Helmets In Women’s Lacrosse?

Womens Box lacrosse
This is awesome!

If you don’t follow Women’s Lacrosse, you might not be aware of the brewing controversy that faces the sport.  The question is whether or not helmets should be introduced to the game and at first, it seems like an easy question to answer, but once the details start to emerge, you may change your tune.  And I think this can go both ways.  I’ve heard compelling pleas from both sides at this point and I actually think my position as someone a little removed from the game will help me shed a new light on this dilemma.

If you want a little background on the issue, check out this NY Times article.

I’m going to be talking to a lot of people in the coming days and I’ve lined up some assumptions that need to be addressed.  Hopefully, these current and former players, coaches, and even some lacrosse outsiders with a unique perspective will provide information that everyone will find helpful.  But I can’t do it alone.  I need the help of our readers.  So in the comment section, please leave a question or two that YOU would like answered about helmets in Women’s Lacrosse.  Raise an interesting point, make an argument one way or the other or give me your best Pro or Con argument.  Should Women’s Lacrosse players wear helmets?  Help me figure this one out!

Womens Box lacrosse
Could this be the future of Women's College Lacrosse?


  1. NO, NO, NO, NO, and NO

    It has been tested and proven before. If you add helmets to the women’s game, injuries increase. The helmets add a sense of protection to the athlete and they tend to be more dangerous.

    Even football is looking at how the addition of the large face masks has led to an increase in injuries.

    The best way to prevent these dangerous head injuries, is the improve the quality of reffing in the sport. Most head injuries in the women’s game are caused through illegal play, whether it is a check to the head(automatic yellow card), a dangerous swing(yellow card), or a dangerous shot(caused when a ref does not call shooting space in time).

    If the quality and the consistency of the referees in the women’s game improve, then we will see a decrease in head injuries. Adding helmets will only destroy the quality and integrity of the women’s game.

    Most players do not want helmets, they understand the risks of injury when they play. But it is the parents and adults who have never even played the game that want the helmets. Leave it to the players and the people who actually know the game to make the decisions.

  2. i think it could go either way. it seems every year the checking regulations become stricter and stricter. this year with the introduction of the new yellow card and red card rules, most players and coaches would think helmets would get rid of these rules. for those who don’t know the new rule is that after 2 yellow cards have been called, every following yellow card will force the team to play down a man. this means in theory if a team gets repeatedly yellow carded in a game they could be down anywhere from 1 to all the players on the field in a game. also, any girl that gets a yellow card will be out for the rest of the game and the following game after that. the same is for a red card except the girl will be out for the next 2 games. these rules would not have to be as strict if coming in contact with the head of the opposing player was not a risk. in theory, having girls wear helmets instead of just goggles would protect their head more from dangerous checks. this is the new rule in the state of Illinois im not sure where else it is in effect. however if you look on the other side of this argument, it could be looked at as manufacturers trying to make more money. also helmets are very expensive so what would happen to the girls who cant afford them? and last but not least, the girls that play goalie in womens lacrosse are already required to wear a helmet and protective padding. but we all know that the helmet and the padding does not stop all injuries. my sister who is a goalie always comes home with bruises on parts of her body where padding was supposed to protect her. also when she gets hit in the head, although the impact isnt as strong as it would be without a helmet, she still feels pain for a while. i am on the fence about this topic but for now the goggles are just fine. they were introduced to decrease the risk of broken eye sockets that would occur when the player was hit in the eye with the ball. in my opinion it does decrease the risk. as a low defense player, i am annoyed with the new red and yellow card rule but im not sure helmets would help the situation or hurt it.

  3. Why is no one addressing the real issue here? How awesome are women who play box?!

    I think that goggles, as annoying as they may or may not be to play in, were a good move. How prevalent are concussions in the womens’ game that helmets would make a significant difference? As the article states, there are numerous rules to limit contact as it stands. It’s a different style of game that should remain the way it is. Adding helmets will not advance the sport in a positive direction as much as coaching and education of players to play at a better skill level to minimize infractions and injuries. Hmmm, sounds pretty close to what the mens’ game needs.

  4. I don’t buy the argument that more injuries happen because of helmets. Our summers masters league (non contact box), introduced a facemask rule about 5 years ago. Before that, all you needed was a helmet, no cage was necessary. Injuries have not increased at all.

    Ultimately, helmets will reduce injuries from incidental contact (whether it’s sticks, arms, shoulders, balls, someone elses head). It’s up to the referees to continue to call the game the way they do now.

    Let’s put it this way. Is a little bit more contact to the head (with helmets) worth the more serious injuries they will prevent?

    One other thing, the notion that injuries are on rise needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Things like concussions weren’t diagnosed 20 years ago period. It doesn’t mean they weren’t happening, it just means that they weren’t being reported.

  5. there should be a summer league offered to girls lacrosse players who want to play the guys style of lacrosse full contact etc. But they shouldnt be introduced to the current womens lacrosse game. I heard that somewhere they had girls wearing helmets and concussions in the girls game nearly doubled because the girls were becoming more violent with there checks and body defense.

  6. I think helmets with no body pads create a new hazard. Say a short girl runs into a tall girl, and the helmet bill goes into the arm and chest. The short girl has a helmet and won’t hold back her impact to protect herself, while the tall girl gets sharp angled plastic to her bare skin and the impact of a hard helmet on her body.

  7. Does it necessarily need to be lacrosse-style headgear? What about adding .. say … rugby headgear?
    I obviously don’t know, how they relate to concussions etc. They might however address the issue of potentially increased recklessness, treading the path between reducing concussions and increased other injuries.

    Just a thought …