Recently while flipping through my “Lacrosse Magazine” I came across an article about whether or not women’s lacrosse players should be required to wear helmets. It is currently a hot debate in the women’s lacrosse community. I believe that commanding women to wear helmets in lacrosse would be an absurd and unnecessary regulation.
Currently women lacrosse players are required to wear goggles that protect your eyes (picture below). Although most every state abides by this rule there is an exception. Florida High School Lacrosse Association has mandated that helmets be worn by all women lacrosse players beginning in the 2015 season. Roger Dearing, FHSAA executive director says it, "Adds a layer of protection for the girls." Their reasoning behind the jurassic shift is that it is an additional preventative measure to help reduce concussion and other head injury rates.
While a helmet is undoubtedly another layer of protection I would argue that it is not the right kind of protection. Helmets blunt the actual collision but the brain still hits against the inside of the skull, which is what causes a concussion.
Additionally I believe that with the addition of helmets, play becomes much more rough. Right now when I play lacrosse I am careful of hitting another players stick when it is close to their heads but when you add a helmet to the equation I think that people will justify their violent actions on the field because the other player is wearing a helmet.
If Florida and other states are truly concerned for their players well-being they should consider taking a deeper look at the referees instead of head gear. They officiate the game and can control the nature of it much more than any helmet could. The referees dictate the type of play that is allowed so it is key that they have a firm knowledge of the game and call teams out when they see dangerous play.
Do you think helmets are the right precautionary measure for keeping women's lacrosse safe?