The NFL and Arrow Electronics announced the winners of 1st and Future, the NFL's annual Super Bowl competition designed to spur innovation in player health, safety and performance.

The NFL Punt Analytics Competition resulted in two winners being named from the four finalists. Winner Alex Wainger of New York City proposed removing the 45-year-old rule that holds the kicking team on the line of scrimmage until the punt. Winner Halla Yang of Wilmette, Illinois proposed awarding a five-yard bonus on a fair catch, changing the allowed coverage on receptions, and requiring helmet sensors that can directly monitor physical deceleration.

Each of the four finalists received $20,000, and the two winners each received two tickets to Super Bowl LIII.

Two winners were selected from the five finalists in the Innovations to Advance Athlete Health and Safety Competition. TopSpin of Detroit, Michigan and London, Ontario, Canada took the top prize for their TopSpin360, the first patented training device proven to dynamically strengthen the neck to help reduce concussion risk. TopSpin received two Super Bowl LIII tickets and $50,000 to further develop device. Second-place was awarded to SOLIUS for its advanced science that uses nano-spectrums of light to stimulate the production of critical hormones and peptides as a better way to reduce injuries, speed recovery, and improve the performance of athletes. Solius received two Super Bowl LIII tickets and $20,000 to further develop their technology.

The live pitch competition took place at the Georgia Tech in Atlanta. NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson emceed the event as the nine finalists pitched their game-changing technologies and rule change proposals to an audience of NFL team owners and executives, medical experts and representatives, and guests of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee and Arrow Electronics.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Atlanta Falcons President and CEO and NFL Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay, and Arizona Cardinals Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald participated in a panel discussion on leveraging the latest technology to modernize football.

The two panels of judges included:

  • Geoff Collins, Head Coach, Georgia Tech Football
  • Leigh Ann Curl, MD Head Team Orthopedic Surgeon, Baltimore Ravens, and President, NFL Physicians Society
  • Sarath Degala, Vice President, BIP Capital
  • Victor Gao, Chief Marketing Officer, Arrow Electronics, Inc.
  • Dan Quinn, Head Coach, Atlanta Falcons
  • Allison Sabia, Vice President and General Manager, Digital, Arrow Electronics, Inc.
  • Shawn Springs, CEO, Windpact
  • Keith Werle, Managing Director, Business Analytics Center at Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business

Finalists included the following individuals and companies. Descriptions are furnished by the finalists.

NFL Punt Analytics Competition

Winners:

Alex Wainger, New York
Wainger proposed removing the 45-year-old rule that holds the kicking team on the line of scrimmage until the punt.

Halla Yang, Wilmette, Illinois
Yang proposed awarding a five-yard bonus on a fair catch, changing the allowed coverage on receptions, and requiring helmet sensors that can directly monitor physical deceleration.

Finalists:

John Miller, Fort Worth, Texas
Miller proposed providing a yardage incentive to the receiving team for fair catches and expanding the definition of illegal blindside blocks during returns.

Jeff Rayvid, New York
Rayvid proposed a new rule to mandate a certain formation and an adjustment to blocking techniques.

Innovations to Advance Athlete Health and Safety Competition

Winner:

TopSpin, Detroit /London, Ontario, Canada
TopSpin Technologies Ltd, inventors of the TopSpin360, the first patented training device proven to dynamically strengthen the neck to help reduce concussion risk.

Runner-Up:

SOLIUS, Seattle
SOLIUS has developed an advanced science that uses nano-spectrums of light to stimulate the production of critical hormones and peptides as a better way to reduce injuries, speed recovery, and improve the performance of athletes.

Finalists:

Nobo, Milwaukee
Nobo is developing B60, a connected wearable device that monitors hydration levels of elite athletes. B60 uses patent pending, non-invasive optical technology to report hydration levels to athletes and their trainers in real time.

TackleBar, St. Paul, Minnesota
TackleBar Football aims to provide a safer approach to the game and decrease injuries while preserving the tradition and spirit of the sport, serving as a transition between flag football and tackle football for our youngest players, and an effective practice tool for our older football players.

TendoNova, Atlanta
TendoNova's Ocelot™ system aims to increase access to effective chronic tendon pain treatment with reduced rehabilitation times for all levels of athletes by deploying a hand-held, minimally-invasive device that provides real-time feedback during procedures on the effect the intervention has on tissue.

Learn more about NFL 1st and Future.

Español