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Helmets for women's lacrosse?

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oldman
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Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby oldman Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:15 pm

On Tuesday, August 10, ESPN aired its weekly sports news magazine television show E:60. The show contained a segment produced by Tom Farrey that featured two injured girls' high school players from Pittsburgh (Pa.) and suggested that hard helmets should be incorporated into the women’s game.

See the segment: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5453127

See US Lacrosse's response: http://www.uslacrosse.org/UtilityNav/Ab ... toE60.aspx
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby J-Lo Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:30 pm

oldman wrote:On Tuesday, August 10, ESPN aired its weekly sports news magazine television show E:60. The show contained a segment produced by Tom Farrey that featured two injured girls' high school players from Pittsburgh (Pa.) and suggested that hard helmets should be incorporated into the women’s game.

See the segment: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5453127

See US Lacrosse's response: http://www.uslacrosse.org/UtilityNav/Ab ... toE60.aspx


We don't follow the US though so even if they brought in helmets there, it woudln't affect anything here.

We don't even use those stupid goggles
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby oldman Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:02 pm

J-Lo wrote:We don't follow the US though so even if they brought in helmets there, it wouldn't affect anything here.

We don't even use those stupid goggles.


J-Lo
There is already a move towards making goggles officially recommended wear in the UK. The issue was discussed at a meeting of the WPC earlier this year and, as I understand it, the Executive Committee is thinking of recommending that people wear them. The issue will be discussed again at a meeting on 4th September, where a decision will be taken.

While the WPC Exec Committee appears to be steering clear of making goggles mandatory, any recommendation would effectively mean mandatory as I suspect insurance companies would take a dim view of players choosing not to wear "recommended" goggles. For instance I can't see any school game being played without goggles if they are recommended by the ELA/WPC.

You are, indeed, correct in saying that we don't follow the US immediately, however, I think it is naive to suggest that we can ignore what happens in the US. If the US ever went for compulsory helmets it would put pressure on governing bodies all over the world. It's worth reading US Lacrosses response to the E.60 piece. Currently US Lacrosse is holding the line on helmets, but in such a litigious society I think they will come under increasing pressure.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby UKLaxfan Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:46 pm

It's a very moving story of two girls who love the sport but will likely be denied from playing in the future by a parent who wants to protect her kids.

Video clip - http://rise.espn.go.com/lacrosse/articl ... ssion.aspx

Women's Lacrosse is a beautiful sport that does highlight the finesse and grace of the athletes playing it, it is more skill based than the men's game and relies less on power.

Under the Rules of the game it is a non-contact sport.

There is no stick on body contact allowed and a stick on head is an automatic RED card at junior level.

I'm with Steve Stenerson on this one, the integrity and spirit of the game needs to be Coached and Officiated better at all levels.

Simply wearing more protection actually makes the game more violent and therefore more likely to have injuries.

This is counter intuitive but the reasoning is logical.

The wearing of goggles being mandated in High School & College in the USA, has made the game more physical in the last few years
- there is less fear of being injured as well as less fear of injuring a fellow player if they are wearing goggles
- this leads to players taking more risks and higher level risks when they have the ball or when they are making a check
- the greater number of events when players are putting themselves in high risk situations the greater number of "accidents" will occur which could lead to injury.

This is the same argument to seat belts in cars with respect to to deaths via RTAs
- there is an argument that to reduce deaths on the road, cars should have a 6 inch Spike on the steering wheel instead of airbags/SIPS/ABS & seatbelts!

Drivers have a level of Risk Aversion which they drive to:
Safer they feel = more dangerously they drive
more dangerous they feel = safer they drive

Extreme example but Women's Lacrosse is a unique sport if you add Helmets then you will need pads & gloves and eventually you will have women playing men's lacrosse.

