High Tech mouth guards = safety

BETHEL SCHOOL DISTRICT — The Spanaway Lake High School football team was given 95 brand new mouth guards. That might not sound like a big deal, but it was.

The Vector mouth guards sent to SLHS are equipped with tiny computers that track every hit a player takes and funnels that information to coaches on the sideline in real time.

The mouth guards measure and record the G-force of every hit a player takes. If a mouth guard measures a big hit, someone on the coaching staff will receive a real-time alert, which will allow them to immediately pull the player from the game and begin testing them for a potential concussion.

The mouth guards not only record the size of the impact, but also where on the head the hits occur. Coaches can then study that data to determine if a player is using improper techniques that could lead to dangerous hits.

Bryan Streleski, Bethel’s Director of Athletics and Security, learned about the mouth guards several years ago and began discussing ways to get the technology into the district.

“Our goal is to be able to gather data to make sure kids are safe and to better evaluate those big hits,” he said.

At roughly $200 per unit, the Vector mouth guards aren’t cheap. Thankfully, the district’s insurance paid for the equipment.

More details are available at https://tinyurl.com/y7w6dhqa

If you’d like to get some photos of the Sentinels in action, Spanaway Lake’s Homecoming Game is Friday night at 7 p.m. at Art Crate Field.

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