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11/24/2015

Richmond County Daily Journal: North Carolina company continues push for head safety

Special to the Daily Journal

RALEIGH — A Raleigh company has outfitted a California youth baseball team with a new advancement in sports head protection at the request of a Major League Baseball player.

PSE Technology’s GelDefender skull caps are required head protection for the Saddleback Cowboys, a traveling team of players 8 years old and younger in Ladera Ranch, California. The Cowboys are the first baseball team in the United States to wear the supplemental head protection under their hats and helmets.

One of their players, Brody Schumaker, is the son of Major League Baseball player Skip Schumaker. An 11-year veteran with the National League’s Cardinals, Dodgers and Reds, Schumaker has suffered four concussions during his career and has been a first-hand witness to countless others.

“I’ve seen it too many times in Little Leagues; I’ve seen it too many times in the big leagues,” Schumaker said. “I’ve seen horrific injuries. I know that it happens.”

Raleigh’s PSE-3, a sports and entertainment firm, managed the development of the product and the market introduction for PSE Technology.

“With the heightened attention to preventing head injuries in athletics and recreation, we’re getting a lot of interest from youth leagues and high school programs in multiple sports,” said Bill Futterer, managing member of PSE-3. “Parents are starting to demand that organizations make use of the best available protection, and, as with many innovative programs, California leads the way.”

Former Dodgers and Cardinals pitcher Blake Hawksworth, a friend of Schumaker who sometimes assists with the Cowboys, said baseball head injuries have increased in recent years because of advancements in the sport.

“The kids are stronger, the baseballs are wound tighter and the bats are better,” Hawksworth said. “Faster pitches result in batted balls reaching the pitcher’s mound faster than ever, which means less reaction time and the potential for more injuries.”

Schumaker believes something needs to be done about head protection in baseball, so he feels more secure knowing his son has extra protection while he plays.

“It absolutely gives me peace of mind,” he said. “Not only for Brody, but I know that we’re doing everything we can to protect the boys on the team.”

There has been a great deal of publicity about head injuries in football, but less conversation about the need for extra head protection in baseball, Hawksworth said. “People who don’t see baseball as a contact sport probably didn’t play very much baseball.”

While foul tips and home-plate collisions involving catchers and batted balls back at pitchers are obvious injury situations, defensive collisions also present dangerous circumstances. Infielders and outfielders chase the same fly balls and are focusing on making the catches. Sliding base runners and double-play opportunities at second base put infielders at risk.

In the six weeks since the Cowboys have been wearing the GelDefender products, no player has suffered a head injury even though there have been two particularly dangerous incidents.

Once, a helmeted batter running to first base rammed heads with the Cowboys’ first baseman on a close play. Another time, a hard-hit ground ball took a bad hop and hit a player squarely in the head. Both Cowboys’ players were wearing the GelDefender skull cap and neither suffered an injury.

“Both were definitely situations where concussions would have been possible,” said Schumaker.

The skull caps are made of Impact Gel, a substance that disperses g-forces when contacts occur.

“We have followed the Impact Gel product for about 10 years,” Futterer said. “When we decided to develop a product that could help prevent or lessen head injuries, we found that Impact Gel performed extremely well in exhaustive testing.”

According to Schumaker, another advantage of the skull caps is that kids can wear them and still “look cool.” They are lightweight—only about 10 ounces—and they fit invisibly inside a baseball or softball cap. “The kid doesn’t want to look different from other players,” he said. “This one, you can’t even tell it’s on.”

Hawksworth has another take on “cool,” which he related to Southern California having the hottest summer on record.

“Excessive heat is another major health and performance problem,” Hawksworth said. “Players are always looking for an edge, so the fact that this head protection product has the extra benefit of keeping players cooler in very hot weather is a huge benefit.”

Schumaker feels it’s essential that players use extra head protection and wants them to become mandatory in the Irvine Pony League.

“I never understood why you had to wear a cup and not head protection,” he said. “I want them to require it.”

Hawksworth said organizers frequently wait to make changes until it’s too late.

“Too often it takes a career-changing or career-ending injury for baseball coaches and leagues to take head protection seriously,” he said. “They need to be proactive.”