Being the old cynic I believe their is more than just girl's safety driving these changes. $$$$s
Current Costs for Player:
- Lacrosse Stick
- Gloves (optional)
- Goggles (mandatory) New
- Mouth guard (mandatory) newish
- Accessories (stick bag, track suits, water-proofs, lacrosse apparel, etc)

Future Costs for Players:
- as above plus
- Helmet ~ $200
- Kit Bags (have to be bigger to fit helmets in)
- Arm pads, Rib pads, gloves etc

This is a Live issue in the women's game that will not go away and surfaces every off season.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby PaulM Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:14 pm

It is difficult to make an informed comment on the clip as there are no real statistics, but the doctor states that he has seen an increase in concussions over the last few years, co-incidently since the states introduced eye protection. This would not only suggest helmets could be more dangerous but that goggles should not be used as they increase the danger.

Again while I have no medical training a blow to the head to cause that extensive concussion may well still have occured with a helmet.

I hope these do not come in to the womens game as the skill and appreciation of the players needs to be appreciated, and a total change to the mens game would spoil the sport.

The safe alternative would be mixed with no checking, which while good fun for mixed tournaments again would be a shame to loose the womens game.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby PaulM Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:14 pm

It is difficult to make an informed comment on the clip as there are no real statistics, but the doctor states that he has seen an increase in concussions over the last few years, co-incidently since the states introduced eye protection. This would not only suggest helmets could be more dangerous but that goggles should not be used as they increase the danger.

Again while I have no medical training a blow to the head to cause that extensive concussion may well still have occured with a helmet.

I hope these do not come in to the womens game as the skill and appreciation of the players needs to be appreciated, and a total change to the mens game would spoil the sport.

The safe alternative would be mixed with no checking, which while good fun for mixed tournaments again would be a shame to loose the womens game.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby Stinkypete Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:52 pm

I watched this when it was originally shown, and, also being a cynic, I wondered who or maybe what Company may have been sponsoring the research. I also find it hard to believe that a hit from a stick would cause concussion so bad that the problems subsequently suffered by one of the girls would occur, memory loss etc. Not being medically trained, I could be wrong, but I suspect that some other underlying problem may be the cause of that as she seems to be suffering the sort of problems that a veteran professional boxer may get after suffering many blows to the head

I believe that the goggles are worn to protect the eyes from being hit by the ball rather than from stray checks.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby J-Lo Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:35 pm

Introducing seatbelts only served to increase auto accidents and see more pedestrians injured or killed.

Seems the same story with eye-protection and will be worse with helmets.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby fizz Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:18 pm

Interesting, have to agree though with 'uklaxfan'.

Years ago South Australia lacrosse were heavily promoting the use of helmets. Interestingly when the US toured they refused to play if anyone was wearing helmets, due to the potential injury to players without them.

I hated playing against players with helmets, they had no fear, it reduced our game to an ametuer mens lacrosse.

No matter what people do, you will not be able to protect players from injury by getting them to wear different equipment. It must be coached / officiated out of the game.

I hope that players stay strong and keep this out, like the goggles (although I fear that the goggles wont remain out for long)
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby webby Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:34 pm

I've been doing some reading around lacrosse injuries, and in the women's game the major injuries tend to involve the head or face. Most of these come from contact made by a ball or stick, and the researchers call for protective equipment for the eyes/face/head. This research resulted in the introduction of goggles into the US game (most of the research used the NCAA injury databases).

I can understand the use of goggles to protect the eyes from injury - they aren't something that can easily be fixed by a bandage or stitches. But I agree that introducing helmets would just lead to more aggressive play, and therefore more dangerous play.

The US seems to be much more concerned about injury prevention than the UK - mouth guards (gum shields) are mandatory in most sports to help reduce the chance of concussions and mouth injuries. In the UK, I think can only think of women's lacrosse as an example where players must wear gum shields (maybe rugby?). Even ice hockey players don't have to. I don't know if we see more injuries/concussions etc because of this, or if we are much less likely to sue/get sued....
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby dblacklock Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:10 pm

I seem to recall that several years ago this was trialled. What they found was that there were more stick infractions simply becuase players were not concerned about where the sticls were going having no fear of injuring their opponent.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby oldman Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:12 pm

One take on the ongoing Headgear debate,"The Future of Headgear in Girls' Lacrosse" on Steve Stenersen's blog on the US lacrosse website posted last week (2nd December 2010).
http://www.uslacrosse.org/Blog/tabid/2819/EntryId/24/The-Future-of-Headgear-in-Girls-Lacrosse.aspx
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby wildcat Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:27 pm

Simples.
Goggles Yay.
Helmets Nay.

