Plastics, electronics and 5G cellular connections will make it easier for football players at Gallaudet University to hear from coaches and officials during their Oct. 7 game against Hilbert College.
Gallaudet, in Washington, D.C., is the top college in the U.S. for deaf and hard of hearing students. It has a full range of education and extracurricular activities, including a football team that has competed since the 1800s. (Gallaudet invented the on-field huddle in 1894 as a way for players to communicate with American sign language without opposing teams picking up on calls.)
This week, the team will use a helmet with embedded 5G that will display messages on the quarterback's visor from a coach on the sidelines using a tablet. The university worked with AT&T on the program.
The display will enable players to communicate with coaches while they're on the field the same way a hearing player can hear calls from the sideline, Gallaudet said in a news release.
"The difference between coaching a hearing team compared to a deaf team is first the communication," Chuck Goldstein, head football coach, said.
Hilbert College, in Hamburg, N.Y., is on board with the trial.
"This moment marks expanded possibilities for inclusion in sports — even beyond football and beyond the NCAA," Tim Seil, director of intercollegiate athletics at Hilbert, said in a news release.