8/27/2013

Unbeaten Heavyweight Amir Mansour Retains WBF and Wins USBA Heavyweight Titles













Unbeaten heavyweight boxer Amir “Hardcore” Mansour, the first boxer to train using GelDefender® head pads, celebrates his unanimous decision over Maurice “Mo Bettah” Harris on Friday, August 23, at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware.

8/14/2013

Little League World Series team to wear latest head safety equipment

MLB pitcher Hawksworth instrumental in outfitting team

RALEIGH, N.C. - PSE Technology, producer of GelDefender® product (www.geldefender.com), has donated almost 30 Head Pads to the Eastlake Little League All Stars. The team will take the field tomorrow in Williamsport, PA, in its first Little League World Series match-up.

MLB pitcher Blake Hawksworth helped facilitate the donation.

The initial GelDefender® product for use with helmets was engineered to reduce the g-force impacts sustained in contact sports and recreational activities in which helmets are recommended or required. The new cap product is designed to fit under soft caps such as baseball or softball caps. The product was launched in May.

Laboratory tests indicate that the advanced, lightweight design reduces g- forces during many impacts and provides cooling benefits in hot conditions typical in sports environments.

Developed by PSE Technology LLC, a Raleigh, N.C., company, the GelDefender® head pads fit youths and adults with head sizes 6 to 8 and covers the side of the head above the ears, the temples, the forehead and the rear and crown of the head.

About PSE Technology LLC—PSE Technology LLC is a privately held company based in Raleigh, NC. The company has filed for trademark and patent protection for GelDefender® and the GelDefender® logo. PSE Technology LLC is managed by sports and entertainment firm PSE-3 (www.pse-3.com).

6/20/2013

GelDefender® Interview with Blake Hawksworth

BlakeH 

It was September of 2010, and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Blake Hawksworth—in only his second season in the majors—was on the mound against the Chicago Cubs. In the fifth inning, moments after a pitch to Cubs’ outfielder Sam Fuld, a stadium full of people cringed to see Hawksworth on the ground, blood dripping from his face.

“I can remember the incident, and I can remember seeing the baseball,” said the young righthander. “I can still even hear it, the sound it makes coming at you.”

Hawksworth was just a split second too slow getting his glove up to prevent Fuld’s line drive from hitting him squarely in the face.

He was taken immediately to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a split lip and a concussion. A few stitches, some dental work, and a month later, and he was back on the mound.

“If it was higher, lower, who knows how bad it could have been,” he said. “It could’ve been my eye, who knows. It’s just such a blessing to walk out of that okay.”

Now, with the upswing in concussion awareness, he is looking for ways to protect himself and his fellow pitchers for when what happened to him in 2010 happens again. “I’m fearful of it for anyone,” he said, “because I know the effects it has.”

Hawksworth said athletes often don’t consider themselves vulnerable to head injury until they are faced with one themselves. “In any sport, there’s a sense of invincibility,” he said. “You kind of have that thought of, ‘Yeah, that’s scary, but the odds of that happening to me are slim.’ Until it happens to you.”

He said hearing about people that have dealt with head injuries and their side effects for the rest of their lives, let alone their playing careers, has motivated him and major sports organizations to seriously consider greater protection.

“It’s an issue that’s going to be addressed, and Major League Baseball I know for a fact is looking into it, and especially in the NFL – hockey, cycling, you name it,” he said. “Head injuries are the scariest injuries out there.”

After taking a look at the GelDefender® head pads for caps and working with it off the mound, he said he thinks its subtlety, its comfort, and its cooling make it a good options for pitchers.

However, he said that regulated head equipment for players may be in the distant future for a very traditional sport like baseball.

“Unfortunately, there’s some vanity in sports, and people are hesitant to wear something that is different,” he said. “But I think at the end of the day people have families, and they have lives to live after they play. And they want to do everything they can to live a healthy life.”


Listen to parts of the interview here:

 
  •  HawksworthSB Mandatory
  • HawksworthSB Invinc Final
  • HawksworthSB Cooling

 

 

5/10/2013

New Head Padding Announced for Baseball and Softball Caps

Soft gel fits under cap to provide extra padding and cooling benefits

RALEIGH, N.C. - PSE Technology LLC, manufacturer of GelDefender® head pads (www.geldefender.com), announced today that its soft pads for caps will be available on-line to consumers on Saturday, May 18.