Eyes soft and squidgy. Head hard and stiffy.
Stop them from hitting each other on the head, but protect their eyes from the errant/accidental flying ball.

I particularly like the line of "players being held accountable." Quite how they plan on enforcing that, I'm not sure, but I would be very interested to see.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby UKLaxfan Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:14 pm

wildcat wrote:Eyes soft and squidgy. Head hard and stiffy.
Stop them from hitting each other on the head, but protect their eyes from the errant/accidental flying ball.


Agree - The goggles debate is lost as that horse has already bolted with the US making goggles mandatory in High School and College

I still believe FIL should stick to their rules and NOT make them mandatory Internationally.

wildcat wrote:I particularly like the line of "players being held accountable." Quite how they plan on enforcing that, I'm not sure, but I would be very interested to see.


This starts to get to the crux of the matter, the rules are there for a reason and players need to adhere to them, rather than just breaking them consistently in the hope you get away with it. Then when you do get caught breaking them don't be surprised if you get sent off.

Many years ago a certain (very attractive) England International attacker, got fed up with being checked to the body and head while on tour in the USA and not getting any calls from the umpire. She decided to make her defender accountable by going up to her and smacking her across the back of her head. The England player became the first ever player to receive a Red card in an International. :shock: As it turns out she was correct and ahead of her time.

When Umpires are not doing their job enforcing the rules for player safety, then incidents will occur.

Steve Syenerson wrote:There’s no bigger challenge for the leaders of a sport than to effectively balance the integrity of its rules and culture with the importance of player safety. The challenge in lacrosse is even more pronounced because it’s long been one sport comprised of two distinct games. The culture and rules of each game have been significantly different for almost 80 years.

But when a serious injury occurs in a particular sport, the nature of that sport is sometimes questioned or blamed, and that’s been the case lately in girls’ lacrosse. After all, both games use similar sticks and the same ball carried, thrown and caught around the head.


In American Sport there is a culture of win at all costs
- when you have full time Coaches at High School & College
- When Scholarships $$$s are handed out to winners
- When National Champions get a Championship ring and get to meet the President
- When the Top teams get TV coverage at Final Fours and National recognition (Northwestern on ESPN's PTI show)

Adhering to the rules is way down the list of priorities for Coaches & players.

Fan's, parents, boosters want their team to win... they don't care how... Win Win Win!

"If you're not cheating you're not trying"

The Umpires are the sole proprietors of the rules of the game
but even they get paid to umpire and to get the best games they must please their paymasters.
who are the very people who want to win at all costs.

These leads to Umpires who let things go and let the players decide the game get better views than those who enforce the rules strictly to the letter of the law.

All this leads to more violent and more physical play.

Sticks:
Likewise the manufacturers look for a competitive advantage and bend the rules and lobby to allow more creative design of sticks.
- Offset heads
- Inset heads
- crank shafts

A friend showed me one of the latest heads available with a crank shaft, I would have been happy to play men's lacrosse with it
- you could do everything you want with it
- under hand cradle, stick fakes

There is a vast difference between this stick and the original Brine Cup etc

The current system is flawed and erodes the integrity of the women's game.

If things don't change soon, there will be no difference between Men's & Women's lacrosse

Which I think will be a huge loss to the sport.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby Moaning Git Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:34 pm

Personally, I don't think the sport is worth the loss of a persons eyesight. To me the arguements against the wearing of protective headwear far ouuweigh the other considerations, especially as the development of the Ladies game outside the UK seems for be far mor physical anyway.

At any rate their should be no prohibition for anyonw wishing to wear head protection espcially for under 18s, I wont even go into the legalities of this issue in terms of ngligence and disability legislation.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby UKLaxfan Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:32 pm

Moaning Git wrote:Personally, I don't think the sport is worth the loss of a persons eyesight. To me the arguements against the wearing of protective headwear far ouuweigh the other considerations, especially as the development of the Ladies game outside the UK seems for be far mor physical anyway.

