For reasons that have long mystified many medical professionals, coaches and parents, girls’ lacrosse has never used helmets like boys’ teams. Even with the growing popularity of the sport, soft helmets are currently the only option females have to protect themselves against injuries, and not every team even uses them.
However, even soft helmets may not protect against concussions. Brain injuries, being different from head injuries, occur when the brain shifts inside the skull—something soft helmets may not prevent. In fact, with a hard enough impact, even hard helmets don’t always protect against concussions.
WBAL-TV 11 (NBC affiliate in Baltimore, Md.) recently reported on both sides of the discussion, featuring Kevin E. Crutchfield, M.D., a neurologist with Sinai Neurology Associates, who says he believes female players should all be wearing hard helmets.
On the other side of the debate, U.S. Lacrosse, the governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse, is concerned that if hard helmets are introduced to females playing the sport, the game may be played more aggressively.