Dalhousie University's football team will wear new helmets this season that are equipped with technology to analyze head impacts. (CBC)

High-tech helmets set to play bigger role in Canadian football

When played well, North American football can be thrilling.

Alas, it is also violent, filled with blows and hits that can take a heavy toll on players’ bodies, especially their heads.

The team’s old helmets, pictured above, will be replaced with new Riddell SpeedFlex helmets with technology that measures head impacts. (Mark Kays Photography/cbc.ca)

And for the past 20 years or so, the game itself has been taking a lot of hits from doctors and medical researchers who study the results of that violence.

Still the game survives, peopled by those who love it--those who want to make sure it keeps going by finding ways to try to make it safer.

One of those persons is the varsity coach at Halifax’s Dalhousie University, Mark Haggett.

Dalhousie head coach Mark Haggett is convinced the high-tech helmets will go a long way to cutting down football head injuries. (Mark Kays Photography/cbc.ca)

Haggett and team president Casey Jones are proceeding full speed ahead to make sure Dalhousie players will have the best protection money can buy for their heads: high-tech helmets that can help detect concussions from the sidelines.

The helmets don’t come cheap, $500 a pop, but the Tigers will be the first university team in Canada to outfit every player with a special helmet when football season gets underway this fall.

I spoke with Haggett about the helmets on Wednesday.

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