New Study Looks at the Impact of Gender Bias in Helmet Rules for Lacrosse Players
A new study shows that high school girls’ lacrosse players who aren’t required to wear flexible headgear are at a higher risk of getting a concussion from a stick or ball impact than boys’ lacrosse players. According to a news report, boys’ lacrosse players who do wear a hard shell helmet with full-face masks, still have the potential to suffer from a traumatic head injury.
The study was published in the journal Injury Epidemiology by researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the University of Colorado Denver. The study looked into whether girls’ lacrosse players face a greater risk for concussions than boys because of the difference between the genders in helmet rules.
What the Study Found
Boys’ lacrosse is a full-contact sport, which allows body and stick checking, which mandates hardshell helmets and full-face masks. But, girls’ lacrosse prohibits body and stuck checking and makes flexible headgear optional with or without integrated eye protection. These disproportionate guidelines around protective equipment for different genders are outdated, the researchers say.
In this study, researchers used lacrosse concussion data from the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study to determine whether girls’ lacrosse players were at a greater risk because of lax helmet regulations. They found that in girls’ lacrosse, stick or ball contact was the most common mechanism of concussion, accounting for 72.7% of all concussions. In the boys’ game, stick or ball contact accounted for 23.5% of all concussions. The study also found that 45% of all girls’ lacrosse concussions could’ve been prevented if girls wore the helmet mandated in boys’ lacrosse.
The Danger of Concussions
A concussion is a type of brain injury that is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This type of sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, which creates chemical changes in the brain sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells. While concussions are often described as “mild” brain injuries, it is important to remember that the effects of a concussion can be serious. Symptoms of a concussion may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, memory loss and behavioral changes.
It is the responsibility of those in charge of youth sports to closely monitor young players for signs of injuries. Any player who suffers a concussion should not be allowed into the field without adequate rest. Players also need to have the right protective equipment on the field – regardless of gender. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of negligence, please contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who can provide you with more information about pursuing your legal rights.