Meanwhile, PSE Technology is forwarding samples of the product to Major League Baseball, specific MLB teams that have requested the product, and several MLB pitchers who have been previously injured by batted balls.

The initial GelDefender® product was engineered to reduce the g-force impacts sustained in contact sports and recreational activities in which helmets are recommended or required. The new product is designed to fit under caps such as baseball or softball caps.

Laboratory tests indicate that the advanced, lightweight design reduces g- forces during many impacts and provides cooling benefits in hot conditions typical in sports environments.

The announcement of the new GelDefender® product comes just days after Toronto Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ was hit on the head by a line drive while pitching against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Developed by PSE Technology LLC, a Raleigh, N.C., company, the GelDefender® head pads fit youths and adults with head sizes 6 to 8 and covers the side of the head above the ears, the temples, the forehead and the rear and crown of the head.

GelDefender® products can be purchased at www.geldefender.com and will soon be available in sports retail stores and through sports retailers online.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact media@geldefender.com or 919.719.2777.

4/16/2013

Unbeaten Heavyweight Amir Mansour is First Boxer to Train Using New GelDefender® Head Pad

RALEIGH, N.C. - Amir Mansour extended his unbeaten record with a first-round knockout of Jason Gavern at Dover (Del.) Casino & Hotel on April 12. Now 18-0-0, Mansour’s victory kept his NABA and WBF Intercontinental heavyweight titles intact.

NEW GEAR—Heavyweight boxer Amir Mansour wears a grey GelDefender® prototype inside his standard protective headgear.

During his two months of training for the Jason Gavern bout, the Delaware native became the first professional boxer to use the new GelDefender® Head Pad to supplement his boxing headgear. PSE Technology LLC—the company that created GelDefender® products—provided the southpaw knockout star with a prototype product to use during sparring sessions.

“No boxer wants to take unnecessary risks during training,” said Mansour. “But you still have to train to make sure you’re ready to defend against head and body punches. The extra head padding from the GelDefender® worked with my training headgear.”

The GelDefender® Head Pad is designed for use inside virtually any sports or recreation helmet. The gel is Impact Gel®. Visit www.geldefender.com for information.

About PSE Technology LLC—PSE Technology LLC is a privately held company based in Raleigh, NC. The company has filed for trademark and patent protection for GelDefender® and the GelDefender® logo. PSE Technology LLC is managed by sports and entertainment firm PSE-3 (www.pse-3.com).

3/13/2013

Will Hunsucker soars during motocross competition

(ABOVE) Will Hunsucker prepares for one of his six motocross races in Chester, S.C., Saturday by using a helmet with a GelDefender® Skull Cap. The 10-year-old from Unionville, N.C., became the first amateur athlete to use the GelDefender® skull cap in competition.

(BELOW) Will Hunsucker soars during motocross competition while wearing his helmet and the GelDefender® Skull Cap.

2/28/2013

Adam Gold wears GelDefender®

Adam Gold, who stars with Joe Ovies on 99.9 The Fan, points to his GelDefender® Skull Cap while broadcasting on Raleigh’s ESPN affiliate. Area basketball fans from UNC, Duke and N.C. State often engage in “contact sports talk,” so Gold tweeted this photo to show he’s ready for the action.

10/13/2011

FOX News Channel ‘8 talks Impact Gel®

A recent story from a local FOX affiliate investigated Impact Gel® – the primary component of the GelDefender™ – and its impact on athletes. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the product, Impact Gel® inventor Matt Kriesel placed his hand under a truck – protected by the gel – and then had the truck run it over. His hand was completely unharmed.

 

02/26/2010

Billy Mays Blows Jay Leno Away

Billy Mays appeared on the Jay Leno Show featuring the patented Impact Gel® technology – the primary component of the GelDefender®.  Mays took a hammer and used it to smash a brick into pieces, only to perform the same stunt, but this time using his own hand. But since it was wrapped by Impact Gel® to disperse the blow, his hand sustained zero damage.