Techcellence AWARD in Innovation for 2016

 AWARD for Innovation for 2016

NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program



Dr. Theo Versteeg

Designer Topspin 360


The idea originated sitting in a sports bar after playing pickup hockey. That’s where all great ideas come from, isn’t it? It was January 2011 and the top story at the time was Sidney Crosby’s second concussion.


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“For every one pound increase in neck strength, odds of concussion decrease by 5%. We conclude that identifying differences in overall neck strength may be useful in developing a screening tool to determine risk of concussion.”


Collins, C. L., Fletcher, E. N., Fields, S. K., Kluchurosky, L., Rohrkemper, M. K., Comstock, R. D., & Cantu, R. C. (2014). Neck Strength: A Protective Factor Reducing Risk for Concussion in High School Sports. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 35(5), 309–319.

“Neuromuscular training designed to enhance cervical muscle dynamic responses may be a more suitable and effective approach than strength training to reduce the odds of sustaining high-magnitude head impacts among football athletes.”


Schmidt, J. D., Guskiewicz, K. M., Blackburn, J. T., Mihalik, J. P., Siegmund, G. P., & Marshall, S. W. (2014). The Influence of Cervical Muscle Characteristics on Head Impact Biomechanics in Football. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 42(9), 2056–2066.

“…the need for neck muscle training tasks that elicit feed-forward and feedback motor control mechanisms to better use the dynamic stabilizers for both protection and performance enhancement.”


Mansell, J., Tierney, R. T., Sitler, M. R., & Swanik, K. A. (2005). Resistance training and head-neck segment dynamic stabilization in male and female collegiate soccer players. … Of Athletic Training.

“Neck strength influences head change in velocity and head injury criterion and may help explain different concussion risks in professional and youth athletes, women, and children.”


“…neck forces influences head rotation and displacement and may play a role in the development of brain dysfunction after closed head injury.”


“…even relatively small changes in the strength of neck muscles may have significant effects on the forces related to the development of clinical concussion.”



Viano, D. C., Casson, I. R., & Pellman, E. J. (2007). CONCUSSION IN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL. Neurosurgery, 61(2), 313–328.

“In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that greater neck strength attenuates the head’s dynamic response to external forces These relationships hold true in all places of head motion and across the age spectrum in athletes of both sexes.”


Eckner, J. T., Oh, Y. K., Joshi, M. S., Richardson, J. K., & Ashton-Miller, J. A. (2014). Effect of Neck Muscle Strength and Anticipatory Cervical Muscle Activation on the Kinematic Response of the Head to Impulsive Loads. The American Journal of Sports Medicine.


Designer and Inventor of the Topspin 360 Dr. Theo Versteegh displays the Topspin 360 device attached to a conventional football helmet


# Concussions



Western's Head Coach Greg Marshall said the TopSpin 360 could provide important protection in the future.

“It’s something we take very seriously. We need to make our contact sports safer and we hope that this is something that will strengthen our players’ necks and help reduce concussions,” he said.

All players on the team will train with the device in the pre-season, and the team’s medical staff will carefully monitor any concussions during the 2016 season.

“Those who perform better on the device should be less prone to concussions,” said Versteegh.


The Western University Football team is currently using the Topspin 360 device to train its football players in an effort to significantly reduce the number of concussions.


topspin360 is owned and operated by topspin technologies ltd.

Unit 11-1673 Richmond St.  PMB 321 London Ontario.

N6G 2N3.

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