Since 1960 head impact responses under the action of various forces have been studied analytically. However, the effects of force distribution upon head injury mechanisms have not been studied because measurements of force distribution during head impacts have not been experimentally available.In the past, several methods were tested in order to measure head contact pressure, but the results were not very useful. Since the skull is a composite shell structure, the thin shell theory may be valid for stress analysis. According to the theory, the influence of an external load on a shell element damps out rapidly as the distance between the load and the element increases. Stress concentrations occur in the shell elements directly under the center core area of a localized external load. Therefore, the force on the center core, not the entire force distribution, is critical for the assessment of skull responses. Based on this concept, a study concerning the effects of various force patterns upon skull responses was carried out. The results lead to the development of a simple method of assessing padding materials for head impact protection.