemasks are illegal for gameplay at all levels of competition, empirical rationale for this has not be realized and it is unknown if overbuilt facemasks are worse for peripheral vision than permitted ones. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of wearing an overbuilt facemask versus game permitted facemasks on peripheral visuomotor ability in collegiate football players. Male NCAA Division I football players (n=18) completed a 60-second peripheral visuomotor test on a Dynavision D2 visuomotor board under the following conditions: 1) Baseline (No helmet), 2) Helmet + Light reinforced facemask, 3) Helmet + Medium reinforced facemask, 4) Helmet + Heavy reinforced facemask, 5) Helmet + Overbuilt facemask. Overall peripheral reaction time (PRT) and PRT separated by rings and quadrants were analyzed. Points of application: 1) Regardless of facemask reinforcement, wearing protective headgear impairs peripheral reaction time (PRT) compared to baseline with no helmet. Addition of an overbuilt facemask significantly impairs PRT compared to NCAA permitted facemasks. 2) An overbuilt facemask exhibits the most visuomotor decrement in far peripheral visual fields. 3) Decreases in visuomotor ability while wearing an overbuilt facemask are most pronounced in lower regions of visual field.
Creamer, Jai'rus L.; Rogers, Rebecca R.; Benjamin, Courteney L. CSCS; Marsh, J. Patrick; Williams, Tyler D. CSCS*D; and Ballmann, Christopher G. FACSM
"The Influence of Overbuilt Versus Game-Permitted American Football Facemasks on Peripheral Visuomotor Ability in NCAA Division I Football Athletes,"
Topics in Exercise Science and Kinesiology: Vol. 2:
1, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/scholarship_kin/vol2/iss1/9