Should Helmets Be Required in Girls’ Lacrosse?


Larkin Flemming, Staff Writer

Lacrosse is a quick and intense sport that originated from Native Americans. It has been around for centuries and has gained tons of popularity. It is still very common in the present day, especially in high school and college. It is a co-ed sport; however, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse have completely different rules amongst each other.  To elaborate, girls’ have more players on the field at a time, the boy’s sticks have a significantly deeper pocket/net than the girl’s sticks, and the girls’ field is larger than the boy’s field. However, the key difference between the two is the fact that boys’ lacrosse is a contact sport, and girls’ lacrosse is a non-contact sport. So, what does this mean exactly? In men’s and boys’ lacrosse players have the ability to bodycheck and push opponents with their sticks, yet in girls’ or women’s lacrosse, a call would be made against this aggression.  Therefore, making boys’ lacrosse far more aggressive, and similar to football. Boys’ lacrosse players are required to wear helmets, mouth guards, chest pads, and gloves, whereas girls are only required to wear goggles and a mouth guard. Despite the significant difference in aggression between the two sports, dangerous injuries are still very common in girls’ lacrosse. The article Injury Epidemiology states that the rate of concussions resulting from stick or ball contact was 2.60 times higher in girls’ lacrosse than in boys’ lacrosse. Also, it is proven that 44.7% of concussions in girls’ lacrosse are said to be prevented if girls were required to wear helmets, considering the fact that girls’ lacrosse has the second-highest concussion rate of any sport.  On the contrary, some believe that since girls’ lacrosse is not nearly as dangerous as boys’ lacrosse, players should not be required to wear helmets. As of right now, girls can make the decision on whether or not they choose to wear helmets, yet the majority of players stick with the gogglesThe Controversial History Of Headgear In Girls' Lacrosse | Only A Game

I conducted an interview with members of the Santiago High School lacrosse team to get their viewpoints on this predicament. Here is what they said:

“I think helmets should not be required because you should be getting hit anyways and many girls could not afford them which would limit them from playing a sport to get involved in.” –Addy Gallifent

“I think helmets should be required because of the increasing concussion rate, but many people would disagree.” –Emma Pinion

“No, it is a non-contact sport. There isn’t nearly as much injury as in boys’ lacrosse, but there are still risks involved. If anything, it should be optional.” –John Flemming

“I think that helmets should be the player’s decision, they can restrict our performance, and the rules of the sport should be better enforced by refs and players should be more disciplined to prevent injuries, rather than requiring us to wear more gear.”

-Amanda Frickle

As you can see, there haven’t been any opinions blatantly against wearing helmets in girls’ lacrosse. Many of these athletes believe that they should remain optional, as they are now.