At any rate their should be no prohibition for anyonw wishing to wear head protection espcially for under 18s, I wont even go into the legalities of this issue in terms of ngligence and disability legislation.


It is an emotive subject, nobody wants any player to lose their eyesight and the wearing of goggles is already alloweed

The argument for players safety though does not automatically mean more protective equipment.

Far more men's players suffer concussion than women's and they wear helmets.

Why don't football players or rugby players wear helmets?

because like US Football the helmet would become a weapon

there is a lot more discussion at
http://network.laxpower.com/laxforum/vi ... &sk=t&sd=a

It is the biggest threat to women's lacrosse currently
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby 6x6 Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:08 pm

I attended the NCAA women's DII and DIII final four in May and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Yet, as with many sports for both men and women, the game has changed in part because the athletes have changed. The phrase I often hear is that athletes have become bigger, faster and stronger. IMO those in auhtority recognize this and attempt to make changes to preserve the game as best possible while also protecting the particpants. Mouthgards, goggles, helmets for goalies are examples here in the states.

My daughter is the Athletic Trainer for the Salisbury U women's field hockey team (NCAA DIII nationals champs in '09 and the women's lacrosse team that won the NC this year. She also helped with the Wales men's senior team at the Worlds this year. I asked her about this subject as she deals with it daily and is much more knowledgeable than me.

In sum, she didn't think the game had changed or that #'s of incidence of concussion are necessarily rising. Rather, the research and injury tracking in addition to the great rise in public concern for concussions has increased a great deal the last few years. She adds this is happening in ALL sports (contact or non-contact). She also agrees with other posters when she says that some refs are not properly educated and offered enough training. She felt that the refs need to be more consistent with calls especially in the head area.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby 6x6 Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:50 pm

While the eternal optimist, I can also be quite the cynical at times. So when I see a story like the one discussed I don't always take things at face value. Media can distort or slant almost anyhting to enhance their position.

Regarding the "doctor." The piece states "Micky Collins, the Re girl's doctor, is one of the world's top concusion experts." Says who, his bio or his bosses at the univ of Pittsburgh Med Ctr? In fact, he's not a medical doctor at all, as he has a PH.D. in Physchology. Not saying he necessarily can't be knowledgeable but if my kid has a concussion or any brain injury I'm gonna seek out an MD's opinion.

The piece goes on to generalize that "girls lacrosse" etc etc without clarifying that the data was based on an unknown number of high school girl's teams. Perhaps if they included youth or college teams the numbers may be different.

Then there is the study itself. Here is the fact sheet from their website. http://injuryresearch.net/resources/1/F ... tSheet.pdf
The stats used are self reporting from Certified Athletic Trainers. The trainers must enroll or join the program and complete a weekly report from which the data was gathered. They don't say what % of high schools are involved.

Even if we accept the data for what it is, girl's soccer was very very close in the number of incidents. Is anyone suggesting that hs girls playing soccer begin to wear helmets :?:

Train the players, coaches, officials and parents on the rules and what is acceptable. Let everyone know that fouls to the head area or otherwise aggressive play will not be tolerated. These things may reduce physical play and won't require changes in the rules or equipment we already have.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby Moaning Git Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:38 pm

Why don't football players or rugby players wear helmets?

because like US Football the helmet would become a weapon


Well that is one interpretation, and may well have an element of truth, but I think is a red herring in terms of this debate.

The majority of injuries I have seen in boys and girls lacrosse have been leg and back problems. However the majority of facial and head injuries I have seen have been in the ladies game, and most of them have been caused by the impact of a ball, followed by checks to the head. If I was a parent or a school governor I would certainly think long and hard about the potential damage a kid might suffer playing lacrosse before introducing them to the sport.

Good coaching, and officiating will of course reduce the dangers, but they will not eliminate them.

I am very firmly of the opinion that an option to allow head protection beyond goggles is sensible whatever the traditionalist view is.
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Re: Helmets for women's lacrosse?

Postby the pom Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:57 pm

how did they used to deal with mens lacrosse when the main protection was just a lether cap